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Entries in Jocasta (3)

Friday
Aug012014

The Day Timer - Last time for 4 nominations, but keep on Caleb-hating

Nicole nominated Zach and Jocasta this afternoon for eviction, and Donny put Caleb and Victoria on the block as well. Julie Chen announced last night that there will be a double eviction next Thursday night, which means we've hit some new #BB16 milestones:

  • Despite the fact that it's Week 6, it's the very first time this season that the reigning Head of Household, regardless of the Battle of the Block outcome, will be a house guest who isn't a Detonator (or Bomb Squad) alliance member. That's enough right there to potentially change the course of the season.
  • The "dual HOH" twist will be over after this week. If it were to keep going, just about everybody left in the house would be either an HOH or one of the four nominees ... so, yeah, we'll be down to the more typical one HOH and two nominees.
  • Unless my math is wrong or there's some other twist coming, all future evictees will be going to the jury house.

I have definitely crossed over into the #STFUCaleb crowd -- that kid seriously annoys me with his self-importance and ... yeah, I'll say it ... misogyny. I can't blame Caleb solely for #BB16's less-than-stellar treatment of female house guests this year -- the men seem to target every woman who either spurns their romantic advances or who simply expresses a contrary opinion -- but Caleb is certainly this season's poster child for sexist house guest behavior. Yes, I know it's a game, and I know that deceit and disloyalty are necessary to advance one's game.

But ask yourself this: Would Caleb's continued unwanted attentions and stalker-like behavior toward Amber after she gently expressed her disinterest have been similarly tolerated in the real world?

I'm not a lawyer, but what does it take to qualify for a restraining order?

Part of me wanted Nicole and Donny not to nominate Caleb at all, in the hopes that he could be backdoored next Thursday like Amber was yesterday, or at least have fewer chances to get himself off the block. (Remember that a "true backdoor" happens only when the evictee did not play in a competition that week, thus having no chance to save him/herself.)

Usually, the people I most think deserve eviction end up sticking around for several weeks more. Caleb could win a comp and be safe for the week. Them's the rules, and I'm cool with that.

When I'm talking with family and friends about this show we watch, though, I wish not to have to start by saying, "Big Brother has no socially redeeming qualities whatsoever."

These are my opinions, you're welcome to yours, and I have absolute respect for anybody who thinks differently when our conversations about it are friendly. Share your thoughts in the comments or @uselesstraffic. Who is going home next week? Will Caleb or Zach win the Battle of the Block? (Jocasta & Victoria are just along for the ride.)

Monday
Jul282014

The Day Timer - POV ceremony

Hayden used his Power of Veto to save Victoria this afternoon, so Frankie put Amber on the block as the replacement nominee. House guests will decide this Thursday whether to send Jocasta or Amber home.

That's the newest news. What follows is my usual lack of understanding of why things play out the way they usually do.

My logic goes something like this: Caleb is seemingly more of a game threat than Amber. His obsession with that woman makes his motives untrustworthy and irrational -- and potentially damaging to former allies if he wins HOH next week. Further, although his unrequited puppy love is a source of comedy to the house guests (and live feeders), it's also a source of annoyance. So why wouldn't they try to backdoor Caleb rather than Amber this week?

In another of our near-daily lunchtime Big Brother conversations (which I really should refer to as "lunchtime Big Brother learning sessions"), IndyMike explained it to me this way. "Caleb is like play-doh," he said. "Once molded into a shape [by the Powers That Be, typically Derrick], he stays in that shape, thinking and doing more or less what they tell him to." On the other hand, Mike says that Amber will go talk with others, break confidences, spill the beans, and pretty much question everything and everybody. She's more of a wild card and therefore more dangerous to their games. If she wins HOH, Amber is more likely to target the likes of Derrick, Cody, and Zach than Caleb would be.

So that's why Amber has to go first, at least if I want to think like the house guests. This disappoints me for a few reasons:

  • I want Caleb to go before her in the hopes of seeing a taped "goodbye" video of Amber saying "Look, dude, I tried several times to let you down easy, but now that you're gone will you please understand that I don't want to see you again? Ever?" That would be delicious.
  • If Caleb makes it to jury, my faith in the world will have been reduced by more than the usual daily amount.
  • Are there no strong women in the #BB16 house? By that, I mean game strong. I really disliked Amanda last year, but, geeze, she could play the game!
  • Victoria (and her whining) will be around for another week, and I'm concerned about her personal well-being, mental-health wise. Every week she spends on this show will probably equate to another year of therapy she will need.

One line of thinking is that Caleb might be the only person these next few days not to realize that Amber, not Jocasta, will be going home. I suppose that depends on whether he really is play-doh and on what (mis)information Derrick and the others feed him.

