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Big Brother – Episode 7 (“Jiltin’ Joe”)

Posted by g3tech on July 21, 2007

Eviction Night! And the feeling’s right! Et cetera! Julie — in a simple black sheath, nicely complemented by a chunky necklace and Christian Louboutin heels — catches us up, and then we’re back to a blue-and-white flashback of Daniele undoing her nomination and Jen replacing her with Joe. Jen DRs that Joe is manipulative and so forth, and that there are a lot of reasons for him to get voted out. As the soundtrack slide-guitars us into colour footage, Daniele hugs Joe, and then DRs that she’s happy to be off the block herself (doy), doesn’t want Dick to go, and feels it “sucks” that she has to vote out someone else — the usual. We get a shot of a smug-looking Dustin at the Veto Ceremony (in which, as always, the Veto Medallion is shown not to fit in the Veto Humidor — again, the usual), and then Dustin DRs that when he saw that there was a chance Joe might go home, a wave of ecstasy came over him. Dick DRs that he’s confident about his chances against Joe, since Dick has done a better job than Joe at forging relationships with his fellow houseguests.

And Joe? Well, Joe knows he’s screwed. In the bathroom, Joe teeth-grittingly fake-fake-complains about his nomination to Daniele, who fake-apologizes. He tells her not to sweat it, since she had to take herself out of the running. Joe then DRs that he’s not “a sad little raincloud” who’s going to bring everyone down, and that he won’t freak out, like the women nominated last week did.

Cue the montage of Joe campaigning to stay in the house! He tells Kail that he wants to stay in the house. He tells Mike (and Mike’s pepperoni-esque nipples) that he wants to stay in the house. He tells Jessica that he wants to stay in the house, to which she DRs that Joe would probably sell her out to stay in the game (again: doy), so she’ll probably be voting for Dick to stay. Joe and Jessica snuggle down for the night — Joe is the big spoon, probably because Jessica wouldn’t get a very good night’s sleep getting jabbed in the chest with the knife in Joe’s back.

America’s Player. Eric is very happy to get to vote out Joe.

Kail and Dick chat on the hammock, where Dick states that Kail’s put a target on her back by making an alliance with Mike. Kail DRs that her concern with Dick is that he’s going to go after someone in her alliance. Back on the hammock, she tells Dick that she’s currently planning to vote for him to stay, but will let him know if that changes. Dick, in the DR, isn’t concerned, and knows “for a fact” that he already has six or seven votes in his back pocket, presumably all attached to a wallet chain.

Kail apparently goes straight from her conversation with Dick to…the HoH room? (Sorry, this is the first episode this season that I’ve seen, and if that is the HoH, it’s weirdly Spartan.) Anyway, she tells Mike, who’s chilling on the bed, that they need to oust Dick, and further DRs that she needs to line up five votes for Dick so that Jen can break the tie. Kail hisses to Mike that they might be able to convince Daniele that she’d have a better time in the game if her dad were gone and she wasn’t suffering from that tension; Mike agrees that it might work.

Kail then gets a quiet moment with Daniele (and Jameka, who of course says nothing) in the living room, and starts yammering about how great she thinks Daniele is — “How much you’ve overcame [sic]” — and how the one thing Dick did right as a father was to leave Daniele with his parents. In the DR, Daniele comments that Kail is one of the most paranoid people in the house right now: “I know what she’s doing. She’s campaigning against my dad.” You think? I was about to make fun of how bad Kail is at being sly…but she almost was, if Daniele thinks she’s cracked the Enigma code by seeing through it.

Later, everyone’s outside when Daniele comes out to tell Dick that Kail’s been turning the house against him. She keeps muttering at him not to say anything until the next day, so that it’s not obvious that she tipped him off, but…like, maybe she could have picked a time to say something to him when Kail wasn’t right there. Anyway, Dick says he’s going to call Kail out.

Later, in the kitchen, Kail urges Mike and Nick to vote out Dick, and seriously, she’s acting like it’s a matter of national security. Nick DRs that he doesn’t have a problem with either of the week’s nominees, and doesn’t really want to vote out either of them.

The next day (let’s say), Jameka, Jessica, Dustin, Eric, Mike, and Kail are sitting around the kitchen eating breakfast when Dick decides to make his big move on Kail. He kicks off by asking how the rest of the houseguests reacted when she started campaigning against him, and that he heard it wasn’t well-received. Just as this conversation is getting underway, of course, Daniele crosses through the kitchen to go lie out, not looking at anyone and with a giant thought bubble over her head that reads “JUST ACT NATURAL.” Anyway, Kail’s initial strategy is to say that she told Dick on the hammock that she would tell him if she changed her mind about her vote, but he’s all “we had an agreement about it,” so she gives up on that and instead starts tidying up, chirpily agreeing with everything he says and trying not to engage with him. Dick’s all “Tell them the truth” this, and “you can’t be trusted” that, and Kail pastes on her smile as she works way too hard at seeming unconcerned. And everyone else in the room, by the way, just sits there, not even looking at each other, possibly because they’re afraid they’re going to start laughing about how ridiculous this is. Anyway, Dick finally vents his spleen and takes off, and Kail is like, “WE HAVE FIVE VOTES RIGHT HERE!!!!!1!” Jameka says that she’s still on the fence, and Jessica DRs that she’s torn too, because Dick is annoying to live with. And look at.

Julie throws to some DR comments on the nominees. Kail doesn’t like the way Dick will pick one negative quality you may have and put it on shout to the house. Dustin can’t trust Joe to get him a glass of water without poisoning it. Nick and his sideswept bangs have a good rapport with Dick. Jessica objects to the way Dick burps and farts all the time. I really don’t think someone with a voice like that is qualified to comment on anyone else’s annoying habits. Nick has had lots of fun in the house with Joe, and doesn’t want to lose that. Jessica doesn’t trust Joe. Daniele and her bony arms feel it’s been awkward in the house with Dick, but she knows he’ll always have her back. Kail’s gut tells her that Dick has to go. Shut up, Kail. Shut up, Kail’s gut. I mean, not that I want Dick in the house any more than she does, but the more she beats the drum against him, the more I hate her.

Time for Julie to talk to the houseguests! Oh, this is always death. Julie tries to get Daniele to say she was conflicted about using the Veto on herself, but Daniele won’t bite, sing-songing, “It worked out for me!” Julie calls Amber out for all her crying this week, and Amber breaks bitchface long enough to laugh that she’s sensitive. Lame humour attempt involving Mike and Nick and their imaginary wives. Julie tries to get Nick to say that the name of his “wife” is Daniele, but that doesn’t work either, of course. Julie then “compliments” Jen on the many ways she’s found to wear her unitard, but I’m not going to give it any more attention than it’s already had.

Spotlight on Dustin and Joe! Remember how Dustin accused Joe of sleeping with Dustin’s best friend Nate, to get back at Dustin? Well, they beat the bushes and rustled up “The Man In The Middle,” whose head looks like a taxi with its doors open. Nate basically says that he’s a slut, and felt horrible for sleeping with Joe. He says that Joe has done a “grab bag” of awful things to Dustin, and as for the gonorrhea accusation? “Joe could have gotten gonorrhea anywhere,” Nate intones. Tractor seat? Nate says that Joe’s attempts to undermine Dustin in the house obviously aren’t working.

On the hammock, at some point since his nomination, Joe tells Dustin that he has a good chance of staying in the house, but that he will need Dustin’s vote. Dustin is impassive as Joe tells him, “This is the day I’ve chosen to be honest.” Oh, THIS is the day. I hope Dustin marks his calendar! Joe knows that it would mean Dustin’s putting himself “out there” to vote for Joe to stay. Dustin clears his throat and steps to the center of the proscenium arch as he declares that the way Joe’s played Big Brother reflects the way he’s “played the game of life.” For hours and hours, and with very little satisfaction or fun along the way? Dustin goes on to remind Joe that he’s slandered Dustin’s name, and has done nothing to indicate that he’s worth Dustin’s vote. “Your manipulation brought you to this point. I will not be voting to keep you in this house.” And, scene. Except then Joe tries to turn it around, saying that Dustin already had his mind made up when he sat down in the hammock, and then “manipulated” Joe into pouring his heart out to beg Dustin for his vote: “Everything that you hated about me, you now embody. Congratulations.” What? Dustin smiles faintly as Joe rolls out of the hammock, just glad to have had the last word.

More DR comments. Mike would take Dick out of the house because he causes “outbursts” that are uncomfortable for the other UN delegates who make up the roster of houseguests. Amber is “more closer [sic]” to Dick, who helped her out a lot last week. Joe is more of a threat to Zach than Dick is. Personality-wise, Jameka would miss Joe more than Dick. Zach, kind of awesomely, says that Dick has said he’s not even playing the game, but Zach has caught him playing the game “all over the place.” …No comment. Jameka still doesn’t know whom she’s going to vote for. Mike says that the only reason to keep Joe in the house is that then Dick would be gone. Can’t put anything past this guy!

