Game, Set and Match: VOLLEYGIRLS is a Charming Victory for NYMF

Volleygirls

Festival productions are hit and miss, and much more often than not, they are miss. I’m happy to report that Volleygirls, now playing at The Pershing Square Signature Center as part of The New York Musical Theater Festival, puts one in the “hit” column.

Volleygirls tells the story of the Ladyhawks, a hapless high school girls volleyball team, and Kim Brindell, the former Olympic competitor who comes in to change their lives, and, in so doing, changes her own. It’s not the most original concept in the world — you can see the results of the tournament championship coming from a mile away — but the characters’ you-can-do-it attitude, the tuneful score by Eli Bolin and Sam Forman,  and the spirited, talented cast go a long way toward making this show a winner.

title of show‘s Susan Blackwell, one of the funniest women in theater, is delightful, if not quite as wacky as we know she’s capable of being, as Coach Brindell, and though her vocals aren’t quite on par with the rest of the cast, she provides a grounded center for the proceedings. The rest of the cast more than makes up for what Blackwell lacks in terms of vocal firepower, however, with Juliane Godfrey and Allison Strong both shining in their numbers, and Jennifer Johnson bringing down the house with a second-act solo. Each of the girls distinguishes herself nicely, with Gerianne Perez’ sassy Marisol and Julia Knitel’s meek Ingrid particular stand-outs. PJ Adzima, as dorky high school sportscaster Xavier, is also incredibly charming, and lends the show a lot of heart.

Fully formed festival productions don’t come around too often, so when they do, you should make every effort to see them. This one gets a V-for-Victory from me.

READ: Lock Me Up: I Love the New Netflix Series Orange is the New Black
READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Looking Back at June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading the Top Ten June Premieres
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Scott Speedman Joins New HBO Drama; Julianne Moore in for Hunger Games
READ: Where Have All the Medical Dramas Gone?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Fully Emmy Ballot Revealed — The Submissions That Make Me Go “Huh?”
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: Predicting the Emmy Nominations

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In a House Full of Hate, BIG BROTHER’s Howard is a Stand-Up Guy

Howard

READ: “People Hate People Who Are Cute” — Aaryn’s Most Ridiculous Quotes From Episode 10 of Big Brother

I’ve written twice about Big Brother‘s hateful Aaryn Gries. (Read The Devil is Blonde: Aaryn is Pure Evil and CBS and Julie Chen Start to Reveal Aaryn’s True Colors). I didn’t know that her words or actions could get worse than what we’ve witnessed in the last two weeks.

And then, as displayed on Sunday night’s televised episode, they did. They got worse. She flipped Candice’s bed. She mocked her with racial slurs. She denied making racist comments, and then made an “apology” so lacking in sincerity it was almost laughable. Her actions were so offensive, in fact, that CBS felt compelled to put a disclaimer before the episode, warning that “viewer discretion was advised.”

Amidst this sorry display of human behavior, though, has appeared a shining light — Howard Overby.

Howard, a 29-year old African-American youth counselor from Mississippi, has proven himself to be of outstanding character. Like several of his fellow houseguests and most of the people who watch Big Brother, he is horrified and offended by the things that Aaryn has said and done. Unlike bloggers like myself, however, who can rail against Aaryn without fear of recrimination, he is in an almost impossibly difficult position, in that standing up against the mean girl might negatively impact his standing in the house, and his chances at winning the $500K. But he has found his own ways, through the use of his patience, communication skills and his faith, to quietly make an impact.

When Candice was in the midst of fighting with Aaryn and GinaMarie after the bed-flipping incident, Howard literally carried Candice out of the room. He wasn’t trying to pretend that what happened was acceptable — he was trying to protect her. It was an act that had nothing to do with the game of Big Brother, and everything to do with the game of Big Brother. As he said, “That’s the only button they’ve got to push…please be bigger with me. It’s a game, we’re going to play a game.”

