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Friday, September 14, 2007


Big Brother Trifecta: And Now, The End Is Near...

Has there ever been a less-inspiring Final Three than the sorry bitches left this season in ? Evil Dick, Evil Daniele and Retarded Zach settled in with only one question left to settle: who will be the new HOH, and who will that person send packing? I know, it's hardly Chekhov, but it's the best we've got.

We picked up the action from Tuesday, with the HOH competition already in progress: a ridiculous spectacle of contestants standing on posts in a garden and jumping when a mechanized rabbit came by. And to make matters worse, it began to rain (or shower, really...the artificial rain was ridiculously inept). And then a smoke bomb went off. And then more rain. And then...oh, who the fuck cares. The important thing is that Danielle began to whimper and shiver and whine and bitch and generally be the princess she always has been. And watching her suffer...well, I admit it did my heart glad.

Even better, she fell off her log around the third hour, but it continued on for eight...and to Zach's credit, he never buckled under Dick's taunting and bluster. When a cramp in Dick's leg made it impossible for him to continue, Zach won...but the producers immediately shaped the moment into a supreme father-daughter reconciliation, the culmination of their narrative for the season. But in this moment, at least, it doesn't end in triumph, it ends in failure, it ends in regret...it ends with a big, meaty bowlful of karmic retribution. Too bad it wouldn't stay that way.

Because, you see, this didn't mean Zach was HOH; it only put him in the finals for HOH; to find out his competitor, Dick and Daniele had to face off in (get this shit) an underwater puzzle in two huge water tanks. They had to place puzzle pieces to form the chain of photos of former HOHs. The combination of the physicality and the linearity made it no contest -- Dick beat Daniele with a time nearly half of hers.

And so that brings Zach vs. Dick as the final competition, held live with the Chenbot officiating. Oh wait, snap...now would be a perfect time to visit the sequester house! Yeah, let's do that instead! So for those who care, Dustin, Amber, Jen, Jameka, Jessica and Eric are having a whale of a time in their secret poolside lair, and Jessica and Eric are (surprise) still dating (and according to Dustin, gettin' bizzy). No one seems very happy to be there, and they seem ready to lay the smacketh down to the Donatos.

But would they get the chance? Back at the HOH competition, Dick and Zach took their seats for a question competition about statements made by the jury at the jury house. Essentially, it's knowledge they cannot know, and so therefore basically a toss-up. And as Depeche Mode has told us, God has a sick sense of humor...handing all toss-ups, luck and other advantages in this season to the Donatos. Dick starts screaming about how "WE WON! WE WON EVERYTHING! WE WON IT ALL!" showed what a glorious sport he is.

So now the only question is...will you continue to watch, knowing for a virtual certainty that Daniele will be chosen the winner? Because as sure as my name is Mr. ModFab, Dick will evict Zach, the jury will yell at the Donatos, and ultimately they'll give the prize to Daniele because they hate Dick so much. It's a thoroughly unsatisfying ending, matching the entire season. I, for one, don't think I can stand to watch it.

A few weeks ago in the comments, StinkyLulu posited the question that My New Plaid Pants and others have been implicitly wondering all season -- has Big Brother finally, at long last, jumped the shark? I think so. It's simply not fun anymore, not silly or surprising, not complex or dramatic. The producers made a series of really boneheaded decisions -- America's Player was a fiasco (learn the lessons of Season 1, and never let viewers have a say!), and the "secret relationship" twist has proven to simply stack the deck in one pair's favor. The players were also badly chosen: stupid (Zach, Amber, Nick), egomaniacal (Jen, Dustin, Dick, Daniele), or obvious demographic placeholders (Jameka, Joe, Carol). And let's not forget the most important thing: very few cute guys, and those few voted out far too early.

So as I turn over the final episodes to my compatriots Queering The Apparatus and Tapeworthy (who were STELLAR by the way, and made slogging through this swamp every week as much fun as tripping through daises), I'm kissing a fond farewell to a show I've really enjoyed over the years...and admitting that I won't be back next summer. Under producer Allison Grodner (who took over this season), it's simply not what it was. And it's not for me. And that, as they say, is that.



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