It’s now official. There’s no more drama left in Big Brother 12, and despite their best efforts (READ: the Saboteur), the producers can’t even drum up any sparks if they even try. So what else is there to do? Well, from the looks of Wednesday’s episode, the Big Brother brass tossed their hands up in the air and resigned themselves to silly high jinks at the mercy of the house guests. And guess what? It worked! Wednesday’s episode had only a smattering of drama, but that was okay because the rest of the hour played out as a goofy exercise in surreal television. Not only did we get a bizarre yet totally inspired giant clam with a penchant for showtunes, but we had a deliriously funny sock puppet sequence that lasted many minutes on end, followed by spontaneous dance parties, all held at the whim of Big Brother.
Here’s the deal. The Veto ceremony brought us the annual resurrection of Otev, the strange monster that always requires sacrifices in the form of former houseguests’ dolls (or in the case of Wednesday night, CDs). I could try to explain it further, but all you really have to know is that in a departure from the tiki monsters of the past, this year, the producers reimagined Otev as a giant clam. Look, I’m bound to laugh anytime anyone says the word “clam,” but when Big Brother contestants are forced to say it over and over again, well, let’s just say that’s what I call a good time. Making matters even more crazy was the added character detail that Otev happened to simply ADORE Broadway showtunes — so much so that he sang them nonstop (and even came adorned with a fey little top hat, cane, and bowtie combo). I’m not sure who was smoking what to bring about this incarnation of Otev, but it was clear that this person had a fantastic time with the idea.
Turns out the corny presence of Otev was just what this episode needed to liven up. Not only was I laughing at the clam despite myself, but all the dumb antics surrounding it too (bonus points to Ragan who threw a CD at the thing and managed to bop Enzo with the ricochet in process. Talk about a great shot…). Of course, once Ragan lost the veto, it was clear there’d be no more strategical intrigue on the show; so the producers set about playing more pranks on the cast, courtesy of the Pandora’s Box that Lane had opened.
We’d already had our first punishment — no cups or silverware. Now it was time for the second round of sadistic torture. The bad news was that it wasn’t exactly sadistic torture. The good news is that it was absolutely hilarious. The house guests had to wear sock puppets (made in their likeness) for twelve hours. Every time they spoke, their puppet had to speak too, and failing that, a certain Have-Not wrath would be doled out. At first I feared this punishment wouldn’t be annoying enough to the players (I truly liked the inconvenience that no silverware caused); however, I soon came to realize the brilliance of the puppet plan. Watching the house guests get into a heated discussion (or in the case of Ragan, a tear-filled pity party) all while operating puppets was kind of like one of the best things I’d seen all year. I was just bummed that the punishment was so brief. Twelve hours? Really? We can do better than that. And quite frankly, I think it was a HUUUGE missed opportunity to not force the players to go through with the Veto ceremony with sock puppets on their hands. I suppose the longer the house guests have sock puppets, the more continuity errors there are, but… who cares? I mean, with a dud cast like this, we’re entitled to a sock puppet ceremony!
The last punishment was certainly the weakest but amusing nonetheless. At random times for random intervals, the house guests were forced to stop whatever they were doing and dance, dance, dance. Watching this punishment unfold at first was amusing, but as the day dragged on and the players were woken up out of bed, the never ending dance party truly grew on me. Then again, that might be thanks to Britney, who looked about as pleased to be dancing as a DMV worker reporting to work.
Overall, good times. Keep the pranks coming.
Oh, and Enzo won the veto (finally, the Meow Meow tastes victory), and Hayden went up on the block. Whatevs.
Anyway, I wrote the bulk of this photocap on a plane (I’m currently in NY now) and as such, I couldn’t access screen grabs. Enter my former intern from TVgasm. Intern Nick saved the day by taking a whole bunch of screen caps and emailing them to me on the plane. Yay technology and friends!