Though Candice reminded him this was an individual game and he had no obligation to her, he disagreed, saying he was on her side. “You’re not being weak if you let them have it,” he told Candice. “The only person I honestly have to defend is you and Helen. Because I fit in the same minority y’all are.” As he declared in the Diary Room, “When I see her cry, that’s my mother crying, that’s my sister crying.”

This is personal for Howard. He wants to fight, he wants to yell, but he knows what he’s there for, and he knows he’s playing a social game. He’s conflicted, but he’s doing what he has to do so that he, and Candice, can rise above the hatred in the best possible way — by outlasting the perpetrators. “Being bigger” is not easy. It takes a big, smart, strong man to be able to observe, “All she wants to do is stand up for what is right. Unfortunately we’re not playing a game where you can do that.” Howard is that man.

After finding himself on a team in the Have/Have-Not competition with Aaryn, GinaMarie and Kaitlyn, Howard also tried to take a stand by throwing the competition. Due to McCrae’s sheer ineptitude he was unable to do so, but still, the fact that he was willing to sacrifice his own comfort in order to ensure the most entitled houseguest were deprived this week speaks volumes about his character.

Now, Howard is no saint, nor should he be — this is Big Brother, after all. After all, in the very same episode he lied straight to Helen’s face when she asked him whether or not there had been an all-guy alliance. But that actually makes me like him even more — he’s not so delusional as to think honesty and goodliness are the only virtues in a game like this one.

Whether he takes home the big prize at the end of the summer or not, Howard has shown  he is much more of a winner than Aaryn or any of her hateful crew. A low bar, to be sure, but for that I salute him.

READ: “People Hate People Who Are Cute” — Aaryn’s Most Ridiculous Quotes From Episode 10 of Big Brother
READ: CBS and Julie Chen Starting to Show Aaryn’s True Colors — Is It Enough?
READ: The Devil is Blonde: Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil

READ: The Good, The Bad and The Surprising From the Emmy Nominations
READ: “This Baby is in Clean Diapers” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 6 of Big Brother
READ: “She’s a Maneater” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 4 of Big Brother
READ: “David is Really Smart” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 3 of Big Brother
READ: Lock Me Up: I Love the New Netflix Series Orange is the New Black
READ: Hollywood Game Night is Charming Fun
READ: My Picks for June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: The Ten Best Quotes from Episode 2 of Big Brother
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading June’s Top 10 Premieres
READ: Can American Idol or Survivor Make it Back in the Race? Predicting the Emmy Nominations: Best Reality Show Competition
READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Burning Questions From the Big Brother Premiere
READ: First Impressions of the Big Brother Houseguests
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Emmy Nomination Predictions

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GLEE Star Cory Monteith: Rest In Peace

Cory Monteith

As a longtime fan of the television show Glee, I am horribly saddened by the death of Cory Monteith. The actor played Finn Hudson on the Fox musical comedy and has been dating his co-star Lea Michele for the past couple of years. He had recently completed a stint in rehab for substance abuse issues. CTV reported tonight at around 10PM that Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room of a suspected drug overdose, and the Hollywood Reporter later confirmed the news. He was 31 years old.

I will always remember the how charming Monteith was in the pilot episode of Glee as the football quarterback with a secret talent for singing. He was instantly likable, crooning “Can’t Fight This Feeling” in the shower, and participating in the now iconic production number of the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believing.” There is, of course, no word yet on how Monteith’s passing will impact the show, which has been renewed for two seasons by Fox.

31 is too young. He had his whole life ahead of him. This is terribly, terribly sad.

Rest in peace Cory.

READ: Lock Me Up: I Love Orange is the New Black
READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Looking Back at June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading the Top Ten June Premieres
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Predicting the Emmy Nominations

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Lock Me Up: I Love the New Netflix Series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Orange is the New Black

I am decidedly not a binge watcher. But after viewing the first episode of Netflix’s new series Orange is the New Black, that may change. I can’t wait to watch more.

