Who needs Love Island when Big Brother is delivering queer romantic drama without even trying? (Picture: ITV)
It’s almost like he’s been tallying up the smooches in his diary each night, circling J with a heart.
‘Oh, that’s more times than I was aware of,’ she replied. Us too, babe.
‘It’s playing with my emotions a bit,’ bemoaned Henry, adding that he wanted clarity. Could this signal some developing action on a rainy midweek evening?
Pinky-promising Trish to keep schtum, Henry quickly panicked before revealing he’d ‘never felt this emotion before’.
Would the burgeoning flirtation between Jordan and poodle-haired, twinkly-eyed doctor Matty come in-between Henry and his beloved? (Picture: Shutterstock for Big Brother)
I sat on the edge of my seat, eager as the housemates themselves for some tender diffusion after the heated fight between Dylan and Trish (concerning a surprise eviction) that had rocked the house. I couldn’t help but wonder where this info would land with Jordan.
Moreover, would the burgeoning flirtation between Jordan and poodle-haired, twinkly-eyed doctor Matty come in-between Henry and his beloved? But, as Henry pulled Trish for a chat, I realised I was having deja-vu.
With summer a distant memory, I pondered: Who needs Love Island when Big Brother is delivering queer romantic drama without even trying? I was in this for the long-haul.
In Wednesday night’s episode alone, we saw Jordan innocently slapping Matty in a soap-operatic role-play fight (‘So why did you say that, b***h?’) while a strained Henry looked on and anxiously fumbled with his giant copper wine glass.
In the bedroom some time later, BB narrated saucily: ‘Jordan has a bone to pick with Matty,’ as their mega flirty faux-spat hotted up. With no sign of poor lovestruck Henners, Jordan lamented that Matty brings out his silly side like no other and confessed his feelings.
But the ultra-woke doctor meant strictly business. ‘I think we need an actual serious conversation.’ Jordan rolled his eyes in only the way Jordan can. He was clearly devastated at the agreed cool-off – though even through the coding, it was supremely obvious Matty was still keen.
Meanwhile, Henry was in the Diary room whining about the ‘strange happening’ between the other two. ‘It’s becoming all-consuming’, he said of the blurred lines. ‘Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of it,’ he reflected somewhat awkwardly as the other pair certainly didn’t seem to be thinking about him a jot. ‘I feel like I’m almost losing Jordan a bit.’
Little did we know what was to come.
As the past few seasons of Love Island have aired, many have complained that it’s becoming all the more clinical, detached, inauthentic and dry.
Some have asked why the show is still so heteronormative. Granted, there has been Megan Barton-Hanson, Sharon Gaffka and the brief same-sex coupling of Sophie Gradon and Katie Salmon, but why have small gestures like this when you can get a full-blown love triangle?
BB has already been impressing with its ratings and audience engagement, with views massively surprising its ITV producers, after canned runs on rivals Channel 4 and 5.
And in stark comparison to LI, the crushes are organic, which feels much more updated and authentic. The formatting of forced dates and choosing partners feels rather passe at best, and at worst diminutive and borderline non-consensual.
There also feels like a degree of social and anthropological interest and desire for self-expansion for this year’s BB stars that feels more fascinating and less fame-oriented than LI’s stars’ intentions.
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You just can’t see Jordan clocking up the brand deal coin in his head. His fashion choices feel strictly functional – and contestants seem to be geared more towards bettering themselves and becoming more self-possessed than self-obsessed.
As such, we can hardly wait to see what develops, helped by the charisma of the droll and handsome Jordan, and puppylike bounce of Matty. We’ve lost count of how many times they’ve been flirting while Henry lolls about next to them waiting for his charity smooch.
As for what will happen next in our favourite love triangle, it’s anyone’s guess but it appears Henry might be barking up the wrong tree.
Jordan shared in the diary room last night: ‘I don’t think [Henry] feels anything romantic towards me. Definitely not. And I wouldn’t like him to at all… In jest, I’ve kissed him. A peck or two. Not three. By the same token, I’ve kissed Chanelle as a joke… I’m more attracted to Chanelle than I could be to Henry.’ Oof.
What feels inherently new and exciting about BB and its queer love plot is that the three come from really different backgrounds and relationship histories. We’ve heard about Matty’s well-communicated long-term partner and their open relationship, as well as Jordan’s spicy three and foursomes: ‘I was young once!’ uttered the 26-year-old saucepot.
It’s also refreshing to see all body types and capabilities repped, unlike the parade of washboard abs and able-bodied generic model looks of Love Island.
With the moany kitchen-centric non-problems of most of this year’s contestants sending us to sleep, and LGBTQI+ icon Hallie now evicted, Big Brother has struck inclusive gold with its escalating romantic dilemma.
So does the heart always want what it can’t have?
In all its real guts and glory, this new vein of telenovela-style reality TV has injected more life and love through our TV screens into our autumn lounges than Love Island ever did.
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Big Brother has struck inclusive gold with its escalating romantic dilemma.