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"Big Brother" is the reality show critics love to hate. But for passionate fans of the unscripted CBS soap opera, summer would be a bummer without it. That includes TVWeek editors Michele Greppi and Josef Adalian, who’ve decided to chronicle their “Brother”-ly love via regular blog postings. From the first HOH competition to the last "But first…" to fall from the lips of the Chenbot, they’ll be serving up their unfiltered take on life inside TV’s most dysfunctional house of horrors.

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Oh Brother!



Sunset for April and Vines for Ollie, Et Alii

August 22, 2008 9:54 AM

Michele Greppi: Snaps to April for the best eviction interview of “Big Brother 10.” She was smart, and quick, and soft, and oh-so-funny Valentine-ish. Yes, she said to host Julie Chen, in response to Ollie’s recorded farewell, she will be his first-ever girlfriend when they are reunited.

“Duhn, duhn, duhn,” she said with a knowing laugh when Ms. Chen noted that Libra, every houseguest’s bete noire, awaits her. It’ll be just the two of them—unless one of them lands in a hospital or jail cell—for the next week.

Whether that reunion for Aprollie will be in the sequester house, which would be bittersweet indeed, or at the live finale, when Ollie would have a 50-50 chance at winning $500,000, which would be very sweet, is still unknown.

Ollie, a good guy who fell hard for his polar opposite in a showmance turned romance, has ridden the coattails of his Type A partner since they hooked up.

Minutes after April was voted out all but unanimously, Ollie and the remaining houseguests were clinging to some violently swinging “vines” in an endurance contest to determine who would be the next Head of Household and thus take control of the game for a very crucial week.

Just how crucial the houseguests won’t know until next Thursday’s live show, when they learn there will be two evictions in the same hour.

I’ll be staying up late enough to watch “Big Brother After Dark” at least long enough to see who wins the HOH competition. The last endurance test lasted about three hours.

April won by promising Michelle that she wouldn’t put on the block either Michelle or Jessie, the lunkhead who didn’t cave in to Michelle’s desire for a showmance. After Michelle ended her heroic stand, April put Jessie up next to Memphis for eviction.

Jessie’s not the target, April kept assuring Michelle.

But a guerrilla uprising saved Memphis and evicted Jessie.

We’ll have to see if that painful memory will be enough to keep Michelle hangin’ on all through the night, being pelted by water, gonged against the wall and who knows what else as the competition wears on.

Also on the vines were Keesha, who didn’t dress for the elements as they can be created in the “BB” backyard; geezer Jerry, who survived Thursday’s eviction vote only because April was even more disliked as a player than he; Memphis, who has yet to show his competitive skills; Dan, who has proudly (but secretly) thrown every competition until winning the Power of Veto last week (he didn’t use it); and, last and, unfortunately, probably least: Ollie.

He’s scared to death of birds. And there were a lot of bird noises heard when we last saw our swinging crew.

But somehow, Joe, I don’t think April is banking on Ollie to win. She’d be happy just to see him hang in there.

P.S.: Didn’t you just love meeting Aprollie’s in-laws-to-be? And how about April’s twin sister’s observation that Ollie’s just like her: the laid-back supporter to the dominant April.

P.P.S.: And when’s the last time you saw an evicted houseguest out-dress Julie Chen? I can hardly wait to see video of Libra trying to pretend not to fume while April models the treasure trove of designer duds she won.

Josef Adalian: April and Libra’s week of bonding should be priceless. I’ve always wondered why “Big Brother” doesn’t install cameras in sequester house and put that online, too (and on Showtime). After all, what goes on in casa de sequester can be just as important as the activities in Studio City. This is where the jury of losers spends endless hours mulling who should get the money they believe they rightfully deserved.

Then again, I really don’t need one more “Big” feed to watch. Last night’s “BBAD” provided more than enough drama for one night. (If you haven’t heard who won HOH, bail out now.)

The houseguests spent hours swinging from fake vines. And guess what? The heretofore unproven man-boy trio of Memphis, Ollie and Dan—the MOD squad, if they were ever to form an alliance—ended up as the final three swingers. After Memphis gave up, Ollie and Dan hung out for a while longer before Dan struck a deal with Ollie. I couldn’t hear the details, but from post-game conversations, it looks as if Ollie not only bought safety for himself, he also got Dan to promise to keep his hands off Michelle.