Oh God, now it’s time for Julie to talk to Jen. How does Jen really feel about Dick? Jen actually thinks they’re a lot alike, except that Dick has a more explosive personality, so her strategy for coping with that is to be sweet and friendly back to him. What’s the deal with Jen and her photo on the memory wall? It’s a horrible photo! Did Jen nominate Daniele because she was jealous of all the attention Nick was paying her? Jen says no. I don’t quite believe her.

Live voting! Soon! First, Joe and Dick are dancing for their lives. Joe says that it’s been wonderful getting to know all his fellow houseguests. Now is the time for them to “take action” and prove that they’re as good as their word. It’s a very important vote, because they’ll be losing one of two great guys, and Joe hopes everyone does what they said they were going to. Dick and his weirdly high-waisted jeans also say it’s been great getting to know everyone; he hopes to get to know them better. He throws in a half-assed non-joke about how introverted he’s been so far (which earns a polite chuckle), and he hopes everyone can get to know him better. Kind of a weird note to end on, if the voters are like, “Nah, I’m good.”

Dustin is first to vote. Surprise, he votes to evict Joe. I don’t know whom he’s trying to impress with the super-deep v-neck, but he needs to throw that top away or get a camisole.

Will Daniele’s vote be emotional (because she kind of hates Dick) or strategic (because he’s her strongest ally)? If those are the choices, she’s going to be strategic, voting against Joe.

Eric goes through the motions of voting. Julie asks what he thinks of the weather, and he replies that it’s beautiful: “And remember, Julie, you can’t spell ‘America’ without ‘Eric.'” That poor chump sat on that line all week. You know he was practising it in the bathroom to make sure he didn’t need a retake on live television.

Amber’s had a special bond with Dick, apparently, and votes to evict Joe.

After the commercials, more voting! Kail risked reprisal with her anti-Dick campaign; unsurprisingly, she votes to evict him.

Jameka’s been on the fence, remember? She tipped over on the boot Joe side.

Mike’s been Kail’s strongest ally…until now, as he votes to evict Joe.

Joe’s had six votes, but in case you were wondering, Nick also wants to evict Joe. Jessica also wants Joe out even though they’ve been bedmates. And Zach has been vocal in his anti-Joe sentiment, but his two strongest allies– “I vote to evict Joe.” Ha! Zach totally announces his vote while Julie’s still talking, so she has to make him say it again. Finally, a fuckup that isn’t 90% Chen.

Julie announces that, by a vote of 9-1, Joe’s evicted. He smiles like he was expecting it. Everyone lines up for hugs. Joe wishes everyone luck. Kail? Shitting a brick.

As Joe and Julie settle in, more hugs are exchanged back in the house. Kail does her best not to wet her pants.

Chenderdome. How does it feel for BB-obsessed Joe to have been outplayed by Dustin? It sucks. As soon as he saw Dustin in the house, his game was blown. Joe likes to stir things up — was it smart for him to try to kiss Jen? Not really, but Jen and “everyone connected to Jen” (9-1 vote, dude) wanted him to stay, so it didn’t make that big a difference. Joe was just more open in stirring the pot than other players were. Hey, what about that thing where Joe was sleeping and thought someone latched onto his leg? Eric reveals himself as “America’s Player,” and we see green-and-white footage of Eric getting into bed with him. Joe is delighted about the big twist, and honoured to have been chosen by America to be snuggled by Eric.

Final thoughts. Dick won’t miss him. Zach won’t either. Kail says, “I campaigned very strongly for you” (…it was more against Dick than for Joe, but whatever), and martyrously adds that her alleged pro-Joe campaign probably means she “dug [her]self a hole” in the house. Yeah, probably. Jessica pretends she’s in the house missing him. Nick thinks Joe is the most charismatic person he’s ever known. “Hi, Joe, it’s Jen.” He…can see you. She hopes he’s not there seeing her goodbye message. Dustin doesn’t think that Joe is the same person he was when they met, but (as Joe smiles tightly) he hopes that Joe will take care of himself. As the Joe/Dustin splitscreen fades out, Julie tries to look grave, but Joe lets out one bitter cackle. Julie asks why he’s laughing, and Joe shrugs, “Because of that face he made.” I didn’t really see any face (and I backed up the recording to check, I swear). Julie promises that she’ll ask him about that on The Early Show. Oh, well NOW I’ll be watching.

After the commercials, it’s the HoH competition — this time, with a lame “school” theme. The houseguests are all at little elementary-school desks, each with a T/F cube. Answer wrong, you’re out; if everyone answers right or wrong, on to the next question. WOW, Amber is bitchfaced. Dustin’s out in the first round with a question about what Carol said when she got evicted. Jameka, Eric, Zach, and Jessica are eliminated with a math question about the butter competition. The third question is about the animal topiaries in the back yard at the house — are they based on Michelangelo’s “Garden Of Eden” sculptures? Uh, no, KAIL — and Julie rubs it in by adding that there are no Garden Of Eden sculptures by Michelangelo. Like Julie knew that. Amber and Nick are eliminated on a question about some stupid thing Jen said about guess what her unitard. Daniele, Dick, and Mike are left to answer the last question, about the pie competition. Daniele guesses wrong, and starts to mouth “fuck” before she catches herself, but it doesn’t matter, because Dick and Mike also got it wrong. There’s another question about guess what Jen’s unitard, and they all get it right, so it’s on to a tiebreaker about guess what Jen’s FUCKING unitard! What is UP with the UNITARD?! Even Jen, on the sidelines, can’t believe it’s such a topic of conversation. Was it stitched by hand by Les Moonves or something? Damn. Anyway, Dick guesses that Jen’s had the unitard for 120 hours, and since she’s actually had it for 125 (Daniele is over; Mike is under), Dick is the new HoH. Kail? Not that great at fake-smiling.

After commercials, we’re told we get to tell Eric which houseguest he should try to get nominated, and then we’re eavesdropping on the houseguests, not that anything interesting happens. I mean, we see Daniele hugging Kail, who apparently started crying during the break, but…even if we hadn’t seen it, we probably could have guessed.

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Big Brother – Episode 6 (“Fear The Uni-Tard”)

Posted by g3tech on July 21, 2007

Okay, here’s the weird thing: Jen is totally self-involved, not very bright, and nobody likes her. And while that’s probably going to add up to her ouster very soon, it actually makes her a really strong and scary HoH. It’s all sorts of strange.

So previously, Jen was wildly jealous of Daniele being on the receiving end of Nick’s puppy-dog eyes and didn’t end up hiding it well, or at all. Kail tried to protect her alliance of straight dudes by encouraging Jen to nominate any homosexual who wasn’t nailed down. Dick was very upfront with Jen about how much he hated her, and was rewarded with a nomination for eviction for him and Daniele.

Blue-tinted flashback footage reminds us that Jen’s reasons for nominating D&D were so incredibly self-obsessed, I almost blocked them out of my mind. Way to bring the house down with your awkwardness over your two-year estrangement, assholes! Both Dick and Daniele take their nomination with the kind of tight-lipped “I’m fine” repetition that lets you know they’re really not fine at all. The not-finest of all, however, is Amber, who is full-on weeping in the diary room because she likes D&D so much. To Amber’s credit, however, she at least realizes she’s being ridiculous. Joe and Daniele separately shoot down Jen’s stupid “negative energy” rationale in their DR sessions. Daniele says the simple reason is that Jen is jealous that Daniele’s getting all of Nick’s attention. It’d sound ridiculous and conceited if it weren’t 100% true.

Speaking of the house fake couple, we’re treated to another bedside whisper session between Nick and Daniele. This looks suspiciously like the same conversation from which Nick’s “key to my heart” offer was culled on Sunday’s show. Here, Nick spills the beans about his alliance with Zach, Mike, and Kail. He wants Daniele to know she’s his primary alliance. Daniele, for her part, reveals her “shocking” “secret” that she’s a year younger than she told people. Miraculously, Nick’s eyeballs don’t melt right out of his head from that reveal. Then he starts to tell her he’s developing “feelings” for her after a week and a half, and it’s complete with the “I never expected to feel this way” clichés, and I desperately hope there’s at least some strategy to this, because otherwise Nick’s stepping right in it. Case in point: Zach and Mike’s hammock conversation, where instead of discussing how Zach looks like he could be Mike’s inbred country cousin, they’re bitching about Nick’s closeness with Daniele and how they hope he’s not being played by Daniele’s manipulative vagina. Women being the downfall of men and all. Zach ominously intones that Nick better be prepared to vote Daniele out. I wonder how widespread Zach’s influence in the house is. He certainly seems to think he’s running things.