But then these eviction votes are almost always boringly unanimous. CBS will find the only 60 seconds occuring over the next 72 hours in which house guests consider voting Jocasta out and edit the TV program to make it seem like the decision is actually in doubt. Ugh! I'm still trying to find somebody to root for, but heroes are in short supply this season.

Jocasta annoys me way more than Amber, but there's no point in prodding you for thoughts about what might have to happen to save Amber. Jocasta's here for another week and that's that. I continue to respect Derrick's game skills (master analyst, strategist, and manipulator) and as such that makes him the most likely winner, in my view, but it also makes me want to see him lose his power. So, two questions: Who do you want to win? And who do you think is most likely to win? Comment here or at @uselesstraffic.

Tuesday
Jul222014

Mid-July Newbie Perspectives

A full year after seeing (and writing about) Big Brother for the very first time, one thing remains abundantly clear: Ash, Scott, and IndyMike -- not to mention most of you -- have forgotten more about this show than I will probably ever learn.

The basics of the game (terms like HOH, POV, comps, have-nots, twists, etc.), when and why competitions and other weekly events happen, and the logistics of evictions are reasonably clear in my mind now.

Strategy is what still kills me. Most of the time I just. don't. get. it. Until I learn to predict with some accuracy what each house guest will do and be able to look two or three moves ahead in the game, I'll still be writing for the Newbie Desk.

At four weeks into #BB16, a few days before eviction #4, I haven't yet found somebody to root for. Useful analysis about these house guests is something I leave to my fellow Big Brother Gossip contributors ... so, settle in for some pre-midweek-show filler in the form of my random thoughts about all the remaining house guests. Hey, don't complain -- you're probably supposed to be working right now.

Amber. The way she handled Caleb's unrequited like (I don't think Caleb is mature enough to grasp genuine adult-level love in which you put the other person's needs before your own) a couple weeks ago was decent. Not Amber's fault that her words bounced off of him. Game-wise, after being more or less accidentally recruited into the Bomb Squad alliance (when Devin invited her without permission), I can't remember her doing much to make me think there's any chance she'll get to the finale. Her budding friend-mance with Cody (despite Caleb's evil-eye) might keep her safe longer than she would on her own.

Brittany campaigning -- er, complainingBrittany. Propz to Brittany for completing her 2400-goal punishment in about 21 hours even if it only earned her sore feet and did nothing to prevent her likely eviction this week. IndyMike pointed out to me at lunch yesterday that her strategy was for sh!t. She could have intentionally given up on the 2400-in-24-hours thing by saying her feet hurt too much to continue, which would have meant being ineligible to play in next week's POV comp ... and basically honestly campaigned that she might not recover in time to be a factor in this week's HOH comp. Voila! Not a threat next week. Would that have taken the target off her back ... or at least affected who they chose to put on the block in place of Victoria? Maybe not, but Brittany might at least have looked smarter. (It feels like I'm missing something else here about Britt's strategy-fail. Hit the comments to fix my analysis-fail.)

Caleb. Simply put, he annoys me. Dude, the girl just isn't into you. She tried to let you down easy. Now you stare at her like a jealous 14-year-old. And do you seriously think that they'll need extra security at airports, restaurants, and shopping malls to keep crowds of adoring fans from crushing you? It doesn't happen even for previous winners, and it sure as hell won't happen when you're the 5th or 6th evictee (I hope! I hope!). Grow up, and live in the now! The Bomb Squad has been defused. Oh, and #STFUCaleb!

Christine. There's something non-sequitur about this one. I can't quite reconcile Christine's ink with her glasses. I know this makes little sense, but there it is. If Christine hadn't also been accidentally brought into the Bomb Squad, would she have been targeted by now? On the other hand, she's found her way to stable ground right in the middle of the crowd, safe for now via the Detonators and (mostly) on good terms with orbiting weaker players (such as Nicole). Isn't this the kind of house guest who slips her way into the finale, because there are always "stronger players" they want to get rid of first?

Cody (right) laments being a wussy (or word which rhymes with that) to Nicole & FrankieCody. One of the two guys running the house, and a member of every alliance they've created. (He's not in Team America -- but that's a stupid producer construct, not a real alliance.) Cody seemed genuinely ashamed on Monday morning when, as HOH, he put Donny on the block as the replacement nominee only an hour after agreeing that nominating Caleb would have been a brave, huge move. If Brittany leaving is somehow better for Cody's game (I don't remember why, but remembering what I had for breakfast is also challenging), all right, fine, but making a gutsy move would have earned him more respect.

