Big Brother All Stars - The Ballad of Chill Town
There is no point in having a pop culture blog if you have to be ashamed of watching Big Brother, so I've decided to break blog silence and post about what's become a riveting All Star season. I haven't watched Big Brother regularly in the past, but there's generally not much on in the summer so I've seen parts of prior seasons and was able to recognize some of the old players brought in to play the All Star game.
I probably woudn't have watched this season either, but they brought back season 2 winner the Evil Doctor, Will Kirby (he has a dermatology practice in LA). I'm hardly Will's only fan, Television Without Pity stopped recapping Big Brother ages ago, but Miss Alli brought back the recaps for this very special season because of her equal fondness for Will. He's smart, funny, attractive, manipulative, and incredibly charming. Unfortunately, Will brought his friend from Season 2 and current business partner, restaurant manager Mike "Boogie", into the house with him to form the unfortunately named "Chill Town" alliance. While Will is pathologically charming, Mike is . . . not. Mike tries to be "cool" like Will, but instead of being amusing, it's desperate and a little sad, and more than a little mean. I don't think Mike would necessarily be a bad guy if he weren't stuck in Will's shadow. But he is, and we all have to suffer because of it.
For the last several weeks Mike and Will have been pursuing a strategy they called "Operation Double Date" in which they've each chosen a girl on which to excercise their (dubious) wiles. Mike chose the sadly insecure and on the rebound Erica, and Will chose the competition powerhouse and not at all insecure Janelle. Mike played on Erica's insecurity by trying to convince her that he was developing real feelings, and Will played on Janelle's vanity by flirtatiously reminding her how awesome she was all the time. The plan was to convince each of the girls that she, and only she, was part of Mike and Will's "Chill Town" alliance and the other girl was being duped. The plan worked marvelously well for weeks and got them to the final four along with their dupes. Will has a girlfriend outside the house (For Love or Money's Erin Brodie) and so he kept his "romance" of his dupe Janelle to the level of flirtation, without kissing or other physical intimacy, or at least tried to make it look that way. (He repeatedly whispered to her (as they were sleeping side by side at night) that he wanted a real relationship out of the house. Ick.) Janelle never seemed to be quite sure whether Will was for real or not, which kept the ick level to a minimum. But the ick was ramped up to max on Sunday night's episode where Mike's "showmance" of his dupe Erica (that definitely was physical) went too far. Mike tried his damndest to make Erica think this was a real relationship with real feelings, while telling the camera that he was planning to boot her as soon as possible and didn't give a damn about her. At the same time Erica was telling the camera how real their relationship was and that there were real feelings there. It was very very unsettling.
Luckily Operation DD came to an end last night when, in a shocking display of intelligence and strength from the two women who'd been the pawns in Will and Mike's ugly "Double Date" plan, the Evil Doctor was voted out and sent to the sequester house. When Mike put his supposed love Erica up for eviction and then promptly started ignoring her, the flaw in the DD plan became evident. It was entirely dependent on Erica and Janelle not talking to each other, and when Mike stopped talking to Erica, she got a clue and started talking to Janelle and they both realized just how foul the boys' plan was. Janelle, the only one with a vote this week, finally came out from under Will's charming spell and evicted the puppetmaster.
And it was beautiful.