Friday, September 3, 2010

Searching For Signal: #164 - “Big Brother” - Season 12, Episode 24

Editor’s Sad and Tragic Note: Yes, I realize that I’m a bit behind with this review. The episode actually aired Wednesday night. Well, let me qualify that. It may have aired, but it wasn’t received in all places. There was an issue.

You see, Terry and I joined our friend Tiffany at 7 Salsas in Coppell, Tx. We laughed, we drank, we made disparaging remarks about our mutual friends that are really on our nerves right now. Mid-festivities, a storm rolled in. Tiffany squealed with delight, because she has a questionable love of atmospheric disturbances. In contrast, Terry and I looked at each other with horror. “Big Brother” was set to record on the DVR, but we live in a part of town where the slightest breeze can disrupt communications with the outside world. We crossed our fingers and ordered another round.

Later that evening, we sallied forth to the home front, and the finger-crossing proved fruitless. The recording of “Big Brother” went splendidly well for the first two minutes. Then we began seeing odd pixilation, with House Guests looking like Picasso paintings. Then the whole episode leapt ahead 35 minutes, evidence of a dead zone where the satellite signal went askance. Well, there was no point in watching just the final moments of the show, especially from a blogging perspective, so we had no choice but to watch the full episode online at a later time.

This meant a delay in both the viewing and the posting. Neither of us can watch such things while at work, so we had to wait until Thursday evening when we both got home. We did our duty, and I took copious notes. Then we raced into the den to watch Thursday’s new episode, only to find that the un-thoughtful local CBS affiliate had decided to run the show on theirs sister station. The DVR is not set up to record from the sister station. Why would we think to record on the sister station? It’s supposed to be on the regular station.

So anyway, we have no idea what happened on tonight’s episode. We don’t know who went home. All we know is what happened Wednesday night. So the following review, already dated and musty, must suffice for now. Please accept my humble regrets and apologies. I’ll review Thursday’s episode as soon as possible.

We start out with the standard review of the last few episodes. The Brigade, populated as it is by the dimmer bulbs in the string of Christmas lights, doesn’t really understand what is going on but is firmly convinced that they have this thing in the bag. Britney still seems to think that she is appearing on her own talk show. And Ragan cries.

Series of Diary Room confessions.

Hayden: “The Brigade is right on schedule! I’m in the final four!” (Dude, anything can happen at this point. You are not in the final four until that fifth person is securely out of the house and playing patty cake with Julie.)

Lane: “It’s time for Ragan to go home.” (That’s right, send home the one guy who has some compassion. Hayden and Enzo are completely unaware that anybody else exists in the planet.)

Enzo: “I don’t understand.” (Of course not. Your self-appointed nickname consists of animal noises. Why would we expect any more out of you?)

Ragan: “I’m the ultimate target!” He then looks sad and wistful.

Ragan and Enzo, somewhere, fussing about being nominated. Ragan continues to be sad and wistful, while Enzo is blustery and outraged. How dare they do this to him? (Easy. You suck.) Ragan in the Diary Room: Enzo’s nomination shows that he is the most expendable. Now I know where to move. Very savvy thought, kudos to Ragan. You might still have a chance if you play your cards exactly right.

Then we learn that Enzo’s week-long confinement to the penguin suit is about up. As the rest of the house claps their hands and screams “Shun!” (obviously some type of inside joke that we’re not privy to), Enzo marches out into the courtyard for the disrobing ceremony. He makes a speech that he thinks is clever and amusing, but it’s really just stupid. Then he tosses the costume aside. The only thing I get out of this experience is wondering if Enzo shaves his chest. Because that sure looks like stubble.

Ragan in the Diary Room: He’s feeling very alone, but he’s not giving up. “I have to study my butt off!” Then we have shots of him memorizing details about the game-play up to this point. And shots of him lifting weights in the courtyard. “I feel like I’m Rocky Balboa!” Not really, Ragan. Totally different thing.

Time for the Veto Competition.

People mosey out to the courtyard, and we have “Otev”, a giant clam that is singing Broadway tunes. (I am not making this up.) In this bit of madness, there are tons of CD’s scattered all over the place. Otev, because he rolls that way, is going to sing songs, with each song being about two houseguests. Once he starts warbling, the players have to race out into the fake jungle and find a CD with a title that combines the two houseguests names. If you pick the wrong CD or you are the last to find a CD, you’re out.

And off we go.

First Song: Ragan is actually the last to find his CD, but it’s the right one. Lane has found the wrong CD, and is the player eliminated. Ragan, surprised, dries his tears and prepares for another round.

Second Song: Hayden is last. He’s gone.

Third Song: Britney is last. She stomps off to the side and calls Oprah, asking her what you should do when the people on your talk show don’t cooperate.

Final Song, with just Enzo and Ragan left, which is interesting since they are the two folks on the block: When they hear the song clues, they both seem to know exactly where the required CD is located, and they thunder in the same direction. But since Ragan weighs about 3 ounces, Enzo slams into him and knocks him through the air, bobby pins flying about. Enzo grabs the right CD and makes it back to the singing clam first. He wins Veto.

Ragan, hearing the news and losing his normal demure demeanor, throws his own CD at the clam. It bounces off and dings Enzo in the head. This amuses me.

Enzo in the Diary Room: “Meow-Meow is starting to play!” (Really? Five people left and NOW you’re starting?)

Later, Enzo tries to go talk to Ragan, who is holed up in the Daybed Room, clutching his pearls. Ragan wants none of it, because you shouldn’t seek conversation with divas who are experiencing personal tragedy, and muttering “Leave me alone!”

