So, as we head into yet another labyrinthine maze of backstabbing and trash talking, the game stands at Dan and Danielle perched precariously on the block, with Dan being Frank's main target. This should be pretty cut and dried, right? I mean, the whole game can't be turned upside down in a matter of days, can it? Like, Dan should just pack his stuff and look for his hair gel. Or not. This season seems to be a lot twistier than any other in recent memory, and alliances come together and crumble in the space of a single episode. Heck, we've had alliances on top of secret alliances, which is making "Big Brother" feel a little like a low I.Q. Roman play. Et tu, Dan?
Alan Ball launched "True Blood" as a romantic horror show, laced with caustic wit and social satire (vampires were finally "coming out" of their coffins around the world, demanding equal rights). He gave us two (or arguably two and half) seasons of reliably entertaining summer escapism. And now Ball leaves "True Blood" in the worst state it has ever been: an overcrowded, emotionally empty, frustrating, convoluted, nonsensical mess.
Tonight's chaotic fifth season finale was Ball's swan song with the series (at least in full-time capacity) and carried his writing credit. Here was one last chance for Ball to play around with the characters, bring couples together or drive them apart, prove to us that "True Blood" still has some magic lurking under the shambles it has become. And what did we get? A big, fat middle finger to the fans, the cast and whoever else Ball's ditching with his exit.
Alan Ball has left the building ladies and gentleman, and if you don't get the message it's time to follow him out the door, well, you're just not paying attention. After all, the title of the episode was "Save Yourself."
Wow, tensions are high at the Big Brother house. Lots of yelling, most of it from Frank. Without Boogie around to be his creepy, Burgess Meredith-esque blankie, it seems Frank is a lot more comfortable ripping into the other hamsters. Of course, he has no reason not to do so. Though the other hamsters cower in fear when he raises his voice, he knows he's only hanging on by a thread -- and when he can't win POV or HOH at a critical time, the seemingly meek rodents will come after him with kitchen cutlery and spatulas, desperately trying to pancake-flip him out of the house.
I don't know about y'all, but I haven't been all that impressed by the intelligence of the hamsters on "Big Brother" this season.
One way or the other, Thursday's (August 23) episode will make the end of one of the dumbest Head of Household reigns in recent memory. It wasn't that Dim-Bulb Pretty Boy Shane did the wrong thing with his nominations. When the opportunity to get rid of Mike Boogie and 21st Century William Katt Frank presents itself, you have to take it. But watching Shane justify his picks on Wednesday's episode was comically awkward, as he threw Britney under the bus and Britney tacitly threw Dan under the bus and Dan sat in stoic silence throwing himself under the bus. The lone beneficiary of all of the bus-throwing on Wednesday was Ian, whose status as undercover-weasel remains safe.
But how long would Anemic Harry Potter Ian be able to keep that secret? Would Boogie be able to convince enough people to vote Jenn out to survive another week? And how many combined sentient statements would Shane and Ashley -- Seriously, how have those two not hooked up yet? -- be able to make in an hour?
So, Shane made his power move, placing Frank and Boogie squarely on the block. Whether or not he'll really get rid of one of them, of course, is a bigger question mark than the one on that weird ball machine that showed up on Sunday. Frank has had more comebacks than Sylvester Stallone, and Boogie is, well, Boogie. For them, this isn't over until the fat lady sings, goes on "Biggest Loser," wins the competition and gets her own inspirational talk show.
One way to tell the season of "True Blood" is almost over: only half the scenes in this week's episode felt like tiresome dead ends, compared to the usual 75-80%. "Sunset" was all about setting up the finale, and having that finish line in sight brought a little urgency to the season's meandering storylines.
It also brought many of the characters closer together (while relegating Terry and Arlene to a single scene and Lafayatte to a single sassy line), while raising far more questions than next week's finale will likely have time to answer. Here are six of the biggest:
We return to the hamsters' battle for HOH, which is old news to everyone who subscribes to the CBS feed but, hey, let's not spoil it for everyone, right? Anyway, everyone's sliding and falling and dumping greasy brown liquid into tubs. Not everyone is dumping their liquid into their HOH tub, of course -- some are playing for safety, and Boogie is playing for $10,000 all by himself. Frank is justifiably pissed that Boogie isn't going for HOH, as he can't compete and the only alliance he can trust is the one he has with Boogie. But hey, Boogie is just a struggling college student, knee deep in student loans. Hmmm, I know that's not right… so why not try to, you know, win HOH?
Well, Frank (who is just too crazy good at these competitions -- take that, Comp Queen Janelle) controlled the house with both HOH and POV status, so Wil and Joe remain on the block. Yes, Frank could have tried to throw Dan under the bus, but Boogie prevailed. The alliances of the Silent Six and the Quack Pack are still in effect. Although I almost want Ian out just so I never have to hear Quack Pack used in a sentence again, although I suspect some fast food joint is already planning to use it for a chicken sandwich combo.
Here's something different: an unusually focused hour of "True Blood" that connected the dots between (almost) all of its various storylines.
No Ifrit. No hate group. No wolf pack. While the result was still of a piece with the disappointing season overall, it was less of a headache than usual. So let's get this over with, quick...
So, Janelle is gone, Frank is in the catbird seat, and Boogie is on top of the world. Of course Boogie's on top of the world. My frustration with that decrepit little Burgess Meredith wannabe is that he's so darn cocky -- and then, that same blazing egotism seems to be reinforced by the weak, lemming-like hamsters left in the house. Of course everyone (except for clueless, friendless Joe) voted for Janelle to go home. Was it good for everyone's game? Of course not! But gee whiz, Frank is so charming and Boogie is soooo good at this game, why not do their bidding?