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Entries in helen (29)

Monday
Aug052013

Tactics 101

The welcome which you, both readers and fellow BBG contributors, have provided me here at the Newbie Desk has been warm. Thank you!

In my day job (which is in the information technology field), I achieve better understanding of complex technical processes by authoring our user documentation -- making things easy to understand for staffers who don't have IT backgrounds. Big Brother viewers who have been watching since the early years may not realize how complex this process is! There are deeply nuanced strategies at play which I'm only now starting to notice.

Tactical analysis is subjective, and best left to Ash, Scott, and Mike. But if there's an objective way I can contribute to our seasoned readers and not just to other newbies, it's with the new BBG Ticker which you see near the top of the right column. If Ash's daily "Night Owl" summaries, Scott's spot-on analyses, and Indy Mike's commentary help you fill in all the gaps, I hope the Ticker provides a useful at-a-glance outline. Creating it gave me a much better understanding of house guests' roles and goals.

By the way, if BBG's writers put #BB15 into high definition, then the Big Brother Podcast makes it pop in full 3D. You listen too, right?

Shall we move on to reader comments?

leopardgrrl1 writes, "HGs ... don't seem to find much irony or humor in their watched/controlled/scripted state. Where's the snark, the sarcasm, the cleverness?"

Thou -- Andy, Helen, Clownie (Candice), and Judd -- shalt NOT talk about production. Your comment came to mind two different times while watching the feeds -- Sunday, July 28, 11:49a, camera 3, and yesterday morning (Sunday, Aug 4), 11:39a, camera 4. On July 29, When Judd, Helen, and Elissa started talking about trying out for the show, we got fish for 15 seconds. Shortly after they were back, we heard Big Brother say "You may not talk about production." About 8 minutes later, conversation again strayed back to how they got into Big Brother. We got fish for a minute and then were treated to a four-camera view of Andy and Spencer sleeping.

And yesterday morning, Andy, Candice, Helen, and Judd were sitting outside talking about things of zero consequence when Andy said, "Can we just talk real quick? Let's keep it real. They do not need an hour and a half worth of shots of us being serious. They could get that in 5 minutes, and then we could f#ckin' hang out in the back yard." Helen agrees, "I know! Why does it take so long?" Andy: "Cuz they just want us to" -- and then immediate cut to fish.

Yes, indeed, I completely agree that it would be entertaining to see the house guests talk openly about the BB experience from a "meta, beyond-the-game" point of view ... but it's very likely we'll never see it. Why don't the producers like it? Is this a newbie's lack of understanding? I understand not talking about Dairy Room conversations. But, holy good gravy, we paid for the feeds and we know they're making a TV show! If what the HGs say doesn't somehow negatively affect game play, why can't we see it, unedited?

When I whined about Aaryn winning HOH for a second time, psychodrew wrote, "One reason you see a lot of repeat winners is that there are people who throw HOH competitions because they don't want the responsibility." Teagan, Zoe, and objkshn also helped open my eyes to the nuanced strategy in this game. I see now that it's more than just winning competitions, attempting to persuade others to vote your way, and forming voting blocs (i.e. alliances). For example, some don't want the target that comes with being HOH; some choose not to evict controversial players because they hope to be paired with a "weak" HG in the finale.

Helen invited Aaryn, Elissa, and Jessie to the BBQ. Did she make the right choices?Speaking of supposedly-weak HGs, controversial remarks aside, I'm starting to think that Aaryn has got some game. If true that she was a puppet to the Powers That Be during her most recent HOH stint, Aaryn appears to have some pull over HOH GinaMarie (unless things changed last night) ... and, when selecting people to invite to the barbecue, Helen was quick to continue a "you scratch my back"-and-forth arrangement with Aaryn. Does the perception of weakness equate to stealthy strength?

Or are there subtleties at play here which are totally going over my head?

Kelli wrote, "As a well seasoned BB fan, I absolutely cannot WAIT to read your perspective!" And ErinInTx wrote, "Love the questions you asked, they are the exact same questions I hear when I first introduce someone to the madness!" Thanks to you both! It's encouraging to know that you and others appreciate hearing a newbie's perspective.

If you too are a #BB15 newbie (or at least remember what it's like), strategize with me @uselesstraffic.

Next from the Newbie Desk: Has Big Brother gone too far?

Thursday
Aug012013

GinaMarie - your new HoH

You may want earplugs this week.  Candice is who she wants out.

Spencer, Helen and Candice were the first three off. Candice won the $5,000 - Helen won a BBq for herself and 3 others - Spencer has to use a megaphone for the next 24 hours.

Thats all I got for now.