America’s Player shenanigans. Eric was instructed to sleepwalk into someone’s bed. Really. America, being both mischievous, mean, and a smidge homophobic, has chosen Eric to try to snuggle up to Joe. So pretty clearly, Eric’s not sure how he’s going to be able to accomplish this task without looking like he’s a creepy night molester. Suffice it to say: he ends up looking like a creepy night molester. Through some combination of a) Eric’s unwillingness to snuggle up against a dude, b) that dude is Joe and thus repellant, c) there’s really no way to climb into someone’s bed and maintain the illusion of “sleepwalking,” and d) this whole enterprise is stupid, Eric ends up failing the mission. Which leads to awkward shower stall conversation the next morning (doesn’t it always?) where Joe asks Eric if he’s in the habit of sleepwalking and snuggling up at the end of people’s beds like a nipple-ringed kitten. Nice waste of an America’s Player mission, Big Brother.

Time to pick the players for the veto competition. Jen, Daniele, and Dick are already competing. Jen gets a “houseguest’s choice” and immediately chooses Mike, in case you didn’t realize that Jen is totally in that alliance’s pocket this week. Or is she?? Daniele pulls Joe’s name, and Dick pulls Amber. Which is going to be a problem. Much in the way that choosing breakfast cereals is likely a problem for Amber. She’s crying in the pantry with Dustin — and also in her DR session — because of all the pressure that’s now upon her. More pressure’s on the way as Jen barges into the pantry and very frankly tells Amber that if she wins the veto and uses it, or even works to prevent Jen or Mike from winning the veto, then Jen will put up Amber or Dustin for eviction. It’s the kind of balls-out, tactless gameplay that you can get away with when absolutely no one likes you, and it’s kind of fascinating to watch. Usually that kind of threat would be made in the most oblique and passive-aggressive way, and as hateful as she’s being, I have to respect Jen at least a little bit. Anyway, so this isn’t helping Amber’s fragile emotional situation in the slightest, and she falls apart on Dustin’s shoulder. Meanwhile, Jen is making the exact same threat to Joe in the room with the circular beds, though Joe has a better way of dealing with it: he tells Jen he has no allies in the house besides himself, so why wouldn’t he use the veto if he won it?

Amber goes to Nick, Daniele, and Jameka and tells them what Jen just told her, and Daniele gets pissed. She storms into the kitchen and yells at Jen for making Amber cry, essentially. From here on out it’s all a mishmash of passive-aggression and obnoxiousness, but here’s the gist: Jen’s a total bitch about everything; Daniele tells her to shut her smug face; Dick continues to rag in Jen in every way conceivable, even throwing a “fun nanny” jab in there (seriously, she cares for other people’s children — how scary!); Jen keeps saying “I love it!” like a bratty teenager would; Mike defends Jen, saying she was only being “directive” (mouth closed and back to the weights, sweetie); Joe tells Mike nobody was talking to him so he should butt out; Joe calls out Jen’s hypocrisy in making her nominations about “negative energy” and then swooping around the house like a mist of threats and nastiness; Zach makes an offhand comment about Amber being emotional, which acts like the Bat Signal because all of a sudden Jameka swoops in from two miles offscreen to defend Amber as being “empathetic” rather than “emotional.” And while I totally respect her standing up for her girl: overruled, Jameka. Zach then snottily tells Jameka that this is the first she’s ever spoken to him, which is true, but can you blame Jameka? Watching this show is all about making snap judgments about people based on very thin evidence, and my snap judgments are that I love Jameka and hate Zach, so: shut your cro-mag face, Zach. Joe chides Zach for being unpleasant (ha!). Jen goes to the pantry to apologize to Amber, but Dick follows her in there and rides her some more for being a bitch. I believe the phrase “nobody likes you, so why don’t you just leave?” gets used. Its childishness doesn’t really diminish its truthfulness.

Veto competition. The backyard is filled with fake snow for the annual Christmas In July-themed competition. Essentially, the game is a combination of curling and Yankee Swap (Yaaaaaaankee Swap!). You guys, I’m totally jealous. I have always wanted to give curling a try. Anyway, the players shoot a stone down the ice and the person furthest away from the target is eliminated and has to choose a present from under the fake Christmas tree. There are six presents, one of which is the veto. The next person eliminated then gets to either choose a new present or steal an already opened present. The upshot is that the last person standing via the curling competition will get to choose the veto unless they don’t want it. So here’s what we learn from this competition: both Dick and Daniele are very good at the curling part of the game. Joe is eliminated first and he opens a Slop Pass. Jen’s out next and she opens a red spandex unitard that she will have to wear all week. You will not be surprised to note that Jen is ecstatic about this development because, as Joe helpfully reminds us, Jen loves anything that makes people pay attention to Jen. Mike’s eliminated and gets a lame-o “Big Brother Date.” Mike totally makes a face, which I choose to interpret as dismay that there aren’t any girls worth taking on dates in this house. Either that, or Magnus wants to ask Kragnus but he’s afraid society will disapprove. Dick’s out next, and he wins a plasma TV that he totally doesn’t want. Dude, pass it down here, then. So it’s down to Daniele and Amber. Amber straight-up throws it and is rewarded with a pair of bondage cuffs. It sounds more exiting than it is. She has to choose one houseguest to be handcuffed to for 24 hours. And rather than choose her BFF Dustin, who’s sweet and pretty to look at, Amber chooses Kail, because “she’s a mom.” Okay, what the hell is this “she’s a mom” solidarity that Amber seems to feel is so prevalent in society? Anyway, Daniele wins the veto, which is good for her and bad for Jen. Which makes it good for me.

Jen debuts the unitard, which looks like the red catsuit Britney wore in the “Oops! I Did It Again” video, but more vulgar. Adding to the vulgarity is the fact that Jen isn’t wearing anything under it, so everyone in the house is suddenly subject to Jen’s complete gynecological profile. Joe DRs that Jen wasn’t upset at all that she had to wear the unitard. “Way to go, Big Brother,” he snots. “Your punishments blow!” Umm…word? Perhaps if someone photographs Jen in the unitard and frames it, that could work.

Amber and Kail’s “Chained Heat” segment is super boring and mostly features them having to negotiate the bathroom together. Oh, there is a cute “Red Rover” clip with Dustin that’s made funny by…well, Dustin. Amber does tell us that it gave her the chance to hang out with Kail’s friends in the house and vice versa, which certainly makes it seem like the house is divided into two camps and everyone knows it. Which is interesting. Kail, Mike, and Zach versus Amber, Daniele, Dustin, Jameka, Joe, and Dick, with Nick playing both sides and Eric and Jessica floating around God knows where? That about right?

Speaking of Eric, he sees Daniele’s veto win — and the looming need to find another nominee — as another chance to cash in on his America’s Player directive to get Jessica nominated. He cozies up to Jen in the hammock (the things we’ve made this poor boy do, I swear) and tries to push the Jessica agenda. But Jen? Is not having it. In the slightest. Every time he even mentions Jessica’s name, Jen shoots him down with an immediate “no.” Post-production adds a little buzzer sound just to reiterate how much Eric’s getting shut down here. See, if Eric was playing this one smarter, he’d be playing both sides of this and instigating an argument between Jessica and Jen. Then again, it is really hard to get stupid people to do what you want them to, especially when you’re using earth logic, so I can see where it would be like trying to play chess with helium balloons instead of chess pieces.

Zach and Nick conspire, with Zach obliquely accusing Nick of playing both sides, but Nick either being too dim to notice it or too savvy to respond to it. Much as I’ve grown to appreciate Nick, I’m betting against the latter. Zach pushes the idea of putting up Joe and voting him out, which Nick would be fine with. As would, I think, a lot of people. Zach once again really seems to think he’s pulling far more strings in the house than he actually is. Though this week, it seems, he’s pulling enough of them, as he bends Jen’s ear and plants the seed of nominating Joe. Not that it takes much, because Jen doesn’t like Joe anyway. Zach does get to use the phrase “golden opportunity to backdoor Joe,” which should make its way onto many a clip reel. But then here’s where Jen’s narcissism, self-obsession, and anti-social tendencies come into play: she tells Mike, Kail, and Amber (still handcuffed) that the fact that everyone in the house seems to want Joe put up makes her not want to do it. Because why not thumb your nose into the faces of the people who will control your fate next week?

Next, here’s what the editing would have us believe goes down: Jen leaves the HoH room, heads into the dwarf room where Nick and Daniele are busy shmooping to each other, stares them down for a moment without saying anything, returns to the HoH room, and states her desire to put up Nick instead. And, look, I realize the essential truth of the situation is the same: Jen would put up Nick for the same jealousy-based reasons she put up Daniele. But the way that segment was edited makes it look faker than it probably was. So for a second here, I start to admire Jen again, just for the fact that she’s so willing to cut the strings Zach’s group is holding on her and nominate Nick for the most petty reasons possible. Weirdly enough, she’s become the most dangerous player in the game (for this very short term that she has power) because she totally doesn’t care what you think. In the most literal sense of the phrase. You do not exist in Jen’s universe.

