Big Brother 5
Top Four (Because Five Would Be Pushing It) Quotes of the Show:
Q: What do you get when you combine the basis of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (pop-culture-based quiz show with "dramatic" lighting, music, staging and pace) with elements of The Real World (seven adequately telegenic and obviously egocentric strangers living in the same apartment for a week prior to the show), Survivor (alliances and player-voted eliminations) and Jeopardy (a humorless Canadian-sounding host: "Sorry aboot that."), as well as smidgens of JRR Tolkien (inscribed rings worn around contestants' necks are tossed into the "pool of the seven" when redeemed to seek assistance from another player) and M. Night Shyamalan (creepy opening and whispered stage directions like "help me" and "answer the question")?
A: The remote.
Celebrity Poker Showdown
I know a lot of people are rabid for this show, but for the love of crumbcake, make this dang thing one hour instead of two. (A particularly ironic request given the fact that I think the rest of tonight's shows should downsize from 60 to 30 minutes per episode, but I digress.) More often than not unless Adam Rodriguez is playing we're seeing the first player head to the Losers Lounge after 10 pm, so why not just cut to the chase and start off mid-tournament? This installment is a perfect example. Things really didn't heat up until well into the second hour, after Arrested Development costars Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Judy Greer were systematically dispatched, and Mr. Jennie Garth (aka Peter Facinelli) went head-to-head with eventual winner and all-around oddball David "Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie" Cross. The final hands were pretty thrilling, but I started to worry about myself a bit after I excitedly informed my cat, Babu, that pocket fours are nicknamed sailboats.
Kevin and Drew Unleashed
Yee, doggie! How cute are these two NYC tough guys learning how to ride horses and rustle cattle? They even look surprisingly good in their donated cowboy hats. (Whoops, must be my strange affinity for Garth Brooks surfacing.) That said, I have to lodge one complaint about tonight's first stop at the cattle ranch: I'm not a vegetarian, I wear leather coats and shoes, but I really did not need to see that branding iron make sizzling contact with a colt's flesh. Never mind that it's just a barbarically primitive system of marking one's herd; I know how much it hurts when I'm making a Boboli and the top of my hand makes accidental split-second contact with the upper rack as I'm trying to dislodge the pizza pan from my teeny tiny oven.
Graham Norton Effect
Cingular Wireless dropped its sponsorship of Celebrity Poker because of viewer complaints about contestants drinking and making off-color remarks on camera, yet here it is buying ad time during a show that features, among other things, a clandestine cleavage cam that captures the wandering eyes of some unsuspecting boobs, er, male audience members and a raunchy pick-up-line contest adjudicated by champagne-sipping Sharon Stone and Mena Suvari. I'd repeat the winning come on for those of you who missed it, but I'd rather keep getting my cell-phone calls and voicemails.