I know I am late checking in with this show. Full disclosure: I haven’t been a devotee of Big Brother, previously having seen only one episode from last season. I have deliberately avoided reading recaps or forums for this season as I didn’t want to come into this with my point of view tainted by the opinion’s of others. I guess I’m a purist in that I do enjoy sniffing out reality train wrecks for myself.
First observation: Part of their décor is a quote by Goethe, “If I love you it’s none of your business.” That’s awesome on a couple of levels. Someone behind the scenes on this show is familiar with Goethe’s novel ‘Wilhelm Meister’s Apprentiship’ and they clearly have a sense of irony in that the people who go on reality TV tend to have little sense of anything being no one else’s business. Excellent.
On to the episode. It opens, as always, with a recap of what happened last week. Jen and Parker left the house and that caused terribly real angst. Or not.
They cut to James (Co-HOH along with Chelsia) promising Matt that he won’t go up on the block. Matt, showing a suspicious nature, makes sure James’ knows that the cameras and America all got that. First impressions being what they are I have to say I may like him. I have a particular affinity for suspicious Alpha males, and he does bear an uncanny resemblance to a young Jonathan Penner – albeit with a Mass accent. And who doesn’t love that?
In another part of the house Joshuah tells Sharon he now knows of another secret couple in the house. Sheila and Allison are lesbians. Per Joshuah lesbians can hide their relationships better than gay men can. He opines that everyone tells him their secrets and it can be quite exhausting. I find it personally grating when people complain over the very things they both court and enjoy – so I have no sympathy for his emotional fatigue.
James and Chelsea check out their HOH room and much to their delight it’s decorated with family pictures. This scene gives a small glimpse into the minds of some of the housemates. Allison asks the name of Chelsia’s cat (I have always found people who ask the names of pets tend to be animal lovers – for which she gets points from me) and Sheila tears up in an interview saying that being away from family and animals is the hardest part of being there. True, which is why many of us don’t leave our families to live on TV, but it’s a nice sentiment nonetheless.
Later…Natalie is alone with James and Chelsia and squeals her happiness about the safety promised to both her and Matt. There is a lot of squealing. The kind you don’t often hear outside of junior high school cheer competitions.
The scene then cuts to James, Ryan, and Adam hanging out by the pool table in what can only be described as the doofiest faux frat-rat meeting ever while they decided how to get rid of Alex and Amanda. Adam doesn’t want to be the pawn (who does?) while Ryan makes a surprisingly cogent argument that he should be safe because he’s done his duty the last couple of weeks. They call their plan “Operation Condor” complete with what is, I assume, condor like screeching. It seems as if they think screeching makes them sound less like junior high school cheerleaders if they reference a bird of prey. It doesn’t.
They bond over the fact that “Operation Cheerleader” (oops, sorry, Operation Condor) is not a one man job. Someone was paying attention in math, because an alliance of one isn’t effective in any circumstance. Also, not sure that together they equal three men, but perhaps almost 2? Not sure that’s enough, either.
As we go to commercials I’ll leave you with another quote from Goethe, that perhaps it would do James well to heed: “A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold on to them. ‘
Back to the show: Amanda speaks to Josh about the big blow out they had last week. She tells him she knows he didn’t mean everything he said (and unless it was clever editing, the look on his face clearly says he meant every word) and she forgives him. Good for her, people generally love to be forgiven for things for which they are not sorry. She wants to form a secret alliance with him to the final three because no one would ever suspect that of them. I think she may be right, because I don’t think most people would suspect she could define the word “alliance’. He does eventually apologize, and tells her he hopes he can believe her. She assures him she can. She seems to have left this exchange feeling as if an alliance was formed and he was not shown entering into any kind of deal. She is sorry she made him snap. I have a feeling this isn’t the first time she’s needed to use that particular apology.
The editors take us into the next scene with a quote, by Shakespeare this time: “The course of true love never did run smooth.” True, but hardly applicable to this show.
Natalie tells Amanda that she really likes Matt. She likes him likes him! And he’s really cute! She should have one of her friends ask one of his friends if he likes her likes her too, or if he just likes her. It is not just an urban myth, there are people who really are emotionally stalled in the 7th grade. He’s everything she’s looking for and they both want between 5-7 kids. Apparently neither of them have thought ahead to college costs 20 years hence, but I digress. He makes her think naughty thoughts. Well naughty thoughts are the first step to pregnancy…
She interviews that she’s feeling much closer to him and she knows he’s feeling much closer to her. Well except that he doesn’t want to have sex with her. Which he tells her. To her face and on TV. He interviews that she’s nice and all, and cute to look at, but he doesn’t want a relationship to distract him from the game. So he’s not only disinterested but too smart for her as well. Good for him.