Of course, that’s all ruined by the time the veto ceremony comes around and Jen reveals she’s nominated Joe. Which is annoying as hell, not for the result (losing Joe is much preferable to losing Nick), but for the fact that the show’s efforts to build suspense and misdirection sacrificed a clear explanation for why Jen would go back to nominating Joe. I’m sure it’ll get explained on Thursday, but for now it’s really unsatisfying. And every step on the road to Joe’s eviction should be as satisfying as possible! See you Thursday!

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Big Brother 8 – Episode 5 (” ‘I’ Candy “)

Posted by g3tech on July 16, 2007

Previously on Eenie Meenie Miney Go: Carol got booted by a vote of Practically Everybody to Practically Nobody, and just about everyone voting wishes they had the option of voting out Jen instead. Among other things, Jen had actually cried over the picture of her on the wall, and when you’ve thrown maybe the stupidest hissyfit in the history of this particular show, it’s time to step onto an ice floe, because come on. Rather poetically, and arguably as a direct result of being totally unable to answer a question the way it would normally be answered and thus inadvertently giving a trick answer to a trick question, Jen became HoH. Imagine how we’d all feel right now if the presidency went to a nationwide lottery and Dick Cheney took it home. It was like that, kind of. Meanwhile, Eric was still America’s Player, and not in the P. Diddy kind of way, either. I sort of wish the credits were just an endless scroll of that picture of Jen that she hates. Maybe with the “peanut butter jelly time” song.

Jessica talks about how sad it was to see Carol go, at which point Miss Alli’s Sister wonders aloud, “Is that her real voice?” The news that it is her real voice is greeted with sadness. The rest of the houseguests all discuss how they’re sad about Carol leaving. Or “sad,” I guess, in that they don’t really care, but they didn’t bear her much ill will, except for Jessica, who thinks she’s scored a victory of some kind. Amber thinks that God put her on the chopping block. (God: “Oh my Me, like I care.”) Evil Dick trusts Amber, so he’s glad she wasn’t booted. He does his best to keep his adoration of Amber from appearing skeevy. He is not entirely successful. We do learn that Jen was the one vote that Carol managed to get, which is nicely in tune with the running theme that Jen is entirely out of sync with the rest of the house that you half-expect to see her wearing her shoes on her hands and a scrunchie around her ankles. When Jen confesses her vote to Amber, Amber tries to be generous, which she kind of can afford to do, since she got the other ten votes in her favor.

Joe is wearing just a tie — I’m saying just a tie and no shirt — as he agrees in the DR with everyone else about the fact that having Jen be HoH was not a good development for anyone. Someone needs to tell Joe that you have to have a certain sort of chest to intentionally draw attention to it with a shirtless tie, and Joe does not have that certain sort of chest. Joe needs to be working toward “attractively wiry,” and he needs to stop thinking he looks like a male model. Anyway, Kail was apparently really happy about Jen’s HoH-ness, probably because she thinks she’s the only person who has any kind of positive connection to Jen, which just may be true. Joe and his naked tie diss Jen’s victory by saying, “I am sick of people being rewarded for stupidity in this country.” On the one hand, I feel him, but on the other hand, it’s kind of like going on Wheel Of Fortune and complaining about the fact that everyone cares so much about vowels. Don’t choose a country for your vacation and then complain about the currency. Evil Dick is wearing a Cathouse shirt as he assures us that he thinks he’s going to do okay with Jen. I wonder if that’s Cathouse the show (which I have of course never seen), or just a general salute to the brothel industry. Daniele thinks she’ll be nominated for the sin of being Nick’s favorite girl. Haters are jus’ jellus! Woooo! Katharine McPhee 4-EVA! Daniele claims that she doesn’t like “catty girl games,” but she knows that Jen does. Amber, for her part, is still worried about taking a second consecutive trip to the block. Evil Dick does a kind of an Evil Doctor Will thing as he insists that it would be stupid for Jen not to nominate him, on account of he’s so awesome. You are no Will, Dick.

In tonight’s most wonderful segment by a very long longshot, a winking segment about Jen’s tendency to discuss herself includes a bell-dinging drinking game played by Mike, Zach, and Dustin every time Jen uses the word says “I.” That’s going to be a lot of drinking. They actually do this right in front of her, which is pretty cool and pretty funny, even though it’s the kind of thing you hope never happens to you, and it would be mean if directed at someone who was not begging for it with a series of self-saluting novelty tank tops OH MY GOD. The boys quickly realize that they’re all going to wind up passed out drunk if they keep drawing Jen into conversation and drinking at every “I.” As has always been the case with this show, it’s never better than when it’s slyly knowing about its players, and this segment was a great example. It also casts the boys involved in a very positive light, and it begins to reveal a core of non-suck that surrounds these particular guys. Before you know it, you may find yourself liking them, which will cause you to be invested, which will mean you are lost forever.

I must not have been paying enough attention to previous shots of the HoH room, because I wasn’t really thinking consciously about the prison-cell décor, which is slightly surprising, since this is supposed to be the room where you feel awesome about yourself. Jen once again goes into one of her picture-induced fits when she decides that there aren’t enough recent pictures and there aren’t enough good pictures. She actually is sitting around the room, surrounded by pictures of family and friends, and all she can do is complain. The one upside of this, really, is that she is such a moron that she’s having a sort of salutary effect on the rest of the house, in that at least they all have something to talk about that they agree on. I’ve seen quite a bit of this show, and I’ve seen individual cliques attack people, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a house converge in hatred upon one person with such consistency across the board. Jameka, for her part, can’t believe that Jen is whining about the picture of Jen and her mom, just because Jen thinks she doesn’t look good in it. I can’t wait until she has kids and is like, “I hate this picture of my baby’s first steps, because you can see my leg in the background, and those are not my favorite shoes. At all. I’m just really upset.”

Joe tries to maneuver to get Dustin put up. He really has no argument, though, and is stuck making a lame appeal to the “original eleven” thing, which makes no sense, since there’s no way she’s going to care about that. If she could find someone who didn’t hate her, she wouldn’t care if they were just shipped in here in a crate after being dug up in the Canadian Rockies. She knows everyone hates her, so she’s not going to act in solidarity with them. Jen tells us that she doesn’t trust Joe anyway.

A long segment on Nick and Mike’s weightlifting is once again surprisingly funny, thanks to commentary from Dustin and Zach. It’s very weird seeing people trying to be funny on purpose and actually being funny. I’m very much on the fence regarding Nick, who would need a smaller upper body in order for me to find him particularly attractive, but as I said, I think this is where you find the non-suck in this season.

Aaaaand showmance! Nick and Daniele are flirting, and the word “booger” is part of the deal, so that’s not particularly promising. Somebody forgot to give Nick the “don’t say ‘booger'” lesson. Nick teases Daniele repeatedly as they snuggle together that he’s going to give her something he’s hiding in his hand, and after an endless dance, it turns out to be something he calls “the key to [his] heart,” which is actually the key to his suitcase. Miss Alli’s Sister, totally on a roll, dubs the scene “Romance For People With IQs Under 50.” This assessment may be a little bit overly generous.

Kail tries to talk Jen into nominating Jessica. There’s not a lot of substance. It’s like watching blocks of cheese play checkers.

In the week’s first competition for food, all the women plus Joe go up against all the rest of the men. The game requires people to go head-to-head in a Name That Tune-style game in which you have to guess what two ingredients are in a pie. Losers eat slop. They will probably welcome it after some of these pies. Evil Dick vs. Jameka: Jameka gets a bacon and banana pie, which she successfully names. Amber inaccurate identifies pineapple and potato as lemon and potato. Eric gets sausage and apple, which he misses by calling it Spam and fig. Way to go, “America’s Player.” Jessica gets a hot dog and strawberry pie, which she calls Spam and pomegranate. Wrong! Zach gets pepperoni and mint — and he comes close with venison and mint. But not! Jessica gets carrot and cheese right. Evil gets sweet potato and licorice right. Amber can barely eat a salmon and blueberry pie, because it is enormously disgusting, but she correctly identifies it. Kail mistakes hamburger and peach for black bean and peach, so that’s wrong. It also upsettingly calls to mind Rachel’s famous English Trifle including the layer of Beef Sautéed With Peas And Onions. Nick correctly nails tuna and jelly beans. I realize that sound gross along multiple axes, and I apologize. Joe misses his next one, sending the blue team into the lead. Daniele is up for the girls/Joe team on the match point pie, and she guesses pickle and tofu, which is wrong. It was pickle and clams. That’s sort of sad that the pickle pie was so revolting that she couldn’t taste that it had fish in it. So the girls and Joe are on slop for the week. Daniele will now only get thinner. Dick is kind of sad for Daniele, but on the other hand, he’s undoubtedly happy to be eating. Blood is thicker than water, but it is not thicker than slop, after all.

