July 24, 2007 4:41 PM
Omigawd, “Big Brother 8” has all but taken over OMGreppi’s life – or whatever she can claim to have as a life – with the addition of three hours per night (that’s 21 hours per week) of loosely directed feed from the house in which strangers are sequestered as they vote someone out and scheme to be the last houseguest standing – all of it before some 50 cameras and wearing microphones.
The 21 hours that start at midnight Eastern on ShowtimeToo are in addition to the three hourlong “BB” broadcasts each week on CBS, and the reading of blogs that thoroughly transcribe most every conversation or development in the house, and the occasional check of the 24-hour live Internet house feeds to see who’s zooming whom. Things turn on a dime in the “BB” house.
OMGreppi’s more highfalutin friends just roll their eyes at her “BB” addiction, but she cannot be shamed. What was the best human ant-farm experience has become a total immersion experience.
And the more this “BB” fan gets, the more she wants. And not just because the house guests are very aware of the hours in which they’re on display “After Dark.”
They’ve begun saving some of their best for last each night. It might be a birthday observance that culminates in the dorky but nipple-ringed Eric (otherwise known as America’s Player, who has to do viewers’ biddings, whether it’s trying to get a particular person nominated for eviction or voted out or just annoyed) licking Bible-reading, slowly blossoming Jameka’s birthday greeting off the dining room table. You don’t have to have a dirty mind to relish the scene, but it helps.
Last week, knowing full well the video would be widely viewed, they egged on Zach until he streaked across the backyard and into the pool just before the end of the telecast. You don’t have to be a connoisseur of bawdy parts to have fun with this episode, but it helps. Even Jameka was moved to say on a subsequent night that she’d changed Pampers of better-equipped babies. It was a priceless moment for “BB” fans.
Last night’s “After Dark” started with lots of conversation about how bored ShoToo viewers must be. Dustin, who outlasted his outrageously and self-defeatingly manipulative ex-lover Joe in the house, was leading a strenuous abs workout in the backyard. Nothing was going on. (Dustin, by the way, is OMGreppi’s pick to take it all in the “BB” pool.)
Suddenly, Dick and daughter Danielle -- whose estrangement led to them being one of the three pairs of houseguests unwittingly entering the house with a person from their past, and the only pair in which both are still in the house – were caught up in an extremely emotional discussion that the producers stayed with for a half-hour or more.
OMGreppi was rapt.
Evil Dick, as the houseguests nicknamed the career bartender well before he became head of household, did his best to strike terror into the hearts of everyone he thought had crossed him or might consider crossing him before announcing his nominations for eviction in a ceremony that takes place live during every Thursday night’s broadcast on CBS.
He’s an aficionado of “BB,” and sussed out the first attempt at a controlling alliance: formed by the first head of household, the small-town businesswoman, who has never known an openly gay person before, and three younger guys. (None of his fellow houseguests understood why he dubbed the now-splintered group the Mrs. Robinson Alliance. Producers might want to address this pop-cultural illiteracy during the next contestant search.)
But Evil Dick also was hoping that being under the same roof with his daughter might lead to some kind of a rapprochement. It’s been touch and go, especially since they were both nominated for eviction by Jen, a busty bikini bunny who redefines narcissist. E.D. is a colorful character – and OMGreppi is not just referring to his tattoos, black-and-red-splotched hair, piercings, devilish facial hair and goth-black fingernails. His late-night conversations with the cameras and whatever hapless houseguest wanders within earshot have become known as the “Dick at Nite” show. He hawks loogies in the backyard, farts (but there’s a lot of that and talk about that going around the house), brags about famous people he’s met and places he’s seen, and brags about going commando under his well-torn jeans.
Viewers still don’t know the whole story, but at some point, Dick (and who knows who else) appears to have let his daughter and son go to live with their pentacostal-preacher grandmother rather than personally shouldering the responsibility of their upbringing.
Danielle, the baby of the house, is an intriguing study in contradictions. The busty little slip of a blonde, who waitresses at Hooters, has won the power of veto twice in a row. The second time she took herself off the block, leaving her father to sweep the vote and send Joe packing. But she’s caught between a boyfriend back home in Huntington Beach, Calif., and Nick, a sexually intriguing jock whose puppy-dog pursuit of her may be real or may be just another show-mance designed to help Nick in a game that is decided by votes.
And she’s unable to focus on her game because of the unexpected presence of her father.
Last night, she tried to tell him how his sarcasm cuts and makes it difficult to regard him as a friend and how her lack of mother and father role models makes it difficult to regard him as a parent. There were a few moments in which E.D., clearly touched, almost acted like a parent hearing a primal scream from his child. At one point, he even suggested family counseling after “BB” is over. But then he’d lapse back into defense of his parenting choices and perspectives. And afterward, he made the rounds of the houseguests, recounting the discussion with Danielle.
He blew it. Big-time.
And Jameka, the school counselor known for mmm-mmmming her side of many conversations, tried gently to lead him to an understanding of what Danielle most needs from him now.
Given a couple more weeks – not something Evil Dick can count on given that houseguests are getting tired of the “Dick at Day and Nite” show – she might just get through.
OMGreppi is pulling for Jameka.
And she’s not afraid to admit she’s secretly hoping that Evil Dick, sensing his number is up, just stops the game-playing and bows out to free his daughter of one handicap.
It would be the fatherly thing to do. And the fatherly thing to do seems long overdue.
But OMGreppi desperately wants him to shout, as he closes the door behind him and heads for his debriefing by “BB” host Julie Chen: “Mrs. Robinson was a cradle robber.”
It would be the perfect exit line on the best soap opera on TV.