Natalie gets into a bubble bath and he cannot be coaxed into joining her. Even though, according to Natalie, the tub is big enough for 8 people. Well…if you’re in that tub with 8 people I assume your next step is CVS to pick up your RX for penicillin.
She tells him he’s “mean to her”. A line used by needy girls since the beginning of time and it rarely works. It certainly isn’t working now as he couldn’t be more dismissive. She pouts that he won’t even hand her the soap and he tells her to get her own f’ing soap. A second later he’s up to hand her the soap since it seems to have dawned on him that being too honest about his own feelings won’t help his chances since the twist this season for him is the mighty albatross named Natalie.
Natalie interviews that she and Matt are just like that move “Cutting Edge” where they like each other but won’t admit it. Except she just admitted it. Several times. I think maybe she should let the NetFlix sit for a while and pick up a book in a quest for some self-awareness. “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillio comes to mind.
Meanwhile, Sheila and Allison have a talk about perhaps coming clean with Joshuah and Chelsia about their fictional lesbian romance. Allison wants to confess, but Sheila is afraid that Joshuah, as a gay man, will turn on them because they played that card. Allison’s cleverly crafted plan is to tell Joshuah that they thought he would announce it but he proved so very trustworthy and they just have to “stroke him a little’. I don’t know how many gay men Allison knows, but the coquettish girly stuff tends to be less effective in these types of scenarios.
Sheila doesn’t want to out their lie as she feels they won’t be trusted. Allison is adamant and Shelia goes along with it. Sheila hates lying, and has been doing it since day one. This happens to be a personal pet peeve of mine. Lying is part of competitive reality television. Either do it knowing it’s in the context of a game and resign yourself to that, refuse to lie and lose…whining to interviewers across the internet about your high ethical standards, or stay home and mock people from your couch like the rest of us.
Rule of thumb: Lying to people in your life with whom you have a relationship and there is an real level of trust? Bad, and you should examine your conscious.
Cutting to commercials – perhaps Sheila and Allison should have meditated on this Goethe quote: “Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error.”
And there’s the challenge. HOHs Chelsia and James come out in skipper hats to read the challenge set-up to the housemates. It’s a challenge for food, as the losing team will eat slop for the week. Even though HOH are except from the food sanctions, they will still be competing.
Weird aside: James in this scene was a dead ringer for Peter Scolari circa Bosom Buddies. I have no idea where that came from but it proves that A) I am very old that I remember that show, and B) I have way too much useless sitcom trivia in my head.
The housemates will divide themselves into 2 teams. The yellow team will be “Sea” Duction and the green team will be “Dev” Ocean. I think I’m sensing a nautical themed challenge coming up, subtle as the clues are!
Playing for the yellow team are: Joshuah, Sharon, Ryan, Allison, Matt, and Natalie. Playing for the green team are: Amanda, Alex, Shelia, Adam, Chelsia and James
When they went outside there are two boat props and a gazillion dead and rotting fish everywhere in the water and out. Can I just say that what ever the crew gets paid to clean that place up after the fact isn’t nearly enough?
Oh and the Saturday afternoon PSA for the week is Allison telling us she doesn’t want to eat slop as she prefers a variety of healthy foods. I can see her guest spot on Sesame Street now.
When Amanda walked out she was mystified! MYSTIFIED! Apparently picking up on subtle clues isn’t her strong suit. She thought it was beautiful until she got about 5 feet out and “I got a raunchy stench of dead fish!” Sometimes you can’t paraphrase because the quote just says it all.
Chelsia notes that she didn’t think it would smell that bad but there were a couple of times she started to gag. Everyone feel free to write your own joke here.
The challenge is called “What a Catch!”. Three people will stand on the boats and hold fishing nets. Three will get in the water and throw dead fish into the nets of the other team. The heavier the nets the harder they will be to hold, proving physics apply in any reality. This is familiar to Survivor fans as it was exactly the same challenge they did last week except instead of dead fish they used coconuts. CBS isn’t even pretending they aren’t recycling challenges anymore.