Eric gets his information from the public, this time regarding who he should target for eviction. He doesn’t seem happy to see that we want him to target Jessica. I think he believes that we’re wasting his awesomeness. Eric sucks up to us for a while about how much he wants to do our bidding (I normally like that in a person), and he marches himself right up to the HoH room and starts to bend Jen’s ear about how he thinks Jessica is up to no good. He doesn’t come up with a particularly good ruse, in that he pretty much tells her, “I have no reason, but I just have this feeling you should nominate Jessica.” Unsurprisingly, Eric’s meritless arguments don’t even work on Jen. That’s sort of how you know they’re meritless.

Jen chats up Nick, who is incredibly noncommittal, and who tells her to do whatever she wants. “You’re a grown woman,” he says dismissively. He does not mean this. He should give her a key to his heart — I’ve heard that works pretty well. He’s probably got several. She essentially begs him to tell her he’s not with Daniele, and he doesn’t really want to say much. He insists that he has lots of buds, and she insists that it’s “hanging out” in the “HANGING OUT” sense. He insists in return that he’s not “having sexual intercourse” with Daniele, which is more explicit than I expected him to be. Jen tells him that she’s considering putting up the most “negative” people, and she says Nick is “negative” himself. She clearly expects him to beg her not to put him up, and she’s not really ready for the big “whatever” he unloads on her. I think Nick is pretty much of a meat sack so far, but I do like the fact that he has mastered the art of saying nothing and letting people drive themselves crazy instead of doing it for them.

Jen makes a big mistake when she walks in from a shower (it seems) and breaks up a perfectly nice rest session in one of the bedrooms, driving the men who are sleeping there from their beds, which seems to surprise her. That’s quite a room-clearing effect she’s got. Normally, that would require flatulence. She stays in the bedroom at first, and more talk in the kitchen follows about how self-involved Jen is, led this time by Evil Dick. Brimming with the affirmation of others, Evil Dick heads in to see Jen, telling her flat-out to stop being such a selfish bitch. He’s all plumped up with the agreement of the rest of the house, thinking he’s going to be everyone’s hero, but this is usually the kind of thing that does not pay off in the long term. You’ll notice that the Zach/Mike/Dustin group didn’t find it necessary to do any of this to Jen’s face, because they understand the fundamental unchangeability of a personality like that. Dick, on the other hand, goes for confrontation, ordering Jen to think of others and stop talking about herself, and he stalks off and leaves. Jen tries to look unconcerned, but she’s fooling no one, because nobody likes to be that person, no matter how cool they’re playing it.

Nominations approach, so of course, everyone is nervous. Nick sees himself as the target of various jealous bitches. Joe is both paranoid and obnoxious, so he knows he could be on the block. Jen teases her nominations by saying she knows the rest of the houseguests will be happy, which is funny, since the rest of the houseguests mostly just want Jen herself to be bounced. So all happiness will be relative. Jessica isn’t worried about being nominated.

Jen brings out the key box. Joe makes a pouty face as he awaits news. Jen says that she’s gone ahead with her plan to nominate people with negative energy. Joe really needs to stop wearing his ball cap sideways. Jameka’s key comes out first. Then Kail, Mike, Zach, Nick, Jessica, Amber, Dustin, Eric, and Joe. So that would leave Daniele and Evil Dick, father and daughter on the block together. Isn’t that cozy? Does Daniele really have that much negative energy? I mean, I get nominating Evil Dick, given the way that he’s acting, but I haven’t seen much from Daniele that would be considered “negative energy.” Unless Jen is blaming Daniele for being uncomfortable around her estranged dad, which would make Jen even more self-involved than we thought she was when the rest of the house was playing drinking games about how self-involved she was. Nick thinks Jen is just jealous of Daniele, because…well, you know. Eric apologizes for not getting Jessica nominated, which is pretty funny. We forgive you, Subservient Chicken.

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Big Brother 8 – Episode 4 (“BFF-You”)

Posted by g3tech on July 16, 2007

Previously, while I was busy not watching: Amber and Carol got nominated, Danielle declined to veto either of them, Jen revealed herself to be too stupid to live, and apparently God has a habit of meddling in Amber’s life in weird-ass ways.

Hey there, Julie Chen. “Good evening” to you as well. And your giant hair. Julie catches us up on what we may have missed so far, vis-à-vis the enemies twist, the nominees, et cetera. After Tuesday’s uneventful veto meeting, we see Carol and Amber diary room about what they think their chances are. Carol seems to be sticking by her strategy of appearing nonchalant while secretly appealing to her closest allies to rally her some support. It’s not an un-risky approach, but it does makes her seem less threatening. Amber, however, has at least Dick and Dustin in her corner, and she “currently” (God knows when that clip was taken from) she thinks she has the votes to stay. Carol’s working on the house, though, even going to far as to “apologize” to Jessica for being mean to her in junior high or whatever. Not that Jessica is in any way interested in keeping Carol around. Carol’s biggest allies seem to be Joe (who is falling back into old patterns by trying to bust up any and all friendships Dustin has, and he’s got one with Amber) and Zach (who thinks keeping Carol will be keeping his “lapdog” around).

Julie’s first round of Houseguest Chat sees her probe into the paired enemies. Jessica once again barely suppresses a giggle fit at the thought of Carol getting voted out, while Carol once again barely remembers which one Jessica is. Dick and Daniele both feel awkward, still. Joe and Dustin are both bitchy to each other, still. And Joe still can’t speak without sounding like he’s in his grade-school production of Annie. The guy lives his life like he’s a bad actor playing himself, it’s awful. Before the commercial, we see Joe, Dustin, Nick, Jen, and Jameka contemplate their votes, but no one’s vote is revealed, which generally adds up to “sweep.”

The “Better Know A Houseguest” segment this week focuses on Dick, who, as Julie tells us, was a “single father” raising Daniele and his son, Vincent, who he takes to strip clubs. According to Vincent, the Dick/Daniele estrangement goes back to her borrowing money, not being able to pay it back, and Dick handling the situation poorly. Dick’s mom tells us that Dick wasn’t really ready to be a father at 22 and other such things we probably already figured out about him. Vincent, unsurprisingly, just wants the family back together. Interestingly, both Daniele and Dick are shown confiding to Nick about how things are going. I had no idea Nick’s “Flirt and Destroy” strategy included Dick. Even with all the bi-curious rumors surrounding Nick, that would be pushing it.

Kail’s secret HoH interview is as dull and useless as any of those HoH interviews are, times three due to the fact of Kail’s pre-existing dullness and uselessness.

There’s a segment about Eric’s family and friends reacting to Eric being America’s Player. Eric’s brother and parents reveal what we already might have guessed: Eric is a Big Brother freak who’s watched all the seasons and knows it inside and out. The friends and fam are really not that psyched to find out Eric is America’s Player, mostly because they think it’s going to fuck up his strategy. They do acknowledge the bright side that the viewing audience is more likely to support him now, though fat lot of good that will do him if their decisions run him afoul of the house. In the Diary Room, Eric prepares to cast his America-provided vote for eviction. Before he does, he tells us the only reason to keep Carol around is that she’s weak; Amber, meanwhile, is someone he could end up forming a bond with. Lucky for Eric, America has directed him to vote out Carol. She’s so done, you guys.

The pre-eviction speeches feature Amber getting all teary and Carol getting ready to go say hello to Julie, because even she knows she’s going. And, indeed, by a 10-1 vote, Carol is evicted. That one vote, I’m guessing, came from Joe? This would be the danger of the “lie low” strategy, I suppose. Out on the couch with Julie, Carol is still reluctant to get into a whole catfighty thing about Jessica, so Julie shows a clip package featuring Jessica talking mad shit about Carol and essentially revealing herself to be the petty, squeaky-voiced asshole we’ve all grown to loathe. This being the equivalent of Julie firing her six-shooter at Carol’s feet, she starts to dance. She’s like, “Yeah, like I said, she’s spoiled and annoying and is still reliving high school.” Man, I really could have liked Carol if she’d stuck around. She gets sweet goodbye messages from Joe and Amber, along with a passive-aggressive one from Jessica (natch), and a strange one from Zach that says her heart was her weakness. My fear of being in the same house with Zach and his giant mouth of Billy Bob Thornton teeth would end up being my weakness, I think.