Derrick. This guy is an outstanding game analyst, strategist, and manipulator, and it's basically his house. My guess is he'll be around until the end, or close to it. I doubt that a strategic mistake on Derrick's part will result in eviction, but simply being on the unlucky end of chance-based competitions late in the game could set up his downfall. Or if by some twist his allies-to-enemies ratio has evened out later this season and an enemy wins HOH in a double-eviction episode, he could be the unlucky second Julie Chen interview that particular Thursday night. If bad luck doesn't get him first, Derrick's skills will take him far. I'm not actively rooting for him yet, but at this point it wouldn't bother me if he wins #BB16.

Donny. Confession: I'm slightly older than Donny and frequently about as awkward when trying to interact with people half my age. So I should naturally want to root for this guy. But ... ugh ... I just haven't been able to. At least not yet. Early on, I thought he'd be perceived as so out of touch and so useless that he'd be evicted in the first two or three weeks. But then Victoria earned that role and Donny started winning comp after comp. I think that earned him some respect amongst the youngsters. And while they clearly do not see him as a threat to their own games, they like him on a personal level and feel badly when he's pawn'd so much. I can see myself eventually rooting for Donny if he survives long enough. For now, I dislike other players more.

Frankie. When the two-part season premiere aired, I was convinced that Frankie would be the most annoying cast member of all. Most of his diary room sessions drive me bonkers. But the way he interacts with just about everybody on the live feeds seems friendly and genuine. Great social game! I haven't watched any of his YouTube videos. Are his DR sessions simply scripted lines the producers provide on cue cards, performed in his fingers-on-a-chalkboard over-the-top manner per producer directive? Or is that how Frankie is every time he knows he has any camera's full attention?

Hayden. Meh. His whole "Mommy, I want candy! Pleeeease? Can I have candy? Candy, Mom? Pleeeeease?" approach to starting a showmance with Nicole is excruciating. I was astonished in the early weeks at Hayden's cluelessness that all the other jocks had formed an alliance (Bomb Squad) without him.

Jocasta. Like Donny, it feels like I should want to root for Jocasta. But I've been waiting to be inspired by an expression of her learned wisdom. It hasn't happened, and now I don't expect it to. And some of her ... oh, goodness, somebody might be offended by this, and that's totally not my intent ... let's say some of her "spiritual mannerisms" serve only to test my faith in Big Brother. (If you watched this past Sunday episode on CBS, you know of what I'm talking.) Common belief is that God cares about our health and happiness, but nobody can name the biblical chapter and verse which says prayer will help you win a Battle of the Block.

Nicole. She was HOH before being dethroned but didn't want it even that long. If you don't want to get in the game, why did you move into this house? She's the sweet, pleasant, girl-next-door type, but she's not gonna last much longer unless she gets a solid alliance going with the strongest women (how about, say, Christine and Amber) and a strong guy player (who would at first feign loyalty but, if the game drove him to it, could eventually switch true allegiance). This is likely just wishful thinking on my part because I'd like to see a woman win. If the flirtation with Hayden lasts longer than that first made-for-TV kiss (if the producers are so desperate for a showmance, they should have stunt-casted McCranda back), she'll have lost my respect.

This photo of Nicole's broccoli and potato has nothing to do with the game. So it could as easily be a pic of Victoria.Victoria. When Victoria is evicted, which will be soon (and would have been this week, if not for the so-typical Big Brother just-in-time competition win), I hope this young woman gets the psychotherapy that she needs. Her low self-esteem is evident and painful to watch. I feel badly for her. Game-wise, rather than doing something (anything!) proactive to attempt to influence her own destiny, Victoria stays as far away from the sun as possible, way out there in a plutonian orbit. When the heat finally reaches her, is it any wonder that she finds it unpleasant? Dry your tears, dear, admit this game wasn't for you, tell everybody that leaving is what you want, and then you'll have 11 new friends and great new memories of a fun last few conflict-free days in the house. (It'll be boring for chaos-loving live feeders like we all are, but it'll be really good for Victoria's mental health.)

Zach. I'm not a doctor (and I don't play one on TV), but this kid seems kind of bipolar. One of these weeks when he's perfectly safe, he'll go on another unplanned, unexpected "put me up!" rant and be shocked to find himself evicted.

Wild, probably laughably stupid prediction at four weeks in:  Derrick, Christine, and Frankie will become #BB16's final three.

Astonished by how much I haven't learned in a year? Me too, but it's still just a TV show. Tell me the many ways I got it wrong in the comments or at @uselesstraffic. Who do you think will be in the finale? Is it the same people you'd have guessed a month ago?