The ouster of sneaky, stripping Jordan spells doom for the dullest show on the tube, says Josh Wolk

By Josh Wolk
Updated August 07, 2000 at 12:00 PM EDT

”Big Brother” voters are getting the boring TV they deserve

I used to think TV executives underestimated the American viewing public. When they filled their schedules with formulaic sitcoms and sappy dramas — while yanking intelligent programming as quickly as possible because one week of bad ratings apparently means nobody ”gets it” — it made me yell out ”How dare thee!” (I find speaking in old English gives me higher moral ground.) But all that changed Wednesday night when the viewing public voted Jordan the stripper out of the ”Big Brother” house so Curtis the dullard could remain. It was then I thought, ”You know what? Perhaps America gets the TV it deserves.”

”Big Brother” is so boring I wish they’d give the cast members a challenge to paint the house, because at least afterwards we’d get to enjoy the comparably exciting video of watching the paint dry. The only antidote to the unrelenting dead air was the conniving Jordan. It wasn’t because she was an ”exotic dancer”: I grew as weary as the next lap dancee of her ”stripping is empowering” lectures straight from ”Men Are From Mars, Crotch Grinders Are From Venus.” No, what was intriguing was her desire to take everyone’s brain out of his or her head, wedge it in her G string, and then walk around toying with it all day. Flirt with Josh, feign a hugging friendship with Brittany while continuing to mock her, insult Eddie’s model sweetie: I’ll take any of that over Karen pretending to be maternal while she acts like every other 16 year old. (”Brittany, Josh likes Jamie — LIKES her likes her!”)

I assumed the viewing public would vote to keep Jordan in, since she’s the one who adds the only spice to the show. But no, they support a man who has described himself as ”dead inside” (and who doesn’t seem that lively on the outside either), leaving us with eight people who are the live action equivalent of static. The point of the show is to have people who WANT to kick each other out: On ”Survivor” you have machinations so devious that Machiavelli would say, ”Hey, was that necessary?” — the most antipathy the ”Big Brother” cast can muster is George, the man child roofer, nominating Curtis as revenge for taking him to task for double dipping his chip in the salsa.

So now thanks to democracy, we’re stuck for two more months in Vegetable House. Is this what people wanted? Blank-slate Jamie striving to never let an opinion pass through her gloss slathered lips, Brittany attempting to turn the show into ”Degrassi Junior High,” and ”What, me swing?”er Josh trying to be the best damn guy he can? I didn’t think the end credits theme song (”Live, ’cause we’re living today/ Feel the thrill of life!”) could become any more paradoxical — considering we’ve seen it juxtaposed against such ”life thrilling” events as George getting a haircut and the housemates napping. But when we’re left with only Cassandra fiddling with her dreds while Karen’s cigarettes burn, that soul crushingly tedious footage will seem like the ”Agony of Defeat” wipeout on ABC’s ”Wide World of Sports” by comparison.

But the viewers have spoken, and they want bland. I only hope they’re forced to stop speaking: If CBS gives viewers the chance to vote on ALL its upcoming series, they’re likely to give the one armed man the boot on the new version of ”The Fugitive”: ”Oh, if Richard Kimble wasn’t so worked up about that murderer, it would give him more time to talk about whether he liked his wife… or LIKED liked his wife.”

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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  • 22
  • TV-14
  • CBS
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