The HoH competition is the usual trivia quiz, this time the kind where your answer has to be the answer that the majority of the group chose or else you’re out. Zach is the only one who’d rather slather butter onto Jen than Daniele, so he’s out. So either Zach is very stupid or very unsubtle about throwing challenges, because: Jen? Jen who nobody likes? Dick, Daniele, and Nick are all eliminated when they say they’d forbid their little sister from dating Mike rather than Nick. Mmm hmm, that’s interesting. Nick doesn’t think anyone’s noticed what a man ho he’s been, while Daniele…hasn’t noticed what a man ho he’s been. Everyone says Joe would be more prone to cheating on his boyfriend than Dustin would. Cold comfort for Dustin the Clap-Giver, but that has to be a little gratifying. Jameka’s the only one who thinks Dick would hold on to a grudge longer than Daniele, so she’s out. Amber is deservedly eliminated for thinking Jessica would be better at cheering people up than Eric. Was that one of those things where God gave her the wrong answer to make her stronger? More people think Kail could spin $500,000 into $5 million than Zach, and you can see Kail tense up at the thought of people seeing through her attempts to disguise her secret life as a “multiple business owner.” Jessica and Mike are eliminated.

A question about Jameka or Amber helping an old lady cross the street is split down the middle, so Dustin, Eric, Jen, and Joe head for the tiebreaker question. Come on, Dustin or Eric! How many gallons of water does the giant spinning teacup hold. Oh my God, I am so incredibly terrible at questions like this. My initial guess is somewhere around 500. Of course, like everyone else, I don’t take into account that there’s a giant hole in the side of it so people can get on and off, so it’s something of a trick question. Which is fortunate for Jen, because her answer of 41 — which was by far the dumbest when you consider they were all clearly answering as if you could fill the entire teacup — is the closest to the actual capacity of nine gallons. So dumbass fucking Jen is the new HoH. Which on the one hand is interesting because who the hell knows who she’ll go after? But on the other hand, she’ll probably just end up going along with the plan of whoever the dominant voices in the house are, which I’m guessing will be the Mike/Zach/Nick troika. And they already had an HoH like that this week. Sigh. Seven days and it’s already boring.

Even though Eric didn’t win HoH, America still gets to vote for who they want Eric to “target” for elimination. Not sure what that ultimately obligates Eric to do, but I suppose we’ll see on Tuesday.

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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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Big Brother 8 – Episode 1 (“Enemies, A Love Story”)

Posted by g3tech on July 8, 2007

Previously on Big Brother: Mike Boogie won the All-Stars season. We’re still taking hot showers to wash it all away. During the opening voice-over (“Fifty-one cameras! Seventy-four microphones! Zero marketable job skills!”), we get out first look at the revamped BB8 house. It’s been given a fairly-tale makeover, if you can believe it. There are weird leprechaun doors, a topiary garden, a giant teacup (!), and some of the walls are this mossy green color, like it’s the Seven Dwarves’ woodland cottage. It’s like they wanted to class up the joint by making it all look like A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Of course, that was full of jackasses and barely-clothed women too. In case you haven’t heard already, voice-over guy illuminates one of this season’s ballyhooed twists: three pairs of houseguests are “enemies,” and they don’t know the other is going to be in the house. So it’s like BB4 “X-Factor,” but it doesn’t affect nearly as many of the houseguests. We have an estranged father and daughter who haven’t spoken in two years (this would be Dick and Danielle); a pair of ex-boyfriends (Dustin and Joe), the latter of whom turned all their mutual friends against the former, so he’s definitely on the right show; and then Carol and Jessica, former BFFs from Kansas and a pair so objectionable, even the voice-over guy (“…these two”) is disgusted. I can’t wait to find out why I hate them!

An alarmingly bobble-headed Julie Chen greets us by the door of the gingerbread house and welcomes us to Season 8. Like anyone afflicted with the post-traumatic stress of watching this show (…every year since Season 2), it’s good to see Julie because she’s a familiar face who’s yet to wear peanut butter as clothing or masturbate in a garden shed. I am concerned about the increasing Tina-Turnerfication of her hair; we’ll keep an eye on it. She reiterates the enemies twist and promises that it’ll be cool, unlike most of the twists this show has produced, “But first” (WOO!), let’s meet the houseguests. As in seasons past, we’re presented video packages of the houseguests surprised reactions as they received their keys to the BB house. So that’s what the cameras were there for! Jessica is a cheerleader. That’s all she’s giving us, really. Nick is captioned as a “pro” football player, and the quote marks will remain until I find out what, if any, pro team he’s ever played on. He also enjoys fishing, obnoxiously large shoulder tattoos, and not wearing a shirt. Eric seems “fun-loving” in a way that means “loud.” Danielle wears a pink bikini and is from California. Her dad calls himself “Evil” Dick and looks like a kind of sad, middle-aged rock club owner whose resemblance to Tommy Lee is probably no accident. Jen is a sexy nanny who likes to show her ass. Mike is a house painter with giant arms and vertical hair. Kail is both the token older lady (hobbling around with her walker at age thirty-seven) and the token small-town lady. Joe is a beanpole gay stereotype. Carol says that she’s a “senator’s daughter,” by which she means “state senator’s daughter.” Amber is a single mom from Las Vegas, which just makes me think of Season 2’s Krista, which is not good. Zach poses with a chess board, so I guess he’s our token “smart” guy. Dustin sells shoes for a living and I’ve already decided that I like him, which means I’m already setting myself up for disappointment and it’s barely ten minutes into the season. Jameka, the only person of color in an otherwise lily-white cast, warns us not to get on her bad side. Yes, ma’am!

Snippets of folks leaving home include Eric saying that he’s not looking forward to engaging any “religious zealots,” while Kail packs her Bible. Mmm hmm. Also, Evil Dick hugs what appears to be his son, while his estranged daughter Danielle hugs her boyfriend. And lots of people hug their pets. In front of the “house” (I’m not going to put “house” in quotes all season, but I feel I need to register my objection at least once: not a house), the contestants line up one by one. Only eleven emerge at first, with Dick, Jessica, and Dustin being held in reserve for the Shocking Twist. Julie delivers her usual opening spiel. Carol, Joe, Mike, and Amber get to enter the house first. Joe doesn’t stop talking from the second he’s inside, and Carol deems him “over-the-top” but lovable. For now. Next in are Nick, Danielle, and Jameka. The bedrooms are all deliberately weird — one has really tall beds, one has really tiny beds, one has round beds. Because Nick is the designated heartthrob, he immediately dismisses the tiny beds because they’d be insufficient for sharing with chicks. Amber thinks that there are “sparks” there between them. There’s also a magnified window in between two rooms, and when Danielle looks through it, one of the guys says, “Look, there’s Anna Nicole’s ghost.” Indeed, Danielle does bear a facial resemblance to the post-TrimSpa Anna Nicole.

Finally, Kail, Jen, Eric, and Zach get to enter. Eric makes note of the fact that every guy besides him is a towering 6-foot-5 mass, which I will admit makes the munchkin room a lot funnier. Everyone mingles. Danielle and Joe immediately figure that there have to be more houseguests on the way. Carol notes the house’s Alice In Wonderland aesthetic. They all do that thing where they sit on the couches and introduce themselves. Jen, in particular, seems to be a divergent point for the group. Nick, for one, thinks she’s really hot. Carol doesn’t think much of her because of her “giant boobs.” Nobody seems to note how she comes across like an imperious bitch besides. Danielle, for some reason, lies about being twenty-one when she’s still two months shy of her birthday. Devious! Kail lies about the fact that she owns multiple businesses in her Oregon home town. She also interviews, after we see Joe introduce himself, that she would hate it if any of her kids told her they “chose a gay lifestyle.” Good news, Kail, that doesn’t happen. Meanwhile, Joe chooses to express his gay lifestyle by interviewing about how hot Nick is. I really do think we get it by now. Nick’s the hottie. Poor Jameka tries to process how she wound up in a house with all these white people. Welcome to network TV, lady.

Julie kicks us to commercial by not only teasing the three secret houseguests, but also telling us that they’re already in the house, stashed away somewhere. Okay, that’s freaky. Though I think they kind of missed the boat by not tying into the fairy-tale theme and having them already asleep in the beds like Goldilocks. But no, they’re just hidden “upstairs.” The blue walls make it look like this is the diary room, but Julie doesn’t say and I am thankfully not that acquainted with the Big Brother house that I can say for sure. When Julie tells the houseguests that they’ll be living with “an enemy, a rival, or someone [they] have unfinished business with,” Dustin totally freaks out and mouths “fuck,” and they have to blur out his mouth. Julie lets them eavesdrop on the house for a while, and they talk amongst themselves about their respective “enemies.” Dick is particularly immature about his situation, putting his estrangement from Danielle entirely on her and looking almost eager to get to the business of voting her out. Dustin alludes to a messy breakup with Joe, who he says slept with a friend of his. Jessica ends up looking totally petty by comparison, as her and Carol’s issues essentially involve being high-school rivals and Carol owing Jessica five dollars from when they were fourteen. Dustin totally laughs right at her.

Julie gets on the big TV and tells the original eleven that there are other houseguests and that they’ve been watching, but she doesn’t say where they are. Danielle thinks it’s a whole group of “older” people, which means she’s at least noticed how depressingly undergrad this whole group is. The Enemies have to be in the diary room, because nobody finds out where they are. Dustin keeps yelling at Joe on the monitor because he’s wearing Dustin’s clothes. Dustin, please don’t claim ownership of those denim capris.

