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I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! Episode 9 & 10 Recap: Unrequited Love

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I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is all about generating conflict, and the producers know it. Too bad there's more controversy surrounding the show on blogs and message boards than there is within the actual show. I keep going back and forth: I know the show is bad, but is it the good kind of bad? Or is it just bad? I can't tell. I guess that means the show is keeping me guessing... but the question I'm trying to answer is not a particularly good one for NBC to pose in the first place.

Yes, I am occasionally entertained. I may hate Janice, but that's what makes her an interesting character. I understand things like that. But I'm beginning to realize that, while some of the conflicts generated on the show are entertaining at first, they've mostly gone unrequited.

In Tuesday night's episode, Lou decided to film a slasher movie with a handheld digital video camera, and the sequence was surprisingly fun to watch. When they all sat down for a viewing, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, when they got to the end of the home movie, I was unpleasantly shocked to find that the killer was never revealed, at least not to us. I trust Lou enough to assume that he included that reveal in his film, but why didn't the producers of I'm A Celebrity show us? As I pondered this, I realized it was a perfect metaphor for the entire show: all set-up, no satisfying resolutions.

Examples:

Sanjaya and Holly

They spent a lot of time building up this budding romance. Too bad Sanjaya just wants to be Holly's gay best friend. Look, I couldn't care less if he's actually gay or not, but if he really wanted Holly, he wouldn't offer to be her best friend, gay or otherwise. I'll be surprised if this conflict is ever resolved.

John and Patti

I don't know what the producers are trying to manufacture here, but there's no way this happens, no matter how amazingly scandalous it would be. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to actually see this happen, but it would be pretty dramatic. Sorry Rod.

Janice Dickinson

She's the antagonist. Great. She makes me want to throw things at the TV. I like feeling that way--sometimes. But when is someone going to do something about it? When is someone going to really stand up to her and not back down? I hope she doesn't go home Thursday night so that we can have a real resolution to her "character" and conflicts.

Stephen Baldwin opting out of the immunity challenge

Interesting set-up, even though it shouldn't be allowed. But where's the discussion? Why didn't the other celebrities attack him for this decision? Why aren't they plotting behind his back? If this were Survivor, or any game where the contestants actually cared about winning, that decision would not have gone unpunished.

Sanjaya singing and cooking

John Salley didn't like either one. So he complains. He moans. He talks about Sanjaya behind his back. And then what? Nothing. I guarantee we never hear about this again. I guess that's not such a bad thing. Their argument over oily pasta was mind-numbing.

Every food challenge

Some of them are fun to watch, some of them are monotonous and absurd, but the end result is always the same: twenty minutes later, we get to see food drop from a basket and half of the celebrities eat it. It may be a reward for them, but watching other people eat Chinese food is not good television. The Food Network is more entertaining and has bigger celebrities participating.

The end of every episode

I don't understand why the producers can't figure out how to build a show around an interesting, live conclusion and why they can't budget enough time to make it happen every episode. At the end of Wednesday's episode, all we learned was that Janice was not in the top two, and Patti was not in the bottom two. For once, Janice was right when she said, "What does that mean?" But more importantly, why are we being told this at the end of an episode? Is it supposed to be exciting or dramatic in any way?

I will be pleasantly surprised if any of these set-ups have adequate conclusions by the end of this series. Unfortunately, adequacy is something that all too often seems out of reach for I'm A Celebrity.