The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, August 03, 2007

Blame Dick

by Melissa Bell

Okay, I promised myself over and over and swore up and down that even with the summer off, this year I was NOT going to watch that trainwreck of a reality show, Big Brother. For me, previous seasons have been the equivalent of TV crack. I just can’t stop. Missing an episode to “enjoy” a cottage weekend up north would guarantee a serious two-day jones. And during the few years I actually subscribed to the live feeds, over the summer I would turn into something from Night of the Living Dead. This was no way to live! Sitting at a computer watching a bunch of famewhores trapped in some fake house on the edge of Studio City. I won’t tell you how bad my addiction was with Season 1, but when I finally put down the box of ranch-flavoured Bits ‘n’ Bites and stepped away from my monitor, I was 182 pounds worth of fat zombie. If I was 6’2”, that might not be so bad. But I am not 6’2”, my friends.

Last year was the Big Brother All-Stars. There was no way I could not watch that. I’d invested too much time over the previous summers with all of the players not to see how things were going to work out. Crazy “Chicken George”. Mike “Boogie” Malin. Evil Dr. Will. Kaysar! Howie! Janelle! And so I went easy on myself and gave myself permission to tune in. But I did NOT purchase the live feeds. I stuck to reading websites that summarized the household happenings and PVR’d the episodes that I wasn’t going to be able to watch. I felt it was a reasonable compromise. I got my fix and still functioned as a “normal” human being. And when it was over, it was over. That’s one of the beautiful things about Big Brother. It’s as instantly forgettable as it is easily addictive.

So this year, I decided that Big Brother 8 was definitely not going to be part of my summer’s agenda.

Until, one night, channel-flipping, I saw Dick. Also known as “Evil”. How the hell did this guy get on Big Brother? He’s 44, covered in tattoos, face all kebabed with various piercings. And he wears black nail polish! And he chain smokes! And he swears a blue streak. The Big Brother people don’t even bother bleeping the profanity anymore – they blur out the speaker’s lips. I guess it’s so the hearing-challenged aren’t offended with lip-read obscenities. Whatever. I was immediately fascinated by this guy. And – get this – he’s in the house with his daughter! I don’t know the whole back story, and I don’t want to know, but his daughter is this lovely little doll-like creature. Big blue eyes, skin like porcelain, sweet-natured and decidedly non-tatted or pierced. As a duo, they make for some fabulously great TV. So am I hooked again?

Oh people, c’mon! Of course I am!!

But here’s the deal I’ve made with myself.

This year I’m making Big Brother work for me. Now when I hear that irritating theme music start up, I head for my dumbbells and my exercise ball and my resistance band and log in some physical activity during the hour it’s on. While I let my brain go mushy for 60 minutes several times a week, I’m mindlessly getting in a pretty good workout.

So I’m going to be royally pissed off if Dick gets evicted from the house before I’ve scored a nice set of abs. Because there’s absolutely no one else in that house worth watching. Outside of Dick (and the cool-dad relationship he’s got with his fellow inmate offspring), this is the most boring cast in the history of the show. And trust me, my friends. I know what I’m talking about here! Now, there is some nice wallpaper on the Big Brother set this year though – hot pink with a black chandelier motif. I like it. But the day I tune into a TV show so I can look at the wallpaper, please feel free to drop by and euthanize me. And take the TV. It’s a nice one. That’ll be my gift to you for putting me out of my misery once and for all.

Have a wonderful weekend, y’all!

P.S. I am late with this post today because I’ve just spent the last few hours trying to include a picture of Dick. And I can’t do it. Sorry ‘bout that. Google. Or just watch the show. But be warned. Consider me a cautionary tale, my dear friends. I’m totally serious.


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I am SO glad I don't know what you're talking about. I will run if anyone suggests I watch Big Brother.

Fri Aug 03, 12:52:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I've avoided Big Brother, like a former crack addict might avoid meth or special K (those aren't the same things are they?)- not your drug of choice but you recognize the danger! I had more and more of those shows that I had to watch, until 'my shows' were filling up my life. I ditched cable eventually. It was the only way to do it.

Sounds like you are going the harm-reduction route instead of the abstinence route. Good luck to you, MelBel. The workout idea is a great one!

Fri Aug 03, 01:15:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

I stay away from all things reality TV. Try drinking, I think you'd have an easier time quitting...

Tue Aug 07, 09:57:00 pm GMT-4  

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