The first Head of Household competition is only contested among the original eleven, which puts the Enemies at a serious disadvantage, I think. True to the theme, the backyard is filled with giant toadstools, and oh my God, Nick’s upper body is enormous. Sorry. Maybe it’s just because he’s standing next to Eric and Joe. Everyone has to immediately pair up, and since Nick is the odd man out, he’s ineligible to compete. The competition involves that old Big Brother staple: true-or-false. While one team member answers questions, his or her partner is seated on a toadstool, and each incorrect answer causes the toadstool to spin faster. Last team standing wins. In the diary room, Dick is already rooting against Danielle. Eric, who is trying to throw the competition, keeps accidentally getting questions right, which can happen when you’re answering true-or-false questions about people you don’t know. At some point, the toadstoolers get splashed with a brownish-green sludge. Let no one say that this show doesn’t know its way around a metaphor. It comes down to Jameka and Joe versus Eric and Kail, and when Joe finally falls off, Dustin is mighty relieved. Julie announces that the still-hidden Enemies will be safe from eviction this week, which is fair, and also that they will be the ones to determine who, between Eric and Kail, will be HOH. Eric none-too-subtly makes a plea for Kail to get the honor, ostensibly since she was the one spinning on the toadstool. The Enemies don’t want to make waves this early on either, and since everybody seems cool with Kail, she’s the first HOH.

Finally — finally — Julie announces to the originals that the remaining houseguests are enemies of three of them. Joe immediately guesses that Dustin is one of them, and he makes quick work of poisoning the house against his ex, claiming that Dustin gave him gonorrhea. In the diary room, Dustin has a category five flailing at this news, and it was only lacking a mouthful of champagne that he could’ve sprayed in the finest spit take in reality TV history. Dustin screams, “It was negative, you asshole!” at the TV. Jessica interviews that she was “completely grossed out,” but I think she’s referring to gonorrhea in general and not to Joe as a person. Joe proudly tells the group that he “destroyed [Dustin’s] entire life” after they broke up, which I don’t think improves his standing in the group as much as he thinks it does.

Kail worries that somebody’s going to come in and blow her cover as a “multi-business owner,” like she’s operating under this deep cover or something. Like the fact that she’s thirty-seven among a group of twenty-one-year-olds isn’t enough to doom her chances in this game anyway. Carol doesn’t think she has any rivals beyond one she had from seventh grade. I think she’s underestimating Jessica’s ability to stay in seventh grade, emotionally. Danielle is pretty sure it’s her dad, but she doesn’t tell anyone. Dick is distastefully enjoying what he believes is Danielle’s squirming, even though I think she’s playing it pretty cool considering. Joe tries to rally support around an Original Eleven pact, but we don’t see any evidence that anyone is onboard. And honestly, what does that accomplish? “Original Eleven ’til the end! Of Week 3!”

The Enemies reveal themselves and it’s crazy awkward. Interestingly — maddeningly — everyone seems concerned for Joe, like this is a traumatic experience for him, because Dustin The Clap-Giver is in the house. Joe plays it up, of course, refusing to shake Dustin’s hand or even look at him. When Dick introduces himself as Danielle’s father, Joe gets all, “Ohhh!” And then he’s all crestfallen when Dick says they haven’t spoken in two years. Like Julie didn’t just say these people were enemies. Danielle has the teeniest of breakdowns in the bathroom with Jameka and Carol, and I really admire her for holding herself together as well as she does.

Finally, Julie lets us in on the America’s Player twist. This houseguest’s actions will be determined by the whims of not just the people who watch Big Brother, but the people who are hardcore enough about it that they vote for America’s Choice. That player, Julie reveals, is Eric. For every five “tasks” Eric completes, he will earn $10,000. I may be in the minority, but I think this could be a legitimately cool twist. Not necessarily because I wish the people on my TV would listen to me when I scream at them, necessarily, but because it could make Eric a really interesting contestant to watch. Particularly if and when his own personal feelings conflict with what American tells him to do. Also, it’s going to force him to be a pretty canny player. The first time America instructs him to be the lone vote in a unanimous decision or use a veto unpopularly, he’s going to have to explain it away somehow. I can’t imagine how he’ll be able to win with America behaving like a drunk behind the wheel — they hated the Friendship, true, but they also gave Rupert a million dollars — but it could be fun to watch.

…I am officially a sucker.

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A Look At (Some) Summer TV Shows

Posted by g3tech on July 6, 2007

Doctor Who – July 6th @ 9pm on SciFi – The doctor is impressively “in”. With over 1 million viewers each week during the last season, “Doctor Who” has quite a following. The third season kicks off with a Christmas in July celebration: a Christmas special episode where the time-traveling Doctor (returning actor David Tennant) encounters a bride who inexplicably turns up on the TARDIS. Award-winning British comedy actress Catherine Tate guest stars in the episode. In season 3, the Doctor recruits medical student Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) to help him thwart an army that has transplanted a London hospital onto the moon. Thus, Martha becomes his new companion as Billie Piper has departed. Throughout the third season, the Doctor and Martha will have to save William Shakespeare, deal with bloodsucking aliens, encounter a clan of galactic stormtroopers, and uncover a Dalek plot in 1930s New York. No one ever said being the last Time Lord was going to be easy.

Weeds – August 13th @ 10pm on Showtime – Pot-selling suburban mother Nancy Botwin had one of the worst and busiest days of her life during last season’s finale. Her eldest son had gone missing and her other son was delivering a candid, inflammatory speech during his elementary school graduation. On top of that, Nancy’s monumental weed deal with Conrad went horribly wrong. Hopefully the fourth season for Nancy will be less chaotic, but we are dealing with the folks of Agrestic, California, where things never seem to turn out as planned. The new season of “Weeds” ushers in some fresh faces: Matthew Modine and Mary-Kate Olsen will join the cast as the mysterious Christian neighbors that move to the nearby Majestic community. Modine portrays Sullivan Groff, a land developer who quickly forms a mutually beneficial business arrangement with Nancy. But don’t expect Celia to let their little agreement slip by her. Meanwhile, Olsen’s character Tara will become Silas’ new love interest. Season 3 will also see the return of Zooey Deschanel as Andy’s crazy ex-girlfriend Kat, and Carrie Fisher as Arlene, Celia’s divorce attorney. Expect tons of dirty little secrets to be exposed this season as the dark comedy welcomes you back to life behind shiny doors and pristine lawns.

So You Think You Can Dance (read the latest news on my blog) – Wednesdays @ 8 and Thurdays @ 9 on Fox – Last summer’s #1 hit, “So You Think You Can Dance,” is back for a third round to find America’s next favorite dancer. The show’s producers will scour New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, auditioning tons of wannabe dancers and whittling them down to a group that best represents the rhythm of America. The lucky and talented dancers who initially spark the judges’ interest will be invited to call-backs, where they’ll have the opportunity to work with top-notch choreographers. After call-back week the Top 20 dancers will continue to the competition round. Once there, they’ll dance their way into your hearts with a variety of sizzling numbers ranging from the “street” styles of hip-hop, krumping, and popping to “the best of ballroom” in salsa, quickstep, jive, and more. Don’t miss a dancing phenomenon that’s guaranteed to get your toes tapping.

Hell’s Kitchen – Mondays @ 9 on Fox – “Hell’s Kitchen” is back for a third season, because second helpings are never enough. Chef Gordon Ramsay will once again have 12 would-be restaurateurs vying for the ultimate culinary prize — the coveted title of Head Chef at a new fine Italian restaurant at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. Chef Ramsay is loud, abrasive, and ready to put the chefs on the chopping block as he guides them through his hellish culinary boot camp. Each week Ramsay will grill the ambitious hopefuls as they attempt to prove they have what it takes to run their own restaurant. He will slice and dice the contestants, keeping only those who possess the right combination of ingredients to ensure success. The contestants’ inexperience, combined with the perfectionist Ramsay’s acid tongue, may be a recipe for disaster, but for one aspiring restaurateur, it’s the chance of a lifetime. In this pressure-cooker environment, only one thing is certain: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List – Tuesdays @ 10 on Bravo – The perpetual D-Lister and comedian extraordinaire Kathy Griffin is back for another season of adventures and drama. In the third-season opener, Kathy reflects on events in her life, emotionally addressing her divorce. Meanwhile, she prepares for an A-list gig at Carnegie Hall and a starring role in a corporate film. Kathy employs a tour manager/housemate/company whipping boy named Tom and also does her assistant Jessica a huge favor by hiring an assistant for her. Only in Hollywood do assistants need assistants. Appearing in the season premiere are Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Joan Rivers, and former “American Idol” finalist Kellie Pickler.

