After this season’s Big Brother, I honestly think that Big Brother needs some major changes made. The show had a good season in 2021 with players being more socially aware and understanding the “supposed” training that the producers gave them. This season, they had a house guest leave the show during the first days of production due to mental stress.
The blame cannot be placed only on the players. It also must be placed on the network, the production company, the executive producers and production crew and the contestants. CBS needs to decide if the program is worth the headache and bad press. If so, Big Brother and Fly-on-the-Wall Production needs to make some changes and I’m going to list a few here.
- All problems start at the top. Since this is not a CBS owned program, we need to start with the people that Fly on the Wall put in charge. The major player there is one Allison Grodner. When hard decisions are made, it is up to the executive producer to make them. Ms. Grodner seems unable or unwilling to call people out of bullying, racial slurs and comments and overall basic bad behavior in the house. This year we have had Taylor bullied, three house guests (Kyle, Michael, and Brittany) who have discussed using race to get people out, and one house guest (Terrance) who has a deep hatred toward women (especially Taylor). At times, I have wondered if Terrance would turn violent. These are issues that she didn’t try to deal with or hide from the public. With live feeds 24 hours, 7 days a week you can’t hide this type of ugliness. If not seen, your button pusher isn’t always fast enough to kill the live feeds during production and the live-feed updaters hear what happened and report it.
- Predetermined winners. While on the subject of Ms. Grodner, let’s add another issue, shall we. The Celebrity edition of Big Brother in the Winter of 2022 leaned heavily toward the two finalists. There were times that it looked like “production” stepped in to help these two make it to the finals. Even they mentioned that they had help. Producers should not play an active role in who wins and who loses. This should be determined by the house guests. Also house guests should not be allowed to “practice” before an event.
- America’s Vote: Have you ever wondered if the results are true in any of the America’s Vote? Speaking from the viewpoint of someone with large questions about telephone/internet polls, I honestly don’t think that the winners are determined by America unless we see the final poll results. A good example of this is what happened in my state during the Taylor Hick’s win of American Idol. Many of us supported Chris Daughtry as he was a resident of North Carolina and very familiar to the clubs here. When we called (and I do mean we as about 20 friends had this happened to them) to vote for Chris, we got “Thank you for voting for Hicks/McPhee.” This happened on all of Chris’s lines. We had the local affiliate call only to be assured our votes went to Chris but did they really? The phone lines/tabulation was controlled by producers and fans knew they liked Hicks. How do we know that we are giving the correct winner in the America’s Favorite vote? Questions were asked after Celebrity Big Brother because the winner seemed off. Show the vote so no questions are asked!
- The Big Brother Bible. The show makes so much of a thick rule book that the players have in the house to questions certain topics. Have fans ever wondered just what the “rules” of Big Brother are? I have and I know other critics have wondered. If there is such an important element to the game, the least you can do is give the rules to those who cover the show so we can reply to questions like: “Is that in the rule book or did the producers make it up for their favorites?” Hey, I’ve questioned if something was invented specifically for a situation a couple of times myself!
- The contestants: All of fandom has heard that the casting directors have just walked into a restaurant and hired someone. We know from contestants that some of them have no idea about the game. Shouldn’t contestants be people who KNOW the game. Shouldn’t contestants be fully screened. Shouldn’t contestants have a mental evaluation before the game begins? Shouldn’t contestants have training on racial/sexual biases and bullying? Shouldn’t actual health concerns of the house guests and food allergies be a concern of production? The show tells us that they are but from this season’s cast, I don’t think so.
That’s it for this piece. Next up is the actual content of the games/shows/etc. itself.