From the deliciously twisted mind of Weeds creator Jenji Kohan and based on a real-life memoir, Orange is the New Black tells the story of pretty, sheltered Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), who is sent to prison for 15 months for her limited participation in a drug smuggling ring ten years earlier. Piper, now engaged to nice Jewish boy Larry (Jason Biggs), had gotten involved in the criminal activity because of her girlfriend Alex (That 70’s Show‘s Laura Prepon). Upon entering prison she encounters a whole host of personalities, including, amongst others, a junkie lesbian (Nathasha Lyonne) and a Russian chef (Kate Mulgrew).

That brief description does almost no justice to the fantastic pilot episode. Expertly balancing satire, character development, and social commentary on race, gender, class and sexuality, the first installment of Orange is the New Black hooked me right from the get-go. There is real comedy, and there is also real human emotion. All different types of women are represented, but somehow none feel like stereotypes. The mileu is evocative and somewhat scary — it’s not, as one character says, “like Oz,” but it is also unmistakably prison, where the sense of claustrophobia and tension that could ignite at the drop of a hat is palpable.

The casting is also spot-on. Schilling is perfection as naive, scared Piper; Prepon has just the right amount of charm and menace to be believably seductive as Alex; and Biggs breaks your heart as the loyal and patient Larry. I can’t wait to see how each of the women in prison continue to develop — after the first episode I’m particularly intrigued by Lyonne’s Nichols and Yael Stone’s Morello.

I’ve been dubious of Netflix as an original content provider, but if this is the kind of the show they plan on producing, I say keep on keepin’ on. Now excuse me while I go watch episode 2…

Have you started watching Orange is the New Black yet? Let me know what you think!

READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Looking Back at June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading the Top Ten June Premieres
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Scott Speedman Joins New HBO Drama; Julianne Moore in for Hunger Games
READ: Where Have All the Medical Dramas Gone?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Fully Emmy Ballot Revealed — The Submissions That Make Me Go “Huh?”
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: Predicting the Emmy Nominations

 

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CBS and Julie Chen Starting to Reveal BIG BROTHER Aaryn’s True Colors — Is It Enough?

Aaryn3

READ: In a House Full of Hate, Big Brother‘s Howard is a Stand-Up Guy
READ: The Devil is Blonde — Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil

I’ve made my feelings about Big Brother houseguest Aaryn Gries pretty clear — in fact, I’ve called her evil and referred to her as “the devil incarnate.” You can read that post here.

It seems the blonde mean girl’s racist and homophobic comments have gotten so egregious, and have been so relentless, that even the usually neutral CBS and Big Brother host Julie Chen have started to reveal their feelings about Aaryn’s behavior. And it’s about damn time. The question is — is it enough?

On last night’s episode, Julie pointedly noted, “As you know, you are all watched and heard 24/7 in there.” Though it was in the guise of her usual live episode questioning, it was undoubtedly a nod to the online discussion happening around Aaryn’s racist comments. I, and others, have been baffled by the fact that Aaryn is able to says the things she says with such blatant disregard for how America must be perceiving her. (Or, for that matter, her employer — she has lost her job in the outside world, after all.)

Julie threw a question to Amanda about whether the houseguests ever forget they are being recorded, but then very deliberately posed the same question to Aaryn. Aaryn’s typically ridiculous response was, “I don’t forget, I’m just a very open person, so everyone who’s here knows a lot about me, and so does America now.”

There was then a full 3 seconds of silence. That is a lot of time in live television.

And then Julie said, “Yes. We all do.”

Classic.

Immediately following that questioning, Julie turned to a taped segment in which the houseguests discussed Aaryn’s racist remarks, and Amanda tried to talk to Aaryn about how her comments were being perceived. Aaryn responded, “That’s the most obnoxious, annoying thing I’ve ever heard…I’m not even gonna acknowledge it, because it’s the biggest joke. I really just think that it’s the most immature thing ever. They call me Barbie and all sorts of —- about me being blonde all the time, so what’s the difference? I wish that I cared more about this, but I don’t…”

Amanda then said, “She’s not remorseful, she didn’t want to apologize, and that just kind of shows her character.”

Cut to Julie, who somberly said, “Stay with us.”

That may be as close as CBS is going to get to commenting directly on the situation. They let Amanda’s words speak for them. And Amanda’s words were a pretty strong indictment of who Aaryn is.

