Channel Surfing with CT: BIG BROTHER, KINGS, HARPER’S ISLAND & More

I ain’t gonna lie: Each and every summer, I become an addict and BIG BROTHER is the drug I crave. So of course, I tuned in last night for the season premiere. I had high hopes that the much-touted “mystery guest” would turn out to be Janelle, one of the most-loved houseguests in memory. But in the end, we wound up with musclehead moron Jessie. CBS’s bio of the guy calls him “the all American boy next door” but in reality the guy is an egotistical hothead with more issues than Entertainment Weekly. Early faves? While it’s hard to say since the opening hour didn’t offer a whole lot of insight into the houseguests, hottie Jeff came off as a pretty decent guy, while brainy Michelle would win my “first impression” rose if this were THE BACHELOR. Something tells me Chima is going to get annoying real quick and that Laura’s boobs — sure to be featured in men’s magazines from coast-to-coast — will be much discussed in chat rooms.

If there’s one show that I’m extremely distressed about the cancellation of, it has to be KINGS. While the first episode left me somewhat cold, it quickly found its footing and became a fascinating blend of almost lyrical dialogue, operatic storytelling and dynamic acting, particularly on the parts of Ian McShane and and Susanna Thompson as King Silas Benjamin and his queen, Rose. If you want to see television at its finest, go to or and watch the episode titled “The Sabbath Queen”, in which secrets come to light during a blackout in the kingdom. It saddens me to no end that this show will soon conclude it’s run — although I’m glad to know that it will, reportedly, have a satisfying conclusion — so as to make room for yet more reality television. One recent twist in the story that came out of left field was the off-screen death of socialite-turned-Minister Of Information Katrina Ghent (played by the gorgeous Leslie Bibb, who seems to be popping up all over the place recently). The rivalry between Katrina and the queen was one of the highlights of recent episodes, so I was saddened by the character’s departure.

This weekend brings the two-hour finale of HARPER’S ISLAND, and friends who have seen the episode — which has already aired in Canada — say it is phenomenal. I won’t lie: the previous episode’s final moments, in which good-guy Cal was dispatched and his gorgeous girlfriend, Chloe, killed herself rather than allowing the psychotic murderer to do her in (“You can’t have me,” she said before taking a fatal plunge) actually left me crying. Kudos to CBS for not only launching the daring, limited-run series but, more importantly, for continuing to air it even after ratings proved disappointing. Other networks (cough*FOX*cough) could learn a thing or two from CBS’s example.

The things I do for you people. A few days ago, I checked out the premiere of NBC’s GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP, which should probably be filed under “When Good Ideas Go Bad.” The concept is actually pretty fantastic: Seven families, each in a gigantic RV, traversing the famous Route 66 and taking part in competitions along the way. So far, so good… right? And then you meet the families. Unfortunately, the current trend in reality casting is to go for stereotypes. So of course, the Pollard family from Alabama is the most gun-lovin’, hickish clan they could find. And the DiSalvatore family of Yonkers, New York is loud, brash and headed by a guy who comes off as the love child of Brett Michaels and Joe Pesci, having inherited the worst traits of each. And I’m not sure what to make of host Reno Collier. I’m sure he’s a wonderful comedian, but I spent the entire hour wanting to tie the man’s hands to his side as he seemed completely incapable of speaking without holding them out as if he was Eva Peron appealing to the citizens of Argentina.

  • Tim

    I love Big Brother too. lol It is a guilty pleasure and Like U I was hoping Janelle was coming back. lol I guess twice was enough. Also, I can’t wait for the last ep of “harper’s island.’ I think Chloe is alive and she’ll be the one to kill the killer. lol U know- she passed out in the water and will awaken for the last 10 minutes. lol Well, we’ll see.

  • SimplyKimberly

    I am SO addicted to BB. The live feeds consume my summers. Michele is my early favorite. Lydia my biggest disappointment. The one I wanted to come back was Brian. He is smart and funny and I would have loved to have seen him get another shot at the game.

    And I sneaked a peek at spoilers for Harper’s Island. I was pretty sure I knew who the killer was and I was right. I am going to miss this show after tomorrow night. When the DVD comes out I am definitely getting it.

  • ct

    I’m gonna buy the DVD of harper’s too, as well as Kings.

    I’m going with Jeff on Big Brother. No good reason except that he’s hawt.

  • Pookie

    Very distraught about Kings. Why aren’t people watching this. It’s great. BB watcher need to check it out to know what’s being canceled. Evil Dick and Amber would want you to. I love BB, and there’s room for both BB and Kings.

    Katrina, bumped off too early.

  • Megan

    Big brother was pretty good, and Harper’s Island was awesome ( Sometimes it pays big to be Canadian ;) ).

    My only regret is missing a few episodes of Harper’s Island in between, I will be buying the DVD so i can watch beginning to end.

  • AJ

    I also admit that I am a closet BB fanatic. I didn’t get to watch the premiere, however, so I’m already behind. I think they should have let america pick who went back in!!! since BB likes even numbers, however, I can’t help but wonder if they won’t be adding another former HG later in the season. lol, or maybe this janelle fan is just being overly hopeful. lol, then again, taking 3rd in a 3rd season would be pretty discouraging, lol.

  • Bobbi

    Oh my God! I just watched Harper’s Island. Unbelievable! I did not see that coming. What a great show. I can not believe it did not get good ratings.People don’t know what they missed. I’m only sorry it’s over. there are too few good shows to watch

  • Mel

    I loved Kings, too. Ian McShane is a genius (see Deadwood). NBC did not give this show the time it needed to grow and for people to engage in it. NBC is throwing away a great show and a brilliant actor. Another network should jump on this show if it’s not too late.

  • Margaret

    Loving ‘Kings – looking forward to seeing the people turn against King Silas now.