I’m not going to get all high and mighty about the fact that Mike Boogie won Big Brother: All-Stars last night, because who really cares at the end of the day. I enjoyed the finale for one reason only, in that it made it tacitly obvious that there was not a single redeeming person in the house all summer, with the exception perhaps of Will.
A few observations as I move away from this and towards Survivor and The Amazing Race:
- The show either needs to stop providing so much alcohol to the house guests, or acknowledge that they’ve done so. Last night, Janelle’s shrieking during the “roundtable” as the guests debated each finalist was embarrassing. The same goes for Danielle’s behavior during the season, and they only casually mentioned at times the alcohol. Janelle in particular came across as aggressive, petty and self-absorbed. All of these may very well be her actual character, but it’s also obvious she was hammered.
- Anyone who thinks Boogie didn’t play a good game needs to recognize only one thing – he and Will walked around wearing clothing advertising their alliance from Day One, and he made it to the finals. That’s enough right there. But he’s still a disgusting, pathetic guy. $500,000 – which he doesn’t even seem to need – isn’t going to change that.
- Janelle – once again, just an atrocious display. I know that “floaters” are, presumably, people who don’t take sides, and cozy up to whoever is in charge week by week. And I can’t say I’d be that impressed by that strategy. But in this All-Star scenario, Janelle walked in with three allies, and an opinion about everyone else in the house. Is she saying that if Erika had asked to be in her alliance on Day 1 that she wouldn’t have been a floater? Knickerbocker, please. Janelle, at least in this game, is much like our President – she was born on third base and thinks she hit a triple.
- The concept of All-Stars sucks. Not only because it took a lot of the excitement out of learning who was deceitful and who wasn’t, but because so many players obviously had alliances coming into the show. From what we learned, Jase and Diane had a horribly unsuccessful one. And Erika apparently reached out to almost everyone beforehand. Doesn’t this totally invalidate the show? Answer: Yes.
- Julie Chen is so shockingly bad on live TV that it boggles my mind to realize she does exactly that for a living.
- To answer your next question – yes, I’m embarrassed that I put so much time into this list.
And now, some pre-emptive thoughts about Survivor, which starts tomorrow night. The big story, of course, is that they are diving the group into four tribes, determined by race. (Which will be: Asian, Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian. I’m pretty sure that people will have some things to say about whether each cast member actually belongs in the respective group they are part of.) I really don’t have much to say about whether this is objectionable or not, because this is at its core a game. And whether or not Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst actually did this to “start a debate about race” as they’ve alluded to in pre-show interviews or not (um…not – it’s about ratings as it always is and should be), I do think the most interesting outcome of this is the debate it has in fact started. Certainly, race relations in this country have an awful, awful history. Without getting too limousine liberal on everyone, this is a country where half the population went to war over the right to keep slaves. It’s a country where senatorial candidates make racist remarks on what seems like a daily basis, only to get swept under the rug. Certainly, only people who willfully want to ignore it think that race relations are not still a major issue in this country, and of course around the globe.
So good for Survivor – it should make entertaining TV, though I assume obnoxious comments as well. I’m particularly interested to see if the white tribe feels as much unity with each other as the “minority” tribes do, and how that’s interpreted by viewers. Congrats to Survivor for coming up with a twist to make what could easily be a tired show by now interesting.
Of course, when it’s on its game, nothing beats The Amazing Race which was good last season but still felt tainted by the objectionable Family Edition. I’m hoping this Sunday it seems clear that there will be a return to the brilliance that was the first few seasons. From the press releases about where the racers will venture, and the looks of the cast (fewer models, for one), it might just be a great year.
Now, I’m off to Vegas for my bachelor party. (OK, I’m off on Friday.) Pray for me.