While Julie’s job as host of the show is to remain, in some ways, objective, she did say this past week on her morning show The Talk that she took Aaryn’s comments, particularly the ones about Asian-Americans, personally. Who can blame her? It must be difficult to approach Aaryn as she would any other houseguest when she is very aware of the things that have come out of her mouth. It will be fascinating to see what happens when Aaryn finally gets evicted from the show, and she sits across from Julie for her exit interview.

Do you think CBS and Julie Chen are doing the right thing by starting to show more of Aaryn’s comments on the televised broadcasts? Should they be showing even more of her racist comments? Should they go a step further and actually kick her off the show? Will they at least interview her parents or people who know her from real life on a future live episode, as they often do, so we can see how she turned out to be the soulless creature she is?

Let me know what you think.

READ: In a House Full of Hate, Big Brother‘s Howard is a Stand-Up Guy
READ: The Devil is Blonde: Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil
READ: “This Baby is in Clean Diapers” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 6 of Big Brother
READ: “She’s a Maneater” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 4 of Big Brother
READ: “David is Really Smart” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 3 of Big Brother
READ: Lock Me Up: I Love the New Netflix Series Orange is the New Black
READ: Hollywood Game Night is Charming Fun
READ: My Picks for June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: The Ten Best Quotes from Episode 2 of Big Brother
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading June’s Top 10 Premieres
READ: Can American Idol or Survivor Make it Back in the Race? Predicting the Emmy Nominations: Best Reality Show Competition
READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Burning Questions From the Big Brother Premiere
READ: First Impressions of the Big Brother Houseguests
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Emmy Nomination Predictions

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HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT is Charming Fun

Hollywood Game Night

Everyone loves a good game of charades — even, it turns out, celebrities!

Last night I tuned into the premiere of Hollywood Game Night and found it to be an unexpectedly charming delight. Hosted by Jane Lynch, the premiere featured Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Martin Short, Kristen Bell, Allyson Hannigan and Daniel Dae Kim, along with two “normal” contestant, taking part in a series of party games. The games themselves were pretty silly, and no one really cared or paid attention to the “normal” contestants, but with the alcohol flowing, just as it would at any game night, the stars were relaxed and totally up for a good time. I mean, I’d much rather watch Allyson Hannigan’s competitive side come out while instructing Martin Short to put photos of Johnny Depp in chronological order than I would see her sitting on Jay Leno’s couch telling a rehearsed “cute” story about one of her children.

Kim was probably the most reserved of the six stars, but they all came out looking good — Perry was typically self-deprecating and hysterical, Short was wacky, Bell was generally adorable, and Kudrow showed a surprising aptitude for guessing Tom Hanks movies during charades. They each had a moment of making me laugh out loud.

I also appreciated that the games were decidedly lo-fi — these were games that you could actually see playing at home, without all the digital bells and whistles that are de rigueur on television these days. Lynch’s skills in improv make her an excellent host for the proceedings — I hope in future episodes they will ditch the canned teleprompter intros and simply let her cut loose completely.

Is Hollywood Game Night revolutionary television? No. But it is an old fashioned good time, and sometimes that’s just what you’re looking for.

Did you watch the premiere? Let me know what you thought.

READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actress in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: The Devil is Blonde – Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil
READ: My Picks for June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading June’s Top 10 Premieres
READ: Can American Idol or Survivor Make it Back in the Race? Predicting the Emmy Nominations: Best Reality Show Competition
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Emmy Nomination Predictions

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The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini

Linda Cardellini

Freaks and GeeksERBrokeback MountainMad Men. What do this cult favorite TV series, top-rated medical drama, Oscar-nominated film and four-time Emmy Award-winner have in common?

Just one thing — actress Linda Cardellini.

I’ve been catching up on the most recent season of Mad Men in the last few weeks and have loved seeing Cardellini as Don Draper’s married neighbor and mistress Sylvia Rosen. I’ve loved the 38-year old actress since she played Lindsay Weir, the awkward teenager at the center of the classic TV show Freaks and Geeks, and seeing her in this very different role on the AMC drama got me thinking about the wonderful and strange trajectory of her career. After all, how many people can say they’ve been a part of four such different iconic cultural touchstones?

