Big Brother producers kill time with ironic footage of the houseguests

I skipped last Sunday’s Big Brother episode entirely, and missed nothing, and I wish I’d done the same this week, but procrastination made me desperate. I even watched it live, as Kevin won HOH competition after a competition that offered a lot of falls, which was fun, and a nonsensical metaphor, which was dumb. He later nominated Jeff and Michele for eviction, although really that matters less than who wins the POV this week.

This is the part of the season where nothing’s going on, and it’s also when the producers drop their third weekly competition, so there’s even less to do on the Sunday episodes except highlight houseguest personality quirks that we’re apparently supposed to find charming. But really, how well that works depends upon how much you’ve grown to love or loathe the group; a little bit after this point in the Dick and Danielle season, for example, their reconciliation got pushed hard, but the only thing I cared about was watching to see if they got pushed into an endless abyss.

Besides how Jeff’s shaved armpit growth illustrated a lack of continuity between scenes, I noticed the irony in most of the houseguests’ behavior:

  • “I made a deal with Kevin … and he better not break his word,” Jeff said, forgetting all those times he broke his word.
  • “It’s just so much better to know that Russell’s out of this house,” Kevin said, “and the scheemy, plotty, paranoid-type chracter that gets on everybody’s nerves…” I was wondering who he was going to identify–Natalie? Michele? himself?–and then he said, “…is finally gone.” Um, what? Russell and his game play had a lot of flaws, but that description fits everyone else a lot better than Russell.
  • “Why show any other houseguests that I am a strong competitor?” said Natalie, who has won zero individual competitions, maybe because she is 18.
  • Jordan argued that what she was eating was a peach, not a nectarine, even though it wasn’t fuzzy, because it had a pit and smelled like a peach. I can’t judge her for this because a few years ago, eating my first nectarine (I was sheltered, apparently), I confused it with a peach. I think there’s a metaphor here for Jeff and Jordan being the peach and the nectarine, somewhat indistinguishable yet also significantly different.
  • “I don’t see the need of what having them are,” Jordan said about insects, after a dragonfly buzzed around and annoyed Natalie, kind of like she had done to us. Better, Natalie just stayed still and yelled for someone else to do something to the dragonfly (which looked suspiciously CG in some shots, although I can’t imagine this show has the budget to do that), just like she does in the game.

Update: Dear people who are not getting the joke: I am kidding about Natalie’s age, although clearly the joke is not funny. Natalie repeats her age way too often for someone who’s pretending to be 18, and so I reference it frequently just like she does. I turned on After Dark the other night and she said it yet again, pretending she was 18 and thus naive.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.