Ragan in the Diary Room: “I’m helpless. I’m in the worst possible position.” Then we have several shots of him about the house, looking forlorn and unwashed.

Lane, Enzo and Britney, somewhere. Enzo is very proud of himself for winning, bellowing things about the beast being back in the house. Lane: Your win “just made up for everything!”

No, it didn’t. Enzo won because he knocked somebody down who is smaller than he is. That’s not a triumphant move. That’s an elementary-school-playground flashback.

Quick scene with Britney and Hayden. They are celebrating Enzo’s win like it’s the Second Coming. Britney: Who do you think Lane is going to put up as a replacement. Hayden: Probably me. And that’s fine.

Both of these people are lying.

Britney goes to Lane in the HOH Room. She pleads her case while Lane is preparing to get in the shower. Britney does make some valid points for keeping her, but the rest of us are distracted by the apparent fact that Lane’s pre-shower ritual is very complex. Lots of mystifying steps. Is he really that dirty? Why does he keep stepping into the shower and then back out, without really doing anything?

Enzo and Hayden. They are babbling about actually keeping Ragan for now, and back-dooring Britney to quash her hold on Lane. Oh?

Then we learn about Punishment #2, the second fallout from Lane getting gaga over the money tree in Pandora’s room. For the next 12 hours, the house guests have to use sock puppets whenever they speak. If anyone fails to do this, everyone will be on slop for a week. So then we proceed to several sequences of people holding the sock puppets up whilst they speak.

Of course, we see Ragan lying about the house in various states of swoon, limply waving his puppet about to indicate that he is crying. Then we have Britney, Enzo, and Lane in the HOH Room. Basically they are talking about golf, and the fact that Enzo has no clue on how the game works. Normally boring, but they have to use the sock puppets, which puts a fun spin on things. And then the producers start blurring out Enzo’s puppet every time he cusses.

I rolled. It’s the little things that get me.

Next we have Britney getting fed up with the condition of the house. Apparently, Kathy and Brendon were the only two house guests who even bothered to pick things up. Now the place is a sty. So Britney wheels in a giant garbage can and starts throwing out expired food products in the kitchen. Within seconds, the bin is full. These people are just nasty. And on national TV to boot. There’s simply no shame in the BB house.

And we learn about Punishment #3. For the next 12 hours, any time that the house guests hear music, they have to dance until the music ends. This is actually very funny, with shots of house guests leaping out of bed or bounding out of the hot tub, doing pathetic dance moves every so often. The winner in this mess is Enzo channeling “Saturday Night Fever” while he’s in the shower.

Lane and Hayden in the courtyard. Lane: Are you okay with going up? Hayden: Not necessarily. Lane: I really don’t trust Enzo. Hayden looks at Lane as if both of them just passed gas. (Lane in the Diary Room: He actually figures out that Hayden and Enzo might be trying to angle for Britney going home. I’m stunned. He did this on his own? No cue cards?)

Lane and Britney in the HOH Room, babbling about who should go up on the block. Britney: “You guys might turn on me. You like Hayden better.” Lane looks very confused, but this is normal, so we really don’t pay attention. Britney: “If you take Hayden to the Final Two, he’ll win.” (Very good point. Hayden has some mystical lock on the house guests, apparently based solely on his hair, which is a perfect analogy to the current state of American politics.) Amazingly, Lane seems to be listening to Britney’s very valid points.

Lane in the Diary Room: “I might want to take Britney to the Final Two with me.” Then one of the cameramen, bored, makes a mooing noise, and Lane instantly races off to hog-tie something and throw his hands in the air.

And we have Enzo, staring at the House Guest wall, which is very sparse by now, pretending to decide how he should use his Power of Veto. This is totally bogus, because of COURSE he’s going to use it on himself, but the BB producers insist on the little charade.

Which leads to more Diary Room confessions.

Enzo: “I hope that Lane puts up Britney.” (Then he fondles his jewels. Perhaps someday, in a different context, a clinical doctor can explain to all of us why New Jersey males have an incessant need to grope themselves. Is this why that one governor of theirs resigned?)

Hayden: “Deals could be struck, and I could go home.” (Then he blankly looks off to the side, because he has no idea what he just said. It’s the hair. With follicles that deep, there’s going to be thought-process obstructions.)

Britney: “I can see Hayden and Enzo trying to get me out of the house.” (True. And I can also see Hayden and Enzo standing in unemployment lines in their future. But that’s just me.)

Time for the Veto Ceremony.

Enzo removes himself, natch.

Lane: “I couldn’t ask for better people” to still be here at this point. Yes, you could. I would ask. Repeatedly. “I have mad respect” for the person I am nominating as a replacement.

And he fingers Hayden.


Final series of Diary Room confessions.

Hayden: “I will do anything I have to do.” (Because you’ve been SO triumphant with the competitions so far. Good luck with that.)

Britney: “I’m SO excited.” (Then her stylist rushes onstage, because there’s a tiny smidge of foundation that hasn’t been blended well with the rest of her makeup. Production shuts down for three hours while a more pleasing shade of base is air-lifted in.)

Ragan: “There may be fractures” with the Brigade. I need to take advantage of that. (Suddenly rooting for Ragan, despite the tendency for crying and melodramatic poses on various furniture placed about the house.)

Lane: “Maybe my best chance is Britney next to me” in the Final Two. (Then he hears another cow mooing, and his focus is totally destroyed.)

Roll end credits.

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