Big Brother
It's kind of amazing how, between each summer of watching strangers sit around a house, I can completely block out all the inane rules about the Head of Household and the Power of Veto. But even more amazing is how quickly it all comes back to me. I'm kind of intrigued by the "summer of secrets" concept, which seems more harmless than last season's "Surprise, you have a brother you never knew about and this will rock your family!" (Ah, good ol' Nakomis; I haven't thought about her in nine months. Scary.) Anyway, it's fun trying to figure out who's partnered with whom and such. But I have to say that Ivette's going to have to be a little sneakier about trying to hide the fact that she likes girls instead of boys. I mean, my coworker Kerri and I guessed it when we were scanning the bios earlier this week. Biggest tip-off? She listed her favorite show as The L-Word. She should reveal it, because so far she and the rest of the cast mates seem a bit blah, and they could use some new info to spice things up. And if she doesn't want to reveal her sexual orientation, she could just do what James did and make up some facts about herself. Otherwise, it is going to be a looooonnnng summer.

Rachel won the first HOH and tortured Howie a bit by revealing his key last in the nominating-for-elimination round. It was kind of fun to see the cocky guy sweat a little. My early favorite is Sarah; she seems sweet and good-natured, and if the other Brothers don't eat her alive, she might go far. Unfortunately I think Kaysar (pronounced Kay-sir) isn't long for this TV world, especially if the Power of Veto has anything to do with basketball, because his aim could use some work.

And as for all the fuss about the house, I'm not that impressed. Sure, it's bigger and more colorful, but really, it's still just a set piece. And making a deal about the pool? It isn't even in-ground! OK, that might be difficult to install in a back lot, but above-ground pools are so cheesy. I have a hard time believing that the same set designer who brought that beautiful HOH room to life signed off on that decision. But if there really is a secret room, that might change my mind. I've always loved houses where you could open a hidden door and go behind the bookcases. Wait, I've never actually been in one, just exposed to too much Scooby-Doo as a child. Anyway, despite my qualms about the overhyped digs, I am holding out hope that this will be a fun group. If not, at least I can spend my time counting the minutes until the inevitable couple — Howie and Janelle — hook up, because in the Big Bro realm, the biggest egomaniac always gets the girl with the biggest, um, assets, regardless of the artificial nature of the pairing. — Angel Cohn

Being Bobby Brown
10:01 pm Why does Bobby want to buy himself an expensive woman's watch? Love that Whitney said no.
10:02 Still liking the opening theme song.
10:03 I'm concerned that Bobbi Kristina is punching her daddy Bobby so violently.
10:04 Interesting how, right after they enter Harrods, Whitney asks Bobby, "Why are you so loud?" and then screams "Bobby!"
10:05 Was it really necessary for Bobby to say "I ain't gay" after being told he looked gay in the leather jacket he was trying on?
10:09 After four breathtaking minutes of watching them go shopping, we are treated to the scene of Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed handing Bobby some "double-action" Egyptian Viagra. Yowza.
10:10 Nice close-up shot of a very sad-looking Bobbi Kristina. Perhaps this show should be called "Poor Bobbi Kristina"?
10:20 Whitney and Bobby's faux British accents sound just like Madonna's faux British accent.
10:23 Bobby gets embarrassingly drunk, causing Whitney to say, "If you drink one more ****ing thing, I swear I'm going to fight you!" Riveting television.
10:24 Whitney scares me when using baby talk to lure Bobby into their limo.
10:29 Drunk Bobby walks around their hotel room and can't get his dangling shoe untied or off his foot and utters this week's best line to Whitney: "Why is my shoe following me?" Whitney then looks at the camera as if to say, "See what I live with?"

Next week: Bobby goes shopping for a gun, and he and Whitney have a cookout. Oh, goody!
Dave Anderson

Miss our coverage of last Thursday's TV? Click here for our recaps.

Got a comment for one of our Watercooler writers? Send it in via the feedback box at the bottom of the page.

Click here to listen to's weekly Podcast featuring our staff's colorful take on the past week in entertainment. And don't forget to tell us what you think of it by calling 212-626-2525.