Ain't It Cool News (


I am – Hercules!!

Come out, come out, my little reality-hating talkbackers.

If you thought Coaxial News was slow during the first half of the summer, just you wait. “Big Brother 4” starts tonight, and that means Herculean hibernation.

Herc never missed an episode of the first three seasons of “Big Brother” on CBS, and he inevitably and obsessively watches the Internet’s live feeds until the last contestants are finally booted back to their real lives.

The show’s audience (and critical acclaim) grows with every successive summer. Even my lanky, cranky archrival Kristin over at E! came to fully embrace the enterprise at the end of last year’s third edition. Indeed, America now understands that people really do go nuts inside that little house, throughly bereft as it is of anything resembling a relief valve. It’s a big simmering three-month cauldron of love, hate, plotting, paranoia and plain old-fashioned bad behavior. Cut off from television, music and news from the outside, contestants have as a source of entertainment only other contestants.

Why does it rank right up there among Herc’s very favorite reality shows? Because of the Internet feed - and because CBS airs live segments several times a week - less can be hidden from the viewing audience. Things aren’t edited out and edited together to service long-term storylines, because no one knows where anything is going. Castmates also can’t sneak away for snog sessions (the way they do over at “The Real World”). Because the cameras never go away (ever), everyone either has to spend a month keeping their guards up 24/7 - or unleash their real selves.

Plus? There’s so much of it. Many balk at having to commit to three hours of primetime every single week, but I like the longform, I like lots of continuity, I like that the producers have less to edit out.

Plus plus? It was well over 100 degrees today here in beautiful Studio City, halter-top capital of the world and the site of the “Big Brother” domicile. The house is teeming with skinny, bikini-clad twentysomethings.

Meet Herc’s new neighbors here.

Tuesdays 8 p.m. (opposite “Gilmore Girls”). Wednesdays 9 p.m. (opposite “Paradise Hotel”). Fridays 8 p.m. (opposite not much of anything). CBS.

Bonus! A few words about some other reality shows:

* “Project Greenlight” is even better this year. The winning directors made some really funny shorts all by their lonesome, and now they’re battling the producers for creative control. 10:30 p.m. Sundays. HBO. Right after “The Wire.”

* Like many with hateful memories of “Make Me Laugh,” I was not looking forward to NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” But guess what? “Last Comic Standing” is actually pretty wonderful. Remember how Kathy Griffin saved “Celebrity Mole” by making fun of all the other celebs? This is a reality show with a house full of stand-up comedians making fun of each other and every conceivable thing around them. Most of the comics have been kicking around the comedy circuit for a while and have developed some pretty quick wits. Two of them – Minnesota’s Dave Mordel and Texas’ Ralphie May (who looks and sounds a great deal like a clean-shaven Harry Knowles) – are incessantly and offhandedly hilarious. The only real downside to the show is its embarrassing immunity competitions, which continue to prevent the house from voting out Tess. Tuesdays 9 p.m. Hey! That’s tonight! (Comedy Central repeats it 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday)

* MTV’s “The Osbournes” has never been better, thanks to the increasingly dysfunctional antics of Kelly and Jack. In addition to tonight’s usual new 10:30 p.m. episode, I believe Jack’s “Back From Rehab” special airs at 11 p.m. tonight.

* NBC’s “For Love Or Money” was the top-rated reality show last week, so don’t be surprised if Monday night’s big finale (which saw the winner actually GAMBLE EVERY CENT OF HER MILLION-DOLLAR WINNINGS on “For Love Or Money 2”) delivered monster ratings. “For Love Or Money 2,” with part one’s winner choosing a mate from among 15 men, inherits the Monday 9.p.m. timeslot starting next week.