Big Love – Mondays @ 9 on HBO – The second season of Emmy and Golden Globe nominated “Big Love” finds the Utah businessman Bill (along with his three wives, three houses and three families) trying to find the person responsible for outing his first wife Barb as a polygamist at Utah’s Mother of the Year ceremony. Making matters worse, a failed expansion and a suspicious employee entangle Bill’s work at Henrickson Home Plus. Meanwhile, back at the fundamentalist Juniper Hill compound, Prophet Roman Grant sets his sights on Bill’s brother Joey as leverage to regain a share of the family business. Roman turns up the heat on Wanda to try to get want he wants. Throw a pregnant Margene, an absent Barb, an overcompensating Nicki and seven needy kids into the mix, and Bill won’t be getting much sleep at any of his houses. The Henricksons, though atypical, are just another family trying to live the American dream as they push the boundaries of the evolving institution of marriage.

Kyle XY – Mondays @ 8 on ABC Family – The teenage boy with no name, no past and no navel has come a long way since the day he was found wandering alone. Kyle slowly integrated himself amongst the Trager family and discovered his amazing abilities. But the mystery about who he really is has just begun. In the second-season premiere, Kyle spends time in quiet seclusion with Adam Baylin, who tells him more about his past. Can Kyle trust Adam? Does he hold the key to solving the mystery behind Kyle’s identity? It was revealed during last season’s finale that the company was making a superior model labeled XX which is “in excellent condition.” Could this model be the female counterpart to Kyle? Will Kyle find out the Company’s intentions? Back at the Trager home, Kyle has left clues for Declan, but is it too late? Can the Tragers get used to life without Kyle? How will Nicole deal with his absence?

Rescue Me – Wednesdays @ 10 on FX – Back for a fourth season, this gritty drama centers on the inner workings of Ladder 62, a New York City firehouse, and the personal and emotional battles of its members in a post-9/11 world. Recovering alcoholic Tommy Gavin, the senior firefighter, is still haunted by the memories of people he has watched perish on the job. As the fourth season begins, Tommy’s ex-wife Janet has given birth to a baby boy — whom she fears prefers Tommy to her. But Tommy has a bigger problem: he’s suspected of starting the beach-house fire. How will he prove his innocence? Besides trying to clear his name, Tommy struggles to resist the advances of the volunteer firefighter (Jennifer Esposito) who rescued him from the beach house. Elsewhere, Chief Reilly’s son asks him to be his best man at his commitment ceremony. Will Jerry accept? Richie wants Franco to marry Natalie, but can a notorious ladies man settle down? This season, expect guest appearances by Larenz Tate, Jerry Adler, Jennifer Esposito, and Susan Sarandon.

Top Chef – Wednesdays @ 10 on Bravo – The temperature in the kitchen rises as the third season of “Top Chef” heads to sunny Miami. Fifteen budding chefs will descend upon Miami Beach, where they’ll compete for the coveted “Top Chef” title, a state-of-the-art Kenmore PRO kitchen, an editorial feature in “Food & Wine” magazine, the opportunity to showcase his or her skills at the “Food & Wine” Classic in Aspen, Colorado, and $100,000 to “kick start” their culinary career. Tom, Gail and Padma return with new judge Ted Allen from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Among this season’s guests judges are author-chef Anthony Bourdain, Chef Norman Van Aken, and Chef Alfred Portale. The contestants will compete in various cooking challenges from catering a gourmet barbecue party to working with Miami’s fresh seafood. Who will serve up delicious fares, and who will get sent home for dishing out a dud?

The Simple Life – Sundays @ 10 on E! – Brace yourself, ’cause they’re back! Hollywood’s most infamous celebutante pair Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie return to our TV screens for more mayhem and mischief. This next unknown territory the girls are encountering is summer camp. Ed and Dawn Bellante, the directors of Camp Shawnee in Malibu, California, have hired Paris and Nicole as camp counselors. Have they just made a big mistake? Are they not aware of the hijinks Paris and Nicole are capable of? In the episodes to come, expect to see the duo “exercising” with the campers and giving beauty pageant advice.

The 4400 – Sundays @ 9 on USA – The 4400 are among us and they have the power to save humanity… if the world will let them. The sci-fi saga of “The 4400” returns for a fourth season with dosages of promicin spreading like wildfire. Many people believe that promicin is a gift and that everyone should have the right to take it, even though there’s a chance that it will kill you instead of giving you superhuman abilities. Who will be willing to take the risk? Who will fight for Jordan Collier’s cause, and who will fight against him? In the fourth season opener, NTAC gets a new director as they face off against a high school student with the promicin-induced ability to make people worship him like a god. Meanwhile Tom visits Isabelle in prison and Diana searches for her sister, who also took promicin. With the help of a girl named Cassie, Kyle is able to wake Shawn from his coma. Meanwhile, Collier wrestles with his conscience as the death toll from promicin continues to rise.

Making The Band IV – Mondays @ 10 on MTV – Diddy hopes to add another musical group to his existing empire with the next installment of “Making the Band.” With the success of “Danity Kane,” Diddy checks off all-girl group from his list of things to conquer. So up next on the list is an all-male superstar group. Watch as guys from all over America sing and dance for Diddy’s seal of approval. Diddy seems to have the Midas touch more often than not. Will this ideal group of guys become the next music sensation or will they be like “Da Band” and fall into an abyss of obscurity?

The Closer – Mondays @ 9 on TNT – Television’s top detective is back on the case this summer! Golden Globe winner Kyra Sedgwick returns in TNT’s “The Closer,” cable’s #1 series of all time. Sedgwick plays Brenda Johnson, a cranky yet cunning investigator and interrogator with a remarkable talent for getting criminals to spew the truth. Season 3 will be filled with compelling and complex cases that will continue to test Brenda’s skills as she deals with suspects as well as with her own imperfections and neuroses. The third season will kick off with an uninterrupted and commercial-free episode where Brenda and the team investigate the violent murder of a family with one survivor: their drug-abusing teenaged son. In the office, budget cuts resulting in dramatic changes throughout the LAPD, including the potential retirement of one PHD squad member. On the home front, Fritz thinks it’s time that he and Brenda find a new house.

My Super Sweet 16 – Mondays @ 9 on MTV – They’re back! The not-so-sweet teens return for another season of birthday party mania. Go on a wild ride behind the scenes as these wealthy teens prepare for their most important coming-of-age celebration. They are willing to do whatever it takes to mark this turning point in their lives… as long as their parents agree to submit to their every demanding and over-the-top wish. The season kicks off with Audrey Reyes’ haute couture Quince. 14-year-old Audrey is a self-proclaimed Miami princess, who will throw as many tantrums as it takes to have the most fabulous birthday party. Watch as she stars in a music video, preps her royal court, and shops for a brand new car. Will this princess have the best night of her life, or will the party be called off?

Extreme Makeover – Mondays @ 9 on ABC – “Extreme Makeover” returns with a jaw-dropping episode where a small town girl will have a fairytale makeover of a lifetime. Micha is a legally blind 30-year-old woman with a severe overbite that makes it difficult for her to talk. The “Extreme Team” consisting of the nation’s top plastic surgeons, eye surgeons, cosmetic dentists, hair and makeup artists, stylists, and personal trainers will work their magic to not only transform Micha’s physical appearance, but to change her life and destiny as well. Later in the episode, a 45-year-old below-the-knee amputee will get his dreams to come true with an extreme makeover. Regis Philbin and wakeboarder Tara Hamilton will appear in this new episode to lend their support for Micha and Chris.

Big Brother 8 – Tuesdays @ 9 and Sundays @ 8 on CBS – Most of us agree that “Big Brother: All-Stars” was anything but stellar, so we’re glad to report that this season will feature an entire new crop of houseguests. As usual, the 14 houseguests will a share a house that’s equipped with cameras and microphones to record their every move, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The houseguests will have to use their brain, brawn and charm to outplay one another and walk away with the cash grand prize. It wouldn’t be “Big Brother” without a surprise twist in store for the houseguests. This season, some of the houseguests will find out that they’ll become roomies with someone from their past they’d hoped to never see again, or someone with whom there is an extreme amount of tension. Enemies will come face-to-face and bitter rivalries will turn up the house’s drama quota. If there were fights before in the house, there will be wars now! Another new element to the show is that viewers will be given the interactive opportunity to have the most control they’ve ever had over someone in the house. One of the house’s participants has been chosen to be “America’s Player.” Viewers at home will get to assign a task to “America’s Player” each week. The player must complete the task without revealing that they’re working on behalf of the viewers. If the player accomplishes the mission, he/she will be financially rewarded. “America’s Player” does not have immunity from elimination.

Posted in Big Brother, Big Love, Doctor Who, Extreme Makeover, Hell's Kitchen, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Kyle XY, Making The Band, My Super Sweet 16, Rescue Me, So You Think You Can Dance, Technology, The 4400, The Closer, The Simple Life, Top Chef, TV, Weeds | Leave a Comment »