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Big Brother 8 – Episode 2 (“The Spirit of Fairness”)

Posted by g3tech on July 9, 2007

Previously on Big Brother 8, we met eleven houseguests, and they met each other, and then they found out that the house also contained three other people. Each of these three happened to be an enemy of one of the original eleven. So far. At this point, someone decides that the previouslies have gone on long enough, so they run the title sequence. But then the previouslies continue, as we re-watch the allegedly dramatic entrances of Carol’s ex-BFF Jessica, who, like Carol, doesn’t even seem to remember why they hate each other; Daniele’s dad Dick, who puts the “strange” in “estranged”; and Joe’s ex Dustin, who interviews, “You could literally see that tight wire between the two of us,” and now Dustin is my enemy as well for misusing the word “literally.”

Other enemies are also getting caught up, as Joe unpacks while Dustin leans on the weirdly tall bed across from him. Joe complains, “I did not want to entertain these people with my bitter bullshit about you.” Dustin correctly points out that we’re already there, what with the fact that among the first words the other houseguests — and indeed, much of America — heard about Dustin, “gonorrhea” was one of them. Dustin points out that Joe slept with his best friend to get back at him. “No, I didn’t do it to get back at you,” Joe says meanly. Joe tells Dustin to get out of his face, so Dustin obligingly ducks out through the little mousehole that serves as this bedroom’s door. Hee.

Later, Joe entertains these people with his bitter bullshit about Dustin, doing a whole standup routine about his gonorrhea to the living room at large. Meanwhile, Dustin is counterspinning on a smaller scale, tucked into a corner with Daniele as he defends himself. Joe concludes that he’s campaigning to get Dustin kicked off. Dustin and Daniele bond over their enemy status, and Dustin advises her, “This is your family. That’s just an ex-boyfriend.” Like Dick isn’t several hundred ex-boyfriends as well, if you just ask enough people.

And then Carol and Jessica make nice in the weight room, while sniping behind each other’s back in the Diary Room. Then they decide to pretend not to have made up so they can use their perceived enmity to their advantage in the game. Not that either of them has any idea how to do that. This storyline is already fizzling. It’s hard for people to have any depth of hatred for each other when they have no depth.

We’re reminded that Kail won the HoH competition, which is completely contrary to her initial strategy of “flying under the radar,” which is what her son told her to do. That’s not the nicest thing you can say to your mom, I think: “Try to not let anybody notice how much you suck.” She runs into the house, waving the HOH room key and inviting everyone to come with her to check it out. It’s at the top of a spiral staircase, and Kail interviews that she’s hoping for a bed and pictures of her family. GREEDY, GREEDY, GREEDY! Just kidding. You’d think she’d hope for something a little more luxurious. When they go inside, it looks like a very swanky prison cell, except that there’s a big bowl of snacks on a table and the pictures of her family are framed instead of stuck to the wall with chewing gum. She “introduces” everyone to her family, and Amber interviews that she thinks the two of them will have a mom bond. By the way, Kail doesn’t seem aware of this bond. Maybe Amber’s strategy is to find common ground with whomever is HoH in any given week, like, “I think Joe and I really click, because we’re both bipedal.” Daniele DRs that if she had family pictures, they would be of her dog and boyfriend and grandma, etc. Because that’s her family, right there. Who needs parents? Especially the one there in the room with you, grinning around awkwardly at everyone?

When Day 2 dawns, everyone in the entire house hops up from sunbathing in the yard to go see the photo wall. Jen’s looks fine to me, but she’s so distressed by it that she literally starts crying. Even Jessica thinks Jen’s being immature about it. Joe DRs that he thought it was a joke at first. “I love my photo, by the way,” he adds. It is cute. Jen’s still standing there with her hand over her photo, and she DRs weepily, “That’s the picture everyone sees right now.” No, what everyone sees right now is a ditz coming completely unhinged over a perfectly decent photograph. Even the music guys are mocking her with a deeply operatic score for this scene. Is Jen going to stand there with her hand on the wall all summer? No, she’s going to go get a potholder from the kitchen and tape it up to conceal the picture. Right here is when I would instantly become the houseguest who loooooves to make casseroles, three meals a day. “Hey, where’s the potholder? My casseroles need to come out of the oven. Jen? Have you seen the potholder?”

