Big Brother:  So Long Until Maybe Next Year

Most people who know me knows that I go into Big Brother each year with high hopes.  I’ve watched since season six.  I’ve lived through the “four horsemen,” Evel Dick, Jessie and Dan’s funeral, the Derek/Frenchie era with little or no complaints.  I’ve seen good contestants like Jordan and Jeff and awful contestants like – well I’ll not name them.  I’ve recapped and watched hours of live feeds.  This year’s Big Brother has done me in.  I thought the bullying at the start of the season was bad enough only to have it come back, without the “mean girls,” but led by the following:  a lying, cheating weasel, a PoC who hates women, an original “mean girl” who I thought had learned, and a floater with no sense sof loyalty or who really seems to care.  There was I honest enough. 

The show had more issues than this.  Let’s start with the cast list.  There’s something off when we have no cast list until two days before the show premieres.  Yes, I know Covid reared its head again and one supposed contestant did America’s Got Talent, but we weren’t even given a whisper.  Then, to have the house guests enter live (only Julie in the audience) made it a little suspicious to me.  Typical house guests though led this year by a 20 something (who will remain nameless) girl who had a bad case of paranoia (being kind) and took an instant dislike to one of the other girls.  The reason:  she was a beauty queen, said things that the silly  leader didn’t like, and had nice clothes (or that’s how I saw it).  She poisoned (yes I said poisoned) the rest of the girls.  While things changed for our beauty queen, it was four weeks of isolation (which now seems to be returning).  The paranoid contestant – left the game supposedly of her own free will – but left the poison behind.  (She would make a great “Lady MacBeth!”)

Second major issue as the show aired for me was the theme.  They said “beach days” and summer carnival.  Instead, everything seemed off.  Instead of a beach theme, it appeared the show was going for backstage at the sleazy side show and recked of slimy, underhanded games.  Even the throne that was won by the “backstage boss” looked like it came out of an old movie like “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”   I also don’t think that people were “randomly” assigned to their game. I honestly think that this was rigged as the contestant and contest came up too quickly.  I have to question if the players had a fair shot at winning.  Remember, in the messy first game, it went straight down the line.

Moving along, shall we to the “gimmicks” or “themes.”  Gimmick is a better word.  The plan was to have three under the backstage boss with a free ride until the first eviction.  The one with America’s vote of the three would be safe while the one of the others would go up for eviction.  Great scheme until one backstage member became paranoid and left the game.  So, quickly, the show came up with “festie bestie” which set the teams up with a “bestie” for three weeks.  On paper this looks good until you realize that one of the “mean girls” took the isolated girl as her partner just to get her out.  Funny that this would have actually worked if six players hadn’t begun to realize what was happening.  So, after four times on the block, the group (Leftovers) saved her and a new alliance and hope for the season was born. Actually, I thought I might make it through the year.

While the backstage, carnival gimmick wasn’t bad enough, we got the “fests” with one group attending an inhouse “Coachella” style while the other group outside at “Drye” fest.  My question to producers (especially Allison) is:  what would have happened if the notorious LA weather had gotten bad.  The heat was bad enough but what about smog (breathing), torrential rains and flooding, or tornados or strong winds.  Oh, that’s right.  You did have gale force winds which allowed you to get out a fan favorite during Thursday’s eviction.

And that brings me to the real problem with this year’s Big Brother.  While “The Leftovers” was truly a very good alliance, an alliance is only as good as it’s weakest link.  Their weakest link turned out to be the one who founded the alliance, Kyle.  If I was to describe Kyle as seen by production, I would say the “fair hair kid.”  As a feeder and viewer who knows that television only broadcasts what the producers want, we saw a child man who liked to snitch.  Not only a snitch, he fell for the old showmance theme.  Granted, it took him several weeks to move into that mode but when he did it was with a “mean girl” who accepted him for the sweet boy he appeared even having a “10 second fling” under the covers.  Little did she know that he was running back to the larger group with her team’s information.  I think Kyle will probably win the game with his lying, cheating way because he gives production what they want – a showmance.  To me, he will always go down as “Allison’s good boy” who did what she asked.  It’s happened before – remember Jackson who won!

And Kyle brings another angle to the story.  When he first appeared, I didn’t see the underside of his character.  He came out as a racist in a big way by plotting his all white “Cookout 2”.  Producers have managed to keep this from the casual television viewers but it’s there.  It’s evident and known by feeders and those who read the feeds for what happened inside the house (more on feeders in a minute).  To the casual viewer, the show has been traditional Big Brother.  To the feeders and readers, the show has been one atrocity on top of another.  From the “mean girls” savage behavior to Kyle’s actions, we have followed it all. 

How bad has it been.  It’s been especially bad to the People of Color.  I’m Caucasian but loved the Cookout due to their strategy.  So, for me to watch as a PoC, Terrance, has attacked other people of color and women, I’ve become more angry as it progressed.  Terrance gets a special mention as he has made women cry, called Taylor all sort of negative names (which I refuse to type) and even made racial slurs against the only Middle Eastern person, Joseph, in the cast.  The last two happened this past week.  I don’t know if he thinks this will win him a prize (maybe booby) but it was about the last straw to break my viewing back.

This article is already too long.  Big Brother doesn’t deserve the press.  I’ll end it with a few facts:

The show has won its time slot but think of it this way.  During this season, it constantly won its time slot.  On Sundays I covered Riverdale.  While Big Brother won, Riverdale wasn’t that far behind and neither ratings are good.  Use to be in the 6 and 7 million.  Now they’re lucky to pull 3 million.  Granted, we have many more viewing options (and I plan to start watching other series myself).  The rise of streaming gives us that option now and we don’t have to rely to National television.

The show has given us interesting characters, especially Season 23.  Season 23 was an abnormality.  It had contestants that cared for each other with no bullying and strategic play.  Point that out to me for this season please and I’ll reconsider.

The show is still strong in the 18 to 45 age group.  Really?  Neilsen Ratings don’t really know how many members of a family really watch at any given time.  I know, my family when I was growing up was one! In conclusion, I want to offer my sincerest thanks and well wishes to “Hamsters,” “Joker’s Update,”  “Big Brother Daily,” and too many more that I can’t remember to mention.  I’ve been in your shoes and you have my admiration for sticking to this heavily produced “for casuals” show.  Thank you for giving me recaps so I don’t have to suffer the show that has been ruined by production.  Hopefully, we get more original producers who care for the contestants, the audience, and don’t cast according to script next year.  Also, could we please have better themes and a new house location?  If the producers and CBS do not change, I cannot speak to Big Brother’s future.

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