Aside from a few guest spots on shows like Step by Step and Boy Meets World, as well as an eight-episode stint on a show called Bone Chillers, she didn’t have many credits to her name when she landed the iconic role of Lindsay Weir on NBC’s Freaks and Geeks. Perfectly capturing that awkward moment in adolescence when you are trying to figure out who you are and who are you meant to be, she made an indelible impression in the short-lived Judd Apatow show. In a show that made stars out of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and others, Cardellini’s hilarious, heartbreaking performance stands out.

It was three years after Freaks and Geeks ended before she got another regular television gig, but when she did, it was a biggie. ER was a Top 10 show when she joined the cast in 2003 as single mom Samantha, and she stayed with the show until it ended in 2009, ultimately appearing in 126 episodes. Unlike Lindsay, Sam was a full-grown woman, albeit one that was forced to grow up fast because of her young son. Once again, she brought tremendous heart to her performance.

Though she had appeared as Velma in the film version of Scooby Doo and had a small part in Legally Blonde, she hadn’t had a role in a critically acclaimed film. That changed a few years into her ER run when she scored the part of Cassie, the woman who Ennis (Heath Ledger) dates after breaking up with his wife, in Brokeback Mountain. Though the movie gained most of its acclaim for director Ang Lee and stars Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams, Cardellini gave a soulful performance in this iconic film.

And then, after ER endedsilence from the actress. Well, not exactly silence, as she had voice roles in several television shows including The Goode Family and Gravity Falls, but we didn’t see her again until she showed up in the season premiere of the sixth season of Mad Men, playing an entirely different role than Lindsay, Nurse Sam and Carla. I’m only a few episodes into the season, so I don’t quite know where her character arc is taking her, but even in the first couple of episodes I’m intrigued by the layers of complexity she’s revealed in Sylvia Rosen, and what she’s brought out of Don Draper.

And so…hats off to Linda Cardellini for carving out an intriguing and wonderful career for herself. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: Looking Back at June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading the Top Ten June Premieres
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Scott Speedman Joins New HBO Drama; Julianne Moore in for Hunger Games
READ: Where Have All the Medical Dramas Gone?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Fully Emmy Ballot Revealed — The Submissions That Make Me Go “Huh?”
READ: Predicting the Emmy Nominations
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?

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“This Baby is in Clean Diapers” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 6 of BIG BROTHER

GinaMarie

READ: CBS and Julie Chen Starting to Reveal Big Brother Aaryn’s True Colors — Is It Enough?
READ: The Devil is Blonde: Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil

Well, CBS showing the ugly, and authentic, side of Aaryn was short-lived — no mention of her repeated racist remarks on tonight’s episode. Instead we saw a variety of dysfunctional showmances flourish. So there’s that.

In an episode that saw Elissa win the MVP and nominate Jeremy, only for Jeremy to turn around and win the Power of Veto competition and have Nick go up on the block in his place, here are the ten most memorable quotes from tonight’s episode of Big Brother:

10. “I can’t wait until this is a house full of champions.”
-Jeremy
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Well, “champion” is certainly one word for what this house is full of.]

9. After finding out she is MVP for the second week
“Like, how? Oh my god, I’m obsessed! This is insane!”
-Elissa

8. GinaMarie: “You’re the best boo, you know that, right?”
Nick: “I do know.”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Awwwww. That’s sweet.]

7. “This house is making me feel like a super pimp.”
-Nick

6. “This baby is in clean diapers.”
-Nick
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m sorry, Nick, what were you saying about feeling like a pimp?]

5. “Ain’t even know about my man, so hold your roll.”
-GinaMarie

4. “I’m a caged animal. I’m a manimal.”
-Jeremy
[EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re certainly something, Jeremy.]

3. “We lost one of our army to this fembot bitch down there, we are not losing another one.”
-Aaryn
[EDITOR’S NOTE: She’s so charming, isn’t she?]