Topiary animals welcome us back from the commercials, and then we learn all about Dick the Name Dropper. We see Daniele complaining about it to Amber, as well as Dick demonstrating it himself by trying and failing to impress Kail with stories about Madonna and Richard Gere, and then Joe by talking about dating Jerri from Survivor, and someone else about Johnny Depp. Kail seems to know how to let the air out of a name-dropper, which is to ask him about someone he’s never met, in this case Jon Bon Jovi. Dick claims the only reason he hasn’t met him is because he’s from New Jersey. Yet he continues name-dropping, all over the house! Alice Cooper! The Ataris! Someone from Jackass! Someone from The Brady Bunch! Some houseguest is going to trip on all these names lying around. And then Kail lets me down by being impressed that Dick once had dinner with Cher. Oh, Kail.

Amber shares a hammock with Dustin and Carol, telling them all about her single momhood, interspersed with a weepy DR about how she wants to give her own mom — also single — “like, $25,000, and be like, ‘here.'” I think she intends it as a gesture of gratitude. Carol DRs about how dependent Amber’s kids are on her. So…maybe they should vote Amber out before her kids starve.

In the HoH room, Kail is already talking alliance with Mike. They also decide to bring Zack and Nick into their group of four. They wonder if they should approach a woman as well, and then when the camera shows them Daniele, they decide they don’t trust her any more because of her earlier “conversating” with her dad. Yeah, sneaky bitch. Zach gets invited in, and Kail tells the guys to pick the fourth for their Final Four, which is her way of making them think it was their idea and not hers to select Nick. Nick says it’s a good secret alliance, calling Kail “Mrs. Robinson” in the Diary Room. So now, with her alliance in place, Kail has to figure out whom to actually nominate. Speaking as a fellow thirty-seven-year-old, I suggest Nick for that “Mrs. Robinson” crack.

Commercials. Have you heard anything about this Pirate Master show? I think it looks retarded.

Time for the first food competition. Everyone sits in the living room and divides themselves into Red and Blue teams almost instantly, just based on how they’re randomly sitting. When they go out into the back yard, they see two big old eight-foot-tall boxes with pumps on top marked “BIG BROTHER BUTTER” and two giant boxes of popcorn. “I don’t want butter on me,” someone complains, even before the game is explained. Still, it’s a fair assumption. “We said ‘Go, Blue!’ because we’re on the blue team,” Jessica tells us with typical incisiveness. She also adds that Blue is mostly big guys (and Eric), while Red has a predominance of women. “It was big hair versus big bodies,” Jessica adds with uncharacteristic cleverness, unaware that the DR camera had to be readjusted to accommodate her pompadour.

Kail reads the instructions for the competition, which is going to consist of people covering themselves with butter and then getting it scraped off by their teammates into the popcorn, and whichever team gets the least butter into their vat is going to be eating Big Brother Slop for the next week. The teams split up to strategize, which in the Red team’s case seems to involve a lot of figuring out how to not get touched by Dick. Dick claims he doesn’t care anyway. And then when the game starts, he’s atop the butter pump, serving as a pumper. For like ten minutes, people are taking turns under a butter shower, running back and forth to get squeegeed off into their team’s popcorn vat. Jameka doesn’t think anyone was turned on by the spectacle, but she underestimates Zach’s libido and the slo-mo editors. The Blue team says their strategy was to outnumber Red in number of trips, but they quickly realized that Red had an advantage in the form of Amber’s giant hair. And indeed, all the women are wringing gobbets and gobbets of goo from their hair into the popcorn. Yummy. If this show ruins nachos for me next, I’m going to write a very strongly worded letter. When the sliming is over and the vats are weighed, Blue turns out to have gotten 37 pounds, while Red got 77 pounds. There’s no way of knowing how much of that was hair. Despite being on the losing team, Jameka isn’t too worried about having to eat slop, because oatmeal is one of her favorite foods.

The giant vats of slop are waiting for them in the kitchen, and they all hate their first taste of it, including Jameka. Yes, yes, the slop is gross. Let’s move on.

