‘They’re torturing her’: Big Brother cringe
Big Brother rose from the dead last night and premiered on Channel 7 with a tea bag scandal - ignited by the perfect kind of out-of-touch and self-important reality contestant Australia needs right now.
What? Don't act like I should provide more context around the phrase "tea bag scandal". It is what it is. I honestly don't know what else you could be thinking a "tea bag scandal" is.
JAMES WEIR RECAPS: Read all the recaps here
"Twenty housemates will be sealed off from society," Big Brother threatens in the intro and we don't bat an eye because being sealed off from society in a house has literally been the past two months of our lives in lockdown. And now lockdown restrictions are just starting to ease, do we really want to spend our nights cooped up at home watching other people in isolation? I feel claustrophobic already.
The premiere opens with sweeping drone footage over Sydney's iconic harbour which is visually breathtaking but also irrelevant because it literally has nothing to do with the experiment or the house or the people trapped inside it. If we wanted to see gratuitous photography of Sydney's coastline we'd look at Instagram on a Saturday.
We finally arrive at the Big Brother house which has been erected on an abandoned lot in the suburbs and it becomes immediately apparent there's going to be multiple neighbour complaints about the garish statement lights in the front garden.
So after many iterations and a two-year hiatus, Big Brother is back. What has changed? Well, it's all prerecorded now. Boo. Perhaps the most impressive change is host Sonia Kruger now has a lob and it's honestly stunning.
I'm not going to lie - we meet a lot of underwhelming people tonight. If you didn't see the episode, your time will not be wasted with an endless roll call of bozos who do not matter. We all feel sorry for Sonia. She has to stand out the front of the neon crap shack and welcome everyone as their Ubers pull up one-by-one like she's The Bachelorette.
The first contestant we meet is Keiran. He drives a Toyota Echo and tries way too hard to win us all over. Ugh, we hate when contestants are too aware of the cameras. The only inauthentic thing we want in our reality TV contestants is their lips. And teeth. And bad hair extensions they've bought on the internet.
Other than that, we only want genuine souls.
"I haven't got any limits … If Big Brother asks me to steal people's tooth brushes in the middle of the night and run around the house naked, I'd do that," he gushes to Sonia.
Ooh, things are looking up! Another toothbrush-gate! Immediately, we're impressed Big Brother isn't too proud to steal a bit of Married At First Sight magic. They're giving the people what they want - and the people want toothbrush tampering.
Then we meet Dan and he's a failed footballer and he tries to flirt with Sonia and then she has to awkwardly laugh at his bad jokes and if she wanted to be involved in this kind of embarrassing situation she would've stayed working with Jimmy Barnes' kid.
Producers are just torturing Sonia now and they send in Ian.
"Social situations scare me a lot," he tells her before showing photos of his rock collection and confessing his yen for medieval folk music.
It's like Sonia's been seated next to the weird cousins at Christmas lunch and she has to make small talk with them.
It's around the time Ian offers to demonstrate his skills as a talented spoon player that Sonia calls Network Ten to see if there's any way she can go work on Dancing With The Stars again. Host, judge, caterer - she doesn't care at this point.
Producers have stunt cast the group with a celebrity contestant. Please welcome Robert Irwin!
Next up is Alan who works in corporate sales and we immediately determine he probably has several HR complaints made about him every week.
"I'm the best! I'm better than everyone in the office - it's my mindset, it's my mentality," he tells us before referring to himself exclusively in the third person.
"The colleagues above me like me - but it's all the ones I'm competing with who don't like me. I'm a winner. I win."
We feel confident in assuming Alan's colleagues will do something gross to his keyboard tomorrow morning if they haven't already.
"Alan is here!" he yells, bounding into the house and pumping his fists in the air as Angela pulls up outside.
The moment we meet Angela, our concerns suddenly evaporate and we know - without a doubt - she will save this rickety show. She's intelligent, grounded and unlike all the other superficial wannabes on this series.
"My nickname is Ange-a-licious," she tells us as footage plays of her breaking social distancing rules to get her nails done.
"It's hard work bringing all this chocolate together. But if you look good, you'll go further in life," she continues to inform us and we couldn't agree more. Finally, in these dark times, someone is brave enough to speak the truth.
"I grew up in the Beverly Hills of Kenya," she adds. Side note: They should totally do a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Kenya.
She then refers to the other housemates as her minions and, when Sonia laughs, Ange-a-licious shoots her a look and Sonia suddenly realises she has been lumped in with the minions. You better believe Sonia doesn't need to be told twice to lug Ange's suitcase inside.
Angela promptly swans into the diary room to tie up some loose ends.
"Welcome to my house," Big Brother tells her.
"Well, it's gonna be my house now, sooo," Ange smiles.
"This is my house, Angela," Big Brother asserts.
"Well, we'll see about that," she nods.
"It's mine," Big Brother spits.
"I'm residing in here, and you're out there, soooo …" she raises her eyebrows with a smirk.
"Seriously, b*tch, it's mine," Big Brother huffs.
"Well, it's mine now," she continues.
"It's mine. Mine! THIS HOUSE IS MINE," Big Brother loses his cool.
"It's OUR house," she pacifies him, before looking down the camera at us and mouthing: "It's mine."
"MINE!" Big Brother booms.
"I love our house," she sighs before running out so she can have the last word.
Angela then gathers everyone in the kitchen and holds court at the island bench top.
"Welcome to my house!" she greets the other contestants.
Big Brother is incensed. Who does Ange-a-licious think she is? He gets back at her the only way he can: by hiding the Lipton tea bags so she can't find them.
Ange marches back into the diary room.
"I've just gone through the pantry and there's no tea," she huffs.
"You will have to earn it in time," Big Brother giggles.
"Are you kidding me?" she spits back. "What are we supposed to do with the milk in the fridge?"
"Make porridge," Big Brother snips.
"Porridge? PORRIDGE?" her body starts to convulse and her mouth gargles. "Porridge is for people in the nursing home."
Again, in a time where voices are being silenced and real issues are being swept under the rug by those in power, it's just so good to see someone stand up for what they believe in.
Angela sashays into the kitchen and breaks a mug.
After the suspense of the tea bag storyline, nothing else quite reaches the same compelling height. The failed footballer goes to sleep and annoys everyone with his snoring and Adam yells "this is absolute abuse!" and we can't believe Sonia rejected his advances. Your loss, Kruges.
Then we get dragged to the basement for a nomination challenge where everyone has to compete and the winner gets to pick the three people up for elimination. Then the rest of the contestants vote which one of those losers gets booted out. It's as interesting as it sounds.
We get to the basement and find all the old equipment from Australian Spartan - that failed show Seven invented to compete with Ninja Warrior.
They repurpose all the machines and make up a weird challenge and, if we wanted to witness this, we'd just go to the gym at peak hour and watch people on the ellipticals.
Someone wins. We don't know her name. And she chooses three people to put up for elimination. Some chick called Laura gets booted out and everyone cries, even though they've literally known each other for seven hours.
We don't care. It's almost as if we have no emotional connection to these complete strangers. The only thing we're invested in is if Ange-a-licious will ever get teabagged.
It's truly the golden age of television.
Originally published as 'They're torturing her': Big Brother cringe