2. “You guys mind if I pray for you real quick?”
-Howard
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh Howard. These people can use a lot of prayer. A lot.]

1. “This is definitely a great time to have God on your side. I’m going for the half million and, you know, gotta be hoping for answered prayers every day.”
-Jessie
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yep, Jessie, that’s how it works. Keep praying.]

READ: CBS and Julie Chen Starting to Reveal Big Brother Aaryn’s True Colors — Is It Enough?
READ: The Devil is Blonde — Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil
READ: “She’s a Maneater” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 4 of Big Brother
READ: “David is Really Smart” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 3 of Big Brother
READ: My Picks for June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: The Ten Best Quotes from Episode 2 of Big Brother
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading June’s Top 10 Premieres
READ: Can American Idol or Survivor Make it Back in the Race? Predicting the Emmy Nominations: Best Reality Show Competition
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Burning Questions From the Big Brother Premiere
READ: First Impressions of the Big Brother Houseguests
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Emmy Nomination Predictions

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The Devil is Blonde: BIG BROTHER’s Aaryn is Pure Evil

Aaryn

READ: In a House Full of Hate, Big Brother‘s Howard is a Stand-Up Guy
READ: CBS and Julie Chen Starting to Reveal Big Brother Aaryn’s True Colors — Is It Enough?

READ: “This Baby is in Clean Diapers” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 6 of Big Brother
READ:

When the houseguests for this season of Big Brother were first announced, Aaryn Gries immediately reminded me of former winner Jordan. In fact, I wrote in my post First Impressions of the Big Brother Houseguests “She’s sweet, she’s cute, she’s blonde — is she the second coming of Jordan?”

Well, I got one out of three right — she is blonde. On the other two counts I was dead wrong.

A couple of weeks into the competition I have come the conclusion that Aaryn is pure evil. I don’t watch the live feeds, so up until this week I had only read about her racist and homophobic comments online. After watching Sunday’s episode, in which CBS (finally) aired some of her more egregious remarks, I am simply astounded. Call me naive, but I simply did not know that people like this still existed in 2013. It’s not just the things she says — it is the cavalier way in which she says them. She utters these despicable things with a smile on her face. She is gleeful in her hatred. She is patting herself on the back while she is denigrating others.

It’s disgusting.

As I remarked in my post CBS Issues an Official Statement on Big Brother Racist and Homophobic Remarks, it is inconceivable to me that there is such a disconnect between her ability to say what she says and her knowledge that her words are being broadcast to millions of people. She is clearly a girl who has watched the show before, so there’s no other conclusion I can reach other than the fact that she must not care that her words are so hateful and ignorant. Her prolonged impression of an Asian manicurist, aired on Sunday night’s episode, was clearly making some of her fellow houseguests uncomfortable. She didn’t care. It takes a very special kind of narcissism and self regard to be that oblivious to how you are coming across.

In fact, when informed by her fellow houseguests that her comments were inappropriate, she responded, “That’s the most obnoxious, annoying thing I’ve ever heard…I’m not even gonna acknowledge it, because it’s the biggest joke. I really just think that it’s the most immature thing ever. They call me Barbie and all sorts of —- about me being blonde all the time, so what’s the difference? I wish that I cared more about this, but I don’t…”

Wow. Just wow.

But Aaryn’s evil-ness is not limited to her racism and homophobia. She is also vengeful. And spiteful. And delusional. She has spent her week as Head of Household “avenging” David’s ouster, when she knew David for one week. And David was an IDIOT! The lifeguard who was playing the game for a showmance instead of the money is who she’s most loyal to? Who she’s willing to make enemies over?

So, basically, I’ve never been more wrong than comparing Aaryn to Jordan. Sweet Jordan, who couldn’t hurt a fly. Who struggled to say a bad word about anyone. Who wasn’t a savvy gameplayer, but at least hitched her wagon to a sharp cookie.

No, Aaryn is no Jordan. But she just might be the devil incarnate.

What do you think of Aaryn? Let me know.