Joe and Dustin decide to have themselves a little heart-to-heart. Dustin tells Joe that he shakes when he thinks about him. “I shake like an epileptic in an arcade.” Hee. But things go pretty quickly south, as Joe accuses Dustin of lying and cheating and only being out for himself. “The only thing you ever did for me was make me feel pretty.” Hey, don’t knock that. The hammock fight continues, until Dustin DRs that he thinks all the drama around the two of them is going to make them targets for the next two weeks. Seriously, this whole gonorrhea thing is going to be their “We were on a break!”

Daniele’s doing her ablutions, and Dick comes in to try to have a talk, but his daughter’s totally freezing him out. Which, given his opening gambits include pointing out that her tag is poking out of the top of her pants, isn’t hard. “Typical Daniele,” he DRs. Back in the bathroom, he tells Daniele that he’s never felt so much like he was entering a group of people who didn’t like him immediately. Daniele cuts him a skeptical glance, and I agree that that’s pretty tough to believe. She then just tells him to try and be more relaxed, like everyone else in the house is. You know, like Joe and Dustin. Dick says he thinks things are going to divide along gender lines, so hey, why not start campaigning for each other? “I would die for my daughter, without thought,” Dick boasts in the DR room. I’m sur he means that to me a highly emotional statement, but I suspect that the list of other things Dick would do without thought is a very long one. Daniele in turn DRs that she’s okay with them having each other’s backs, and she’ll see how things go.

Kail starts talking about the nomination process, and how she could be pissing off more than the two people she nominates. Because there could already be several other alliances that she doesn’t even know about yet, especially if other people have jumped the gun on that as much as she has. In the HoH room, she and Mike talk about how hard it is when there are still so many people. “Especially when three of them are not eligible,” Mike says, like the fact that Dick, Dustin and Jessica are automatically safe doesn’t narrow it down helpfully. And then there are the three other people in her alliance, which leaves seven potential evictees. That’s not that many for the first week, okay? Mike advises her to just nominate people who did poorly in competitions. Kail’s thinking she maybe wants to put up Joe, because he’s such a competitor and because the editors have to come up with some kind of suspense.

Eric reminds us that he is “America’s Player,” and then we get to see him doing a hilarious chicken walk in the yard for the entertainment of several other houseguests. Really, it’s a lot funnier than it has any right to be. Then the announcer tells us what Eric’s first assignment is: “To reveal his soft side by making up a traumatic story about his past.” So guess what all we get to vote on? Who Eric tells the story to. Okay, boring. This America’s Player thing sucks. Eric deserves better.

Nomination time. The editors do their best to jack up tension, as Jen wonders what Kail means about doing “fair” nominations and how it affects her; Joe worries that the tension between himself and Dustin will make him a target; and Dick claims to be “totally concerned” that Daniele will be nominated as “part of the six.” Kail feels bad about being the one to crush someone’s dreams, because nobody has done anything wrong. “Especially to me,” she says. She finishes up her task with the keys in the HoH room, and tucks two of them away in the vault for the eventual dream-crushing process.

Everyone else is sitting around the table as she hauls that giant circular box into the room. It looks pretty heavy and awkward, with all those keys and baggage in it and all. Kail explains how it works: she’s going to pull the first person’s key, and tell that person they are safe. When all the keys have been pulled, the two people without keys are nominated. Dustin, “Evil,” and Jessica get their keys first. Yes, she calls Dick “Evil.” Don’t encourage him. Kail. She declares, “In the spirit of fairness, let this nomination begin.” First to be drawn is Eric. Eric draws Joe. Joe draws Zach. Zach draws Daniele. Daniele draws Jen. Jen draws Mike. Mike draws Jameka. And Jameka draws Nick. That leaves Amber and Carol. As Jessica smirks, Kail stands up and says she nominated those two because they were the first out of the HoH competition.

As the meeting adjourns, Carol says she understands that someone has to be the first to go, and she’s just going to have to fight harder. Jessica and her “I [Heart] Marines” t-shirt DR that she’s happy to see Carol nominated, “Because somebody could get it taken care of before I have to.” Joe says Kail did the right thing, but Dustin is disappointed that Joe wasn’t nominated. “This could be a very, very, long, long, drawn-out summer.” No shit. A red-eyed Amber feels betrayed by the mom-bond she thinks she has with Kail. And Kail DRs that the reasons she gave the house were truthful, but there was more behind it that nobody else needs to know. And then everyone hugs.

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