‘Big Brother’: Cody And Alex, The Odd Couple

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment

That gathering of muscles and bed-head hair we call Big Brother is back for a new summer season, and Wednesday night’s installment found Cody — current king of the coo-coo condo — pondering his power. Was this Head of Household wise to have nominated Alex — the woman who favors a kitty-cat-ears headband — for eviction? It is one of the quixotic charms of this game that in Big Brother, sometimes you demonstrate your admiration for a house-guest by suggesting he or she leave as soon as possible. Thus Cody’s dilemma: While he spoke to the camera of his admiration for Alex’s “game play,” his actions said, “I’m scared of her game play.”

Cody spent most of Wednesday’s hour trying to undo the tight spot into which he’d put Alex, to that end even coming close to throwing a tedious competition in which house-guests had to build little towers of fake starfish. The rest of the time, Cody did that extremely unnerving thing of his: having one-on-one conversations with people in which the other person does all the talking while he stands there, poker-faced and silent. It may help his strategy — no one, including me, knows what he’s thinking, although I suspect it’s usually something like, “Me want hamburger” — but it certainly does not yield scintillating chatter.

The new season is barely two weeks old, yet it is possible to pick favorites: after all, within the house, at least six people have already paired off into nuzzling couples, so why shouldn’t we? (Pick favorites, I mean — I wasn’t suggesting that you and I should team up.) I admit to a fondness for Jason, the rodeo clown who likes to wear a cowboy hat to hide his bald patch, and who doesn’t love Kevin, the Boston sharpie who refers to emojis as “mojo”s?

I will grant you there is a drama inherent in Elena, the “radio personality” whose lips seem to grow bigger with each episode. And it’s just a matter of time before ticking-time-bomb Josh explodes due to a self-created drama taking place solely within his skull. But even so pointlessly complicated a new “temptation” as the Pendant of Protection cannot render Paul an intriguing villain. In this, I agree with Cody (if indeed this is what Cody is thinking, because what Cody says or doesn’t say rarely matches what Cody does): Paul has to go.

Big Brother airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 p.m., and Sundays at 8 p.m., on CBS.

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