Nothing much happens

Episode 45 (Thursday, Aug. 31): After Brittany's departure, Josh sulks, Jamie obsesses and Curtis gets all misty.



Bill Wyman - Jeff Stark - Carina Chocano
September 2, 2000 8:43AM (UTC)

The future of "Big Brother" is looking grim.

We should point out that the editors had very little to work with today: Less than 24 hours of material since Wednesday's live Brittany-banishment shocker, and a show to put together on the West Coast by 8 p.m. EDT. So a lot of the footage is pre-banishment.

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Plus, everyone's a little mopey. We understand.

It's kind of sad.

She was a flame-haired pain in the ass, that Sparky, but she was our flame-haired pain in the ass. The lovable imp.

Eddie is starting to get on our nerves. He says, "$500,000 is not that much money" at least twice tonight. Is that true? What are salaries on Long Island these days?

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But at least he's thinking strategically -- which beats watching the others try to be the world's best friend day in and day out.

Eddie, the sentimental lunk, tells Cassandra that a friendship is worth more to him than 500 grand. But Cassandra reminds him that they're reaching a stage in the game where nominations will be taken personally.

Still, Eddie wants "the cheese." His feeling, explicitly stated, is that there are working people in the house who need the dough, and some others who don't. Jamie, he predicts, will rake in a cool half mil modeling this year alone. As will Josh and Brittany.

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(Somewhere in New York, Kate Moss laughs so hard champagne comes out her nose. Gisele Bundchen farts.)

What Eddie means to say is that he's going to wait until the bitter end to nominate Cassandra and George, whose modeling careers may not be quite as bright as the others'.

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But wait -- won't George soon be the celeb cover boy of Hunters Who've Killed a Man Monthly?

But, Cassandra, speaking in code, sends a pointed message:

"You never know what the public's going to do. The public might continue to put them right back and they will continue to be an obstacle. So you have to weigh your options."

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We she means, we think, is that Eddie should consider the possibility of nominating George: He's desperate, he's vulnerable and there's no reason to think that Curtis, Jamie or Josh is going to win.

Ooooh, sneaky!

The next scene consists of Brittany and Jamie rehashing the game the residents were forced to play, voting who was the messiest, smartest, most two-faced and so forth.

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Jamie is miffed, but Brittany coolly dismisses the judgments -- the laziness charge in particular. She says, "They don't know me best. This is the first time since I was 15 that I haven't had a job, or responsibilities or things I've had to do."

Yes, but they did get to observe you 24 hours a day for two months.

And she's not insecure, by the way. She's just secure enough to talk about her insecurities.

Next there is a backyard touch-football montage, which we won't talk about except to say that the aesthetics of the scene were somewhat different from those old photos of the Kennedys in Hyannisport.

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After the commercial break, Jamie and Cassandra discuss stereotypes. Jamie thinks they both contradict theirs.

Cassandra agrees wholeheartedly. She couldn't agree more. Further agreement would be impossible. Oh, man, does she agree.

"It would be one thing if you were just the average beauty queen, but you are sooo smart and you are sooo deep ... "

Episode 45, continued

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Is this what happens to a person when she does P.R for the U.N. for too long? Cassandra is starting to come across like some sort of cheerleading diplomat.

We imagine Boutros Boutros-Gali in a pleated skirt and immediately wish we hadn't.

Jamie thinks Cassandra will have a great effect on the white community by not "playing any roles," just being who her "character" is. As opposed to what she's seen on TV before.

Cassandra doesn't slug her.

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"Jamie is extremely open-minded and bright-eyed and bushy tailed," Cassandra explains in the Red Room. "She wants to get deep and learn about things.

"But I don't think she'd really thought about a lot of the issues [Mega] and I deal with. So I say things that -- I take it far enough for her to get a basic sense of my feelings or my thinking, but I don't go deep enough for her to get in my head. Because I don't want her to worry about what's going on in my head."

Hmm. What is going on in her head?

This is followed by a tender flashback: Josh and Brittany vowing eternal friendship.

"You're just what I needed. Something totally unpredictable."

Hey, that's just what we need!

Instead we get a tender, even more romantic moment between Eddie and George. It's apparently the minutes before the week's banishee will be announced. George confides he's never felt the "thrill of competition" before.

Eddie's been there.

"Once you get a taste of it, you go crazy for it, man."

"Even if you're on the bummer end of the stick," concurs George.

(Is it just us, by the way, or are the Eddie-George scenes redolent of those Tom Hanksy movies where the dad and the kid swap bodies so that the kid is really the dad, and the dad is really the kid, and it's funny because the kid is just a little kid but he looks like a retarded 40-year-old?)

Anyway, George compares himself to a football player before the Super Bowl and they wish each other luck.

And we segue into another montage. Bye-bye, Brittany!

There is hugging in slow motion. George howls. The residents run into the yard and ululate. There is sighing and blowing out of cheeks. A sax wails. The piano is moody.

Later we are reminded that Jamie, as co-host of the live show, knew about Brittany's banishment before the others did, and therefore had to act like she didn't know and act like she didn't care.

Oh, and she was acting.

"Acting. My actingdebut," she marvels. "That was my acting debut. I was acting, I wasn't hosting. I had to act my butt off."

After Eddie has a brief chat with his bed, everyone confers in the living room to share their "favorite Brittany moment." It's almost like a real conversation, except everyone waits their turn and they go in order. But otherwise very realistic.

The show ends with two Red Room confessions.

Eddie says that everyone's in it for the money.

But Curtis, who never had a feeling before, cries.

And we get a little misty, too.

(C.C.)

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Bill Wyman

Bill Wyman is the former arts editor of Salon and National Public Radio.

MORE FROM Bill Wyman

Jeff Stark

Jeff Stark is the associate editor of Salon Arts and Entertainment.

MORE FROM Jeff Stark

Carina Chocano

Carina Chocano writes about TV for Salon. She is the author of "Do You Love Me or Am I Just Paranoid?" (Villard).

MORE FROM Carina Chocano


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