* “American Idol” sucks. “Star Search” sucks. “Fame” sucks. “American Juniors” is useless. “Dog Eat Dog,” “Meet My Folks” and “Paradise Hotel” are not unwatchable. “America’s Next Top Model” (concluding tonight at 9) has hooked Mighty Herc, thanks to fetching med student Elyse and all the naked models modelling nakedly last week. “Amazing Race 4” continues to amaze, featuring as it does models and virgins.

Must rest up now.

I am – Hercules!!

Readers Talkback
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  • July 8, 2003, 4:41 a.m. CST

    holy shit, and this one'll be a real mind job too

    by BRTick


  • July 8, 2003, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Make Me Laugh

    by zacdilone

    Which one are you dissing, Herc? The original one was a hoot. I never saw the second version, but the first had Gallagher! And Bobby Van as the host! What more could you want? "Tonight on the Brady Bunch, Cindy makes suggestive moves during hopscotch." Classic!!

  • July 8, 2003, 10:58 a.m. CST

    That one director on PROJECT GREENLIGHT...

    by Mister Pink

    is a totally narcissistic, egomaniacal, self-absorbed, control freak fucking douchebag.......He'll do well in Hollywood.

  • July 8, 2003, 11:23 a.m. CST

    I agree

    by supershauna

    Big Brother is second only to the Amazing Race. So Herc, is it worth paying for the live feed? do you see any good stuff or do we end up seeing most of the juicy bits on the show?

  • July 8, 2003, 11:31 a.m. CST

    what you see on the internet BB feed...

    by Mister Pink

    is pretty much the cast sitting around and talking about mundane, boring bullshit. They're really only "on' for the live telecast. On the plus side you do get to see some developments early...fights, alliances, the winners of endurance contests...but you have to sit through hours of empty space to get to that stuff. You don't get to see the chicks get naked, either, unfortunately.

  • July 8, 2003, 11:40 a.m. CST

    I just went to the website. These people are idiots and poseurs

    by the G-man

    One says her personal hero is Britney Spears. The other two women simply mouth affirmation slogans like "losing is not an option." The only way I'd watch these people would be if the house was on fire.

  • July 8, 2003, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Last Comic Standing is great!

    by JPanic

    Minnesota Dave kicks ass! My whole family is torn between rooting for him and that Vietnamese kid.

  • July 8, 2003, 12:18 p.m. CST

    And America's Next Top Model needs a Talkback.....

    by JPanic

    Elyse and Adrienne need their own show on UPN. You hear me, UPN? Dump Enterprise and the Hip-Hop Twilight Zone and give these two gals two hours every week! Now!

  • July 8, 2003, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by radio1_mike

    BB is pretty good, much better than Survivor. This is because it is mundane and everyone can understand it. I mean, you think you might be able to eat the bug or skin that rat on Survivor. But everyone knows that no one past the age of 2, could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a straight week. Try not going crazy from that! That's real drama.

  • July 8, 2003, 12:59 p.m. CST

    AICN missed part of the BB4 story

    by spaceman_spiff

    I find it interesting that "Ain't It Cool" TOTALLY missed the story that one of the Houseguests has ALREADY been booted from the show, even before it started.

  • July 8, 2003, 1:28 p.m. CST

    BB4? Youyanks get it as well?!?

    by MichaelJackass

    My god, the world really has gone to shit. Big Brother 4, over here at least, is shit at the best of times. I simply can't imagine a version filled with loud-mouthed, over-excited, over-acting americans! "Reality" tv? Please don't make me laugh. Cha'mone muthafuckas!

  • July 8, 2003, 1:53 p.m. CST

    American Idol? Don't knock it until you've seen three performanc

    by Lenny Nero

    You get hooked.

  • July 8, 2003, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Big Brother is Finished in the UK

    by Roborob

    Yes you hear it right, The UK's love affair with Big Brother is over. After years of watching wannabe Celebs the latest Audience figures are at there lowest ever. I have NEVER been intrested in Big Bore now it seems the public agree with me. I think it is time to get back to decent dramas ie CSI. Of course if there is finally sex in the Big Brother UK house then I think the public will go back to it. Mind you since when did thr public have brains?