READ: In a House Full of Hate, Big Brother‘s Howard is a Stand-Up Guy
READ: CBS and Julie Chen Starting to Reveal Big Brother Aaryn’s True Colors — Is It Enough?
READ: “This Baby is in Clean Diapers” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 6 of Big Brother
READ: “She’s a Maneater” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 4 of Big Brother
READ: “David is Really Smart” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 3 of Big Brother
READ: Hollywood Game Night is Charming Fun
READ: My Picks for June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: The Ten Best Quotes from Episode 2 of Big Brother
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading June’s Top 10 Premieres
READ: Can American Idol or Survivor Make it Back in the Race? Predicting the Emmy Nominations: Best Reality Show Competition
READ: Martha Plimpton is the Coolest, Smartest Actor in the Business
READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini
READ: Burning Questions From the Big Brother Premiere
READ: First Impressions of the Big Brother Houseguests
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Emmy Nomination Predictions

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“She’s a Maneater” — The Ten Best Quotes from Episode 4 of BIG BROTHER

McCrae

After a controversial week on Big Brother, in which there was more talk online about disgusting comments made by the houseguests than discussion of gameplay, lifeguard David was sent home on the first live eviction episode. Here are the top ten quotes from the fourth broadcast episode of the season:

10. “Why do people have to yell at each other? We haven’t even done anything.”
-Helen
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Helen, do you know what game you are playing?]

9. About opening up the bottle of wine early
“Nobody needs to know.”
-Aaryn
[EDITOR’S NOTE: She is horrible. Horrible.]

8. “When Elissa comes out to Andy and tells him the truth it really shows that she’s trying to be trustworthy. And maybe we can work with her. And maybe she’s human. Maybe.”
-Amanda

7. “All of a sudden Amanda is crawling in my bed. And to be honest, I’m scared. She’s a man-eater.”
-McCrae
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Now, this is the showmance I want to see.]

6. Jeremy rips open his shirt, tearing off the buttons, to impress Kaitlin
K: “Why did you just do that?”
J: “I thought it would be sexy.
K: “I can’t believe you just did that.”
J: Did it work or did it not?
K “I mean, I felt like the timing was horrible, to be honest with you.”

5. “I know I’m stirring the pot, but they really need a smackdown, and I’m sick of them.”
-Aaryn
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Speaking of pots, Aaryn, you are one — and you are calling the kettle black.]

4. “Aaryn is, without a doubt, the head of the snake, and Jeremy is the ridiculously big, hulking body of the snake.”
-Andy

3. “I’m pretty smart….”
-David
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Well, David, you are certainly something.]

2. “Elissa may not be the sharpest botox needle on the tray, but she is related to one.”
-Amanda
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t know where Amanda sits around thinking up these bon mots, but I hope she keeps doing it — loving them.]

1. “The game is already in overdrive, and people are starting to show their true colors.”
-Julie Chen
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Is this CBS’ attempt at acknowledging the controversy over racist and homophobic comments? If so — lame! Read more on my thoughts on the controversy here.]

What was your favorite quote from the episode? Let me know!

READ: The Devil is Blonde: Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil
READ: CBS Releases Official Statement About Houseguests’ Racist and Homophobic Comments
READ: “This Baby is in Clean Diapers” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 6 of Big Brother
READ: “David is Really Smart” — The Ten Best Quotes From Episode 3 of Big Brother
READ: My Picks for June’s Best TV, Movies, Books and Theater
READ: The Ten Best Quotes from Episode 2 of Big Brother
READ: Summer TV Report Card — Grading June’s Top 10 Premieres
READ: Can American Idol or Survivor Make it Back in the Race? Predicting the Emmy Nominations: Best Reality Show Competition
READ: Burning Questions From the Big Brother Premiere
READ: First Impressions of the Big Brother Houseguests
READ: Wentworth Miller, Tom Welling and Adrian Grenier — Where Have You Gone?
READ: Revisiting the Grey’s Anatomy Pilot Episode
READ: Where Did My Love for Glee‘s Lea Michele Go?
READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Emmy Nomination Predictions

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