No wonder Dan seemed pained while eating dinner after the competition was over. In addition to being physically exhausted, he’s now found himself in a pickle: Unless he breaks his word, he has to put up at least one member of the alliance that this week ousted April. Jerry is an easy choice, but if Ollie and Michelle are off the table, Dan will need to put up either Renny, Memphis or Keesha.

I guess Renny is technically not allied with Dan (though she may beg to differ). He may be able to get away with tagging her a pawn and hoping neither of the senior set wins POV. But one way or another, Dan’s gonna have to break some eggs. As he said last night on Showtime, “I made a s--tty deal.”

Hopefully Dan’s dilemma will lead to some new flareups of drama in the house. With April, Jessie and Libra gone—and Jerry almost acting his age—the natural sources of tension are gone. Here’s hoping Renny gets her voodoo on and raises a little hell inside the house.

Another possible way Dan could stir things up: He could join forces with Ollie, Michelle and either Renny or Jerry and just declare war on would-be alpha players Keesha and Memphis. He’d lose their votes on the jury, but he might gain enough respect from the other evictees to actually land the $500,000.

Some final notes:

—I hope producers show all of the acts of compassion the houseguests displayed in the wake of the HOH competition. As the final three players fell off their vines, other houseguests would come to their aid with blankets and support. Dan, after defeating Ollie, made a point of falling back to the ground in order to give Ollie a man hug. And the sight of Renny and Jerry undressing Ollie and Dan and helping them into warm clothes? Priceless.

—Yes, I loved seeing Aprollie’s respective parents. I wish producers would have asked them about the duo’s very intense Internet couplings. Surely, Ollie’s father has something to say about his once-pure son’s passionate performances under the covers. It was refreshing, however, to see an interracial TV romance play out with nary a mention of race. Hopefully the rest of America will be as colorblind come November.

—I can’t offer any insight into Julie’s or April’s wardrobe choices. But I can hope that Dan, now that he’s HOH, finally decides to change out of those musty swim trunks and that crusty red T-shirt. (As of 10:45 Big Brother Time Thursday, Dan was wearing jeans and a black shirt. Let’s see how long that lasts.)

—While Renny did just get a letter from home, I still voted for her to get a phone call from home. She gives good TV tears.

—And while it wouldn’t produce as much drama, I very much am hoping this is Jerry’s final week in the house—either by Dan’s hand, or by whoever wins HOH next Thursday on double eviction night.

I’ve said my piece for the night. Ms. Yin. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on how the HOH competition played out … and we’ll talk again Monday.

Michelle Greppi: Mr. Yang, Mr. Yang, Mr. Yang. You’re so drama-keen you overlook the smaller moments that will add up to reasons to cut or keep someone.

Yes, there were some heartening moments of humanity on display last night after the three guys dropped in bone-chilling, body-shaking exhaustion.

Keesha didn’t have one of those moments. Her greatest gesture was to offer Ollie a Triscuit from the box she’d ripped open while in the storage room with Memphis trying to figure out what he had overheard of or pieced together about the Danollie deal.

She spent the rest of the night being all “What about me?” in whispered conversations with Renny, who doesn’t know what’s going on but doesn’t like it, and Memphis, whom Keesha dispatched to pump Dan, to no avail.

Jerry immediately reverted to pattern by hanging around Danollie, the center of power in the house now.

Meanwhile, Michelle once again proved to be the biggest mensch in seeing to the mental and physical needs of Danollie—before she even knew she’d been guaranteed safety for the week.

After “BB” producers put the houseguests through the epic endurance test, they added insult to injury. As Memphis, still wobbling slowly on feet he could barely feel, finally made his way out to the continuing contest, we heard the “BB” voice say, “Memphis, please put on your microphone.” The poor guy had to wobble back into the house to find it. It’s worth noting that no houseguests offered to go get it.

Then, because the HOH competition lasted so long, the unveiling of Dan’s HOH room—and the mythical Monica’s picture—was delayed until after “BBAD” ended.

When last we saw Danollie, they were resting their weary heads on their arms on the dining room table.

Everybody else had headed for softer berths, including Jerry, who left his fingernail clippings all over the living room rug. Good direction, “BB,” for zooming in on that example of bad manners.

This is going to be a fun week of “BB” watching.


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Comments (2)

jbk:

I would just like someone to tell me who told Jerry that's it's a good look for a 108-year-old man to be walking around in muscle shirts? If John McCain starts wearing this on the campaign trail, I will vomit.

michele greppi:

you're right about jerry's muscle tees, but in the spirit of equal age-ist attacks, let's not overlook some of Renny's outlandish and age-inappropriate enembles. ;)

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