After a hideous week of global news I am back in the Big Brother saddle again, mixing metaphors and taking names.
This series has exceeded my expectations. Granted, with a host of atrocities among the cast, and the lowering of the bar after last year's run, it would have been pretty difficult to underwhelm, but I think the show is very strong right now. It is just that, of course: a show, but if you can accept the old Big Brother is not going to be making a return anytime soon, it's a passable re-staging and even feels authentic at times. I understand that there is going to be some outside influence entering the house this week, so I could be eating my words by the time this is published, but certainly from a production angle, it's slick, and has found it's sense of humour again.
I have also been surprised, as I'd hoped, by some of the housemates. Namely, Emma. There was never a good reason to dislike her, but somehow I managed it. She may be the human equivalent of celery, containing fewer calories than you burn trying to comprehend her, and she may spout the kind of faux hippie clap-trap that makes me want to donate my ears to charity (then bulldoze the charity and torch the ruins), but she really is very likeable. There is nothing bad about her. She is a kind, well meaning person. She listens to people, and she respects them. That is more than most of us can claim, so I'm very much Team Emma right now.
I continue to be drawn towards Jayne. Even at her most prickly, she is a great housemate. I've especially welcomed her chats with Andy when everyone else has their pitchfork out. No matter how grating her advice probably is, it is well intentioned and shows strength of character. I only wish Andy had someone in there to joke around with. He's like Noel Coward stranded at a truck stop.
But of course, as we've come to expect, the biggest fixation of this series, both in and out of the house, are the pretend, and in some cases extinct relationships. No doubt the following opinions will date as swiftly as Jayne and Chelsea, but these are my thoughts on some of the current no-mances.
Charlie VS Jason
Ah, Jason and Charlie. They've got a broody kind of love. Jason appears to have an amorous fly caught in his curtains, and it can't find the window. Charlie has become a pest, and has single handedly managed the impossible by both digging a hole for herself and filling it in. I can see why Jason bailed from the carousel of their relationship when he did. By trying to affectionately or aggressively box Jason in at every given opportunity, and acting on no other stimulus, Charlie's presence in there is one increasingly flat note. She's losing respect, and even a vague passing interest at this stage. I feel awful for Jason. He is a lovely guy, and a total rock in there, especially for Andy. Charlie is chipping, picking, and battle-axing her way through him at some rate. It's plain why he was handling her with kid gloves from the start, and I can see him walking if she doesn't ease up on the attention seeking soon.
Ryan VS Hughie
At first Ryan ruined Hughie for me, but now Hughie manages this on his own. Try as I haven't, I can not warm to Ryan. He is shop brand cola, and best avoided. But it is only in part due to this little terracotta chimney sweep that Hughie has managed to lose all relevance and storyline. It is as much Hughie's own fault for keeping up the charade, and I'm not entirely sure what it is between them, if anything, that people are buying into. It just looks like a bit of sport for Ryan. I would have loved to see more of the Hughie we met early on before he developed this unpleasant cyst. He is an interesting guy, but by constantly indulging Ryan and acting as a prop for his performance, Hughie's proving to be a bit of a pack animal. There's clearly a side we didn't know, or care to know about him. I hope it doesn't last. As for Ryan, the sooner he is thrown overboard the better. I would gladly make a batch of tie-dye T-shirts in his mahogany wake.
Jackson VS Georgina
I can't help but feel Jackson is starring in a movie in his mind. Google seems to have forgotten, but isn't he the one who has a tattoo of his perfect imaginary girl? Either way, seemingly oblivious to Georgina's insidious personality, he made many grand and self indulgent proclamations of adoration, making me wonder if he had similarly moulded her to fit that role in his story. And if so, why wasn't he happy? Just really, unbelievably happy? He met the girl of his dreams - the love of his life! - and he never felt this way about any one else. What could he possibly have to be sad about? That kind of feeling would keep you smiling and fuzzy inside. You would wait a hundred years, and walk a hundred earths just knowing that your true love was ever there. But the prospect of waiting three weeks in a bungalow made his head fall off? The Supremes were wrong; you can hurry love.
So, let's imagine that Georgina was in fact none of the things that Jackson was projecting upon her. Once you remove the blushing damsel of his rose-tinted fantasy, you'd be forgiven for thinking she was about as beneficial to him as fire is to wax. From everything we saw she treated him dreadfully (and I'm making allowances for the many hours that we don't see). Just take the dozen or so instances of her speaking down to him, belittling him, forbidding him to fraternize with other women, ordering him to do things, telling him to shut up, even making him feel bad for talking about the mother of his own child... it was very apparent that she did nothing but humiliate and emasculate him, likely making him feel crap inside and insufficient. Whatever her reasons, or history, Jackson shouldn't have to pay for the sins of her exes, but then neither should he have indulged her brattishness in pursuit of his romantic ideal.
Anyway, now Georgina has been given the heave-ho, I expect Jackson to snap out of it fairly soon. I wouldn't even be surprised if that tattoo slowly begins to resemble Evelyn and the movie gets re-cast. However, if he and Georgina do stick together, I fear he'll be doomed to spend the rest of his days plucking petals from the world's largest daisy: "She loves me. She loves me not. She loves me. I can't see my friends. She loves me. She hates my guts..."
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