  • July 8, 2003, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Remember how Peter Griffin mentioned it on that episode of Famil

    by scythe1138

    "Just like that Big Brother show. . .except this time somebody will be watching."

  • July 8, 2003, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Last Comic Standing is a joke!

    by UncleSam

    Jay Mohr is upset that people in reality show are underserving of fame unlike comics. That's why they call it fifteen minutes of fame. What makes his show suck is that the people who were chosen to live in the house were chosen by their peers and not by the public. Some of these judges chose their friends, i.e. Colin Quinn picking that Vas guy. Most of them aren't even funny.

  • Paradise Hotel isn't bad. It can suck you in as well as big brother. I hate that they're pitting them against each other though. I can only PVR one thing at a time, so I'll have to get out the old dusty videotape for one of them.

  • July 9, 2003, 6:27 a.m. CST


    by silentbobafett2

  • July 9, 2003, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Who got booted?

    by akirakid

    Hate the fact that there is not a gay member this year especially with the potential of one of their exes coming on. And none of the guys have the "hottie" potential that Roddy, Eric, or Hardy did from BB2&3. But who is this Jon, and why did he get booted early?

  • July 9, 2003, 11:26 a.m. CST

    OK, that Jun chick is remotely fine, but other than that...

    by Terry_1978

    this tripe is not worth the time slot it stole.

  • July 9, 2003, 11:43 a.m. CST

    jojn/bb4 (uk)

    by theNimbin

    Jon was a contestant on the UK big brother, he was up for eviction for the first 3 weeks, but didnt leave until the fourth week, much to the dismay of many of the other housemates. He was cool, he loved starwars and lotr stlye roleplay + stuff. He was also funny, but none of the other BB housemates got him. The only other good contestant was Federico (from Glasgow!!!) he was funny too, but the housemates didnt get him either.The public didnt like him cos he had voiced some strong opinions about women. Both he and jon were evicted on the same night in a double eviction, effectively ending any chance of bb4 being really good. BB will still be back tho. In america do the contestants stay famous when they come out? There are plenty of old BB contestants still hitting about UK tv. The first ever winner has been on tv every morning for about 4 years now, so he's doing ok. Last years winner also now presents breakfast tv...

  • July 9, 2003, 12:25 p.m. CST

    snm1266's question answered

    by Weezie-Fett

    I assume you are asking about the American version of Jon, who appeared on the website leading up to the show, and suddenly was removed. There are a few articles about this. He was replaced by a fifth EX soon before the show started. Speculation is that Jon has a very steady girlfriend that he does not want to cheat on. And BB4 wants all singles this year.

  • July 9, 2003, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Big Brother Rocks - Live feed is worth it

    by joeblowe

    Was very bored last night so picked up the live feed. Hilarious stuff, they played truth or dare and every dare was sexual. Damn good show.

  • July 9, 2003, 9:57 p.m. CST


    by Captain Comicz

    Big Brother, Survivor, reality TV suck. The horse is beyond dead and beaten! Give it up! How about original idea????!!!!!....Hmmmmm?

  • July 10, 2003, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Moughaha, the superior UK

    by uksimian

    Here in the UK we got a channel dedicated to big brother and you can do interactive on it and watch 2 live feeds 24 hours a day and 2 other screens which show the interesting parts of the previous few hours. Although I must admit that our big brother is pretty boring and the people aint super models like in the US house.

  • July 10, 2003, 1:55 p.m. CST


    by Juggernut

    If people were as interested or concerned about their own lives as they are about the lives of a bunch of idiots in a house, the world would be a better place. Stop all this Reality crap and concentrate on the lives of the people around you.

  • July 12, 2003, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Realoty shows are roughly equlivlent to masterbation. . .

    by McCormic

    Not the most intertaining thing one could use that medium for.