Wednesday
Jul312013

Big Brother Season 15, Episode 15

Tonight should be a fairly ho-hum episode, with lots of filler and some fake showmance garbage. Add to that the MVP and POV competition, and even more filler. Yeah, it’s going to be a slow hour.

Let’s get this over with by starting off with the “surprising” reactions to Aaryn’s nominations of Spencer and Howard. Surprising only to one person, that is. Aaryn explains that the real target is Howard, and Spencer is up as a pawn and because he’s one of Howard’s allies. Howard knew that he was going up as the others “flexed their muscles” to put him up. Spencer feels similar, and hopes that the third nominee changes everything. Helen adds that she’s happy that Aaryn listened to her.

Aaryn heads upstairs, and Helen closely follows to jump around in celebration. GinaMarie then comes in, and they all celebrate. Even Elissa comes in for a hug. “I wasssssssss suuuuuper shocked that Aarynnnnnn didn’t nominate me”, she says in the diary room. “After all of our negative history, maybe there’s potential for us to work together.”
Helen and Elissa leave, and Arryn and GinaMarie continue to slap themselves on the back. Amanda then comes in to do the same. “Do you know how long it’s taken me to get Howard and Spencer on the block”, she says with a smile. “Oh my God, I’m so proud of you.”

Howard,, though, isn’t as happy. He’s in the have-not room, and says he’s ready for God to tell him what to do. As he starts to pray, Jessie comes in. Cue the sad piano music, as she goes on about what an opportunity this is, and that she doesn’t want him to leave. She tells him not to give up, and he promises he won’t. “Ok, sis?” Ugh, that segment sucked.

Spencer is now talking to McRae, saying that he knows that Howard is the target. He’s hoping that either Candice or GinaMarie will be the third nominee, and if so he wants them to be the one going. McCrae says, “oh yeah”. McCrae says that he believes Spencer will be more loyal to him than Howard ever will. He goes on to say inform him that Aaryn made a deal with Helen and Elissa, but Spencer says he doesn’t believe a word that he said.

Howard and Spencer are now shown playing pool while the rest are inside eating, and Spencer remarks how “everybody is acting like we’re lepers”. Howard still believes it’s all going to work out. “It changes around her in just a heartbeat”, replies Spencer. Howard adds that he knows what he’s going to do. Really?

Suddenly, Howard walks in and asks for everybody’s attention. He says in the diary room that he saw an opportunity to “address everybody with some realness and some facts that you can’t run from”. He then goes into some weird rant that doesn’t make any sense about being real, and even Judd jokes that it makes him sound smart. He continues to ramble on about how he has never said anything disparaging against any of them. Even Spencer says he’s embarrassed. “You freaked people out.”

Afterwards, everybody runs upstairs “totally confused”, says Amanda. None of them have a clue as to what it meant, and Andy is convinced it was meant directly for him. Amanda loves this, though. “Awesome. This makes it a lot easier to send Howard on his way this week.”

After commercials, Spencer is again playing pool. Amanda and McCrae are laying on the couch, and Amanda talks about how comfortable she feels. The topic of MVP comes up, and Elissa jogs by and says she thinks Andy has it. “I hope so”, replies McCrae. “He seems, like excited.” They all think last week’s MVP was Howard. After she leaves, Amanda says there’s no way it is Andy, and they then start worrying about the possibility of Howard having it.

It’s time to find out, as it’s POV player time. The big reveal of the third nominee is...Amanda! The house is stunned. “I’m pissed”, she says, especially since she believes it’s Howard. “It’s imperative that I win this veto to guarantee safety.” Howard, of course, couldn’t be happier. Helen is also freaking out, as she always is. The nominees gather, and the other two players are Candice and Jessie, with the host being a way overjoyed Helen. You can see the steam rising out of Amanda’s head.

As the meeting is adjourned, McCrae is bitching to Spencer about Amanda’s nomination. Spencer asks who the MVP is, and McCrae responds “you can make an educated guess”. Spencer says there is “no fucking way”, and that Howard would tell him if that was the case. McCrae claims in the diary room that he was purposely firing up Spencer, who claims it’s having no effect on him.

Amanda is now in the bedroom, and Aaryn comes in and says “it’s definitely not America” voting for MVP. McCrae again says it’s definitely Howard.

Spencer has moved in to the Have-Not room, and says to Howard “it’s definitely Elissa. There ain’t now way it’s not”. Candice agrees. At the same time, McCrae is continuing to vent, and this time it’s to a surprisingly tough-talking Andy. Amanda walks in, and she doesn’t necessarily believe that the MVP is Howard. She admits it’s “really driving me crazy. I need to get to the bottom of this.”

