Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Big Brother recap: The Brian Drain

After Brian tries to manipulate too many of the other players, his former allies pull the plug on him

Posted on

Brian Hart

Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status:
In Season

So this is the new, back-to-basics Big Brother, complete with live studio audience for eviction night! I have to say I’m confused: For all the season 1 things they could have brought back — an AOL consultant whose role it is to constantly tell us how ”Big Brother is huge on the Internet!” or the forcing of unfunny contestants to improvise sketches — they decided to pick this? I don’t see the point of the audience, really: It changes nothing, and adds only some hooting. Did CBS marketing research find that more young, affluent viewers enjoy seeing evicted houseguests get high-fived by strangers? Or did Les Moonves just decide that his wife, Julie Chen, deserves more applause on a weekly basis? (And speaking of Moonves, which do you think made him angrier: that Dan said his wife was beautiful or that Dan called her ”Mrs. Chen”?)

But let’s dwell on that no longer and move on to Brian. Wow, I haven’t seen that much groundless reality-TV overconfidence since Ron ”Horshack” Palillo went on Celebrity Boxing 2. As soon as Brian found he could influence Jerry’s nominations, he just snapped, and assumed he could play Jedi mind tricks on everybody. On Tuesday night, he tried a little strategy I like to call the ”Fake and Bake”: offhandedly promising people safety in exchange for their votes, all while busily preparing a pan of cookies. They’ll come for the chocolaty treats and milk, they’ll stay for the utter relinquishing of their free will!

When he sat with the women, cockily saying, ”This week, Memphis is going home. You guys need to be ready for that,” I worried they’d actually fall in line with him. That’s the sort of thing the BB9ers would have done. How delightful to watch Libra immediately pick up on what a tool Brian was and flip everybody against him. It made me actually exhale with relief, realizing that we might actually have real game players on our hands this season. It feels weird to say this about players in what will always essentially be a pinhead exhibition, but doesn’t everybody on this season feel more substantial? I mean this purely from a reality-TV perspective; no one would mistake this BB house for the UN. But so far, comparing this season to last is the reality equivalent of comparing a Broadway play to a high school musical. I swear I think they stocked last year’s house by driving to a local fairground, hosing off a bunch of carnies, and tossing them in.

Boy, Libra is cold as ice. When, during the eviction show, Julie said that some people thought Libra was a bad mother for leaving her kids, she didn’t even blink, saying she had her reasons for doing it, and that was all that mattered. Considering she didn’t flinch at that, it’s no wonder she had no tolerance at all for April’s weeping. Emotions are for the weak, people. And who knows, perhaps child rearing is too.

NEXT: Ollie: ”I’m bad, I’m dirty”