She walks into the Have-Not room and asks Howard if he is the MVP. He denies it, and thinks it’s either America or Elissa. They talk about it being a disadvantage to even be MVP, and we get the same silly music we had earlier for Howard’s first speech. Watching it live, though, it didn’t sound as silly. Seriously, it didn’t, but it makes for humorous TV, I guess.

After another round of commercials, we open with some sad piano music. Oh Jeez. Now what? Wait, it’s Andy! He’s up early by himself, and climbs into the hammock to get “some piece with myself”. Wait, why are we having this segment? Seriously? Even with the bird “attacking” him it’s a waste of time.

It’s now POV time, and Helen is way too into her role as host. Everybody is dressed as scientists, and Andy gets another bad scripted quip. They all enter a “time machine”, and come out in the dinosaur age. “We’re in frickin’ Jurassic Park here”, describes Amanda. Oh God, this is cheesy. They have to create a veto stone out of puzzle pieces. No need to recap here. Howard is awful at it, as are Jessie and Candice, and Spencer wins.

We get more commercials before we hit Amanda and others in the HOH. They want to know who Aaryn is putting up, and she says she wants it to be Candice. Amanda likes the idea, but Helen isn’t so crazy. “I want to tell her that at least I tried for her.”

Meanwhile, Spencer is in the bedroom with Candice and Howard. Candice already knows she’s probably going up, unless Helen tells her to do something else. Spencer says something about getting info from Jessie, and Candice tells him to go for it. After he walks out, Candice bitches that Spencer won’t “do shit”. She’s frustrated that neither of them are willing to do any work, so she “takes matters into my own hands” and searches out Helen.

It’s a worthless talk, really. Helen washes her hands of the decision, and Candice complains that Helen doesn’t seem to have loyalty to her. “They all want him out bad”, Helen replies. Candice doesn’t buy her bullshit, though, no matter how many times Helen cries, “no, we’re not”. How dare anybody criticize Helen! She finally storms off to do a “preemptive strike”.

She does just that, bitching that Candice “threatened her”, and that she “owes her”. Other than that, it’s “blah blah blah” as I can’t really handle listening to Helen anymore. Especially this kind of bullshit.

FInally, and I really mean finally, it’s time for Spencer to go through the charade of staring at the wall of keys before he saves himself. He does just that, and is replaced by Candice. We end the show with more blah blah blah I’m not finished blah blah blah the fight’s not over blah blah blah Howie Howie Howie.

So we’re finished. Were you more entertained than I was? Were you a bit surprised that they edited Howard in a not-as-promising light? Are you happy that Candice is up? Let us know what you think!

 

Tuesday
Jul302013

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

The only thing which I didn't want to have happen last Thursday (July 25, 2013, during #BB15 episode 13) is exactly what happened: Aaryn won Head of Household. Again.

This newbie's preference would have been for either of the following:

- For Amanda, Andy, Candice, Elissa, GinaMarie, Howard, Jessie, or Spencer to win ... so that we could see how things would go in the house from an entirely different perspective, since they have not yet served as HOH. For example, I don't think I've heard Jessie say more than about ten words in the many hours I've watched the live feeds since starting around July 17. She doesn't seem to get much air time. McCrae gets air time ... but given how often he sleeps (usually not alone), his part in this show apparently isn't a speaking role.

- For Helen to get HOH again ... because she's my favorite house guest, and I hadn't bought in to #BB15 yet when she served in that role the first time.

The cameras give the most attention to whomever the HOH is and to the noisiest, most controversial, and/or most scheming of the house guests. When they're bothering to focus on talk, that is.

The feeds seem to devote hours to Amanda and McCrae sleeping (or ... not) under the covers during the day. Why don't they let us listen into more conversations? With 12 people there, isn't there pretty much somebody talking somewhere in the house? Their conversations don't have to be about the game to be more interesting than watching people nap (or ... not).

My first exposure to Big Brother -- not just during #BB15, but ever -- was when news of Aaryn's distasteful speech spilled over into mainstream media a few weeks ago, so I didn't exactly leap for joy when she was re-crowned. (Neither did most of the other house guests, if I read them right.) Just when I was getting into the show, it felt like we'd be in only for a summer rerun.

Even a newbie wonders if the producers conspire to give people like Aaryn more air time for spurious reasons. Being attractive can't hurt ratings.

All right, all right -- maybe not Helen again, even though my enthusiasm about her remains high. Not Helen or McCrae or Judd or Aaryn.

Why don't they disqualify previous Heads of Household from HOH competitions? As a newbie, it feels like the advantages to the show of an always-different-HOH would outweigh the disadvantages. Or if they're going to leave it open to everyone, should they make it extra difficult for previous HOHs to win?

How would you change HOH eligibility? Or should they leave it as-is? Comment below or hit me @uselesstraffic.

Next from the Newbie Desk: Responses to your comments and questions.

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