Their Reality, Not Ours
by Drew, the Big Brother Cynic
I had a few different ideas this week, but they all boiled down to the same thing. So here’s a trick they teach you in
journalism class: turn your article into a list and you can avoid the need to be thorough and well-spoken. My professors
would be so proud…
The Three Biggest Ways That Big Brother Is Messing With You (and the Game)
1. Julie Chen
In some respects, Julie has a tough job. She has to talk to the houseguests on live television during the most
emotional part of the week, and all the while she is sitting on tons of privileged information. And occasionally, Julie
will ask a leading question. That is, she asks a question that helps to perpetuate a lie (I’m not positive, but she may
have done it this season in regards to Matt’s wife and the mystery illness). In my mind, this gives the houseguest
credibility that he or she may not have earned by weaving a decent lie.
Most of the time, Julie does a great job of remaining a neutral party – the “Chenbot” is truly a well-earned
moniker – but when she is helping a player advances his or her game, or putting a houseguest on the spot during
a live interview, she is ultimately affecting the outcome.
2. Special Powers
The credo of Big Brother is to “expect the unexpected”, and on the whole, I’m pretty OK with this concept. But this
season in particular, Pandora’s Box has been mighty convenient. As I addressed a few weeks ago, I think that the
Diamond Power of Veto was designed specifically around Me&Brendon – either one of them wins it and the couple lasts
a bit longer, or somebody else wins it and pulls off the biggest “backdoor” of all-time. But as the days went by and
I was ready to write off this convoluted theory as bunk, a second Pandora’s Box pops up that was clearly designed for
Brendon and Rachel once again. No way does the big “?” decal show up this week if the end result would be Kathy taking
a vacation and Lane coming back for a day.
My problem with all of this is that the game appears to be getting altered on the fly. If Big Brother decided back in
May that the Diamond Power of Veto will be offered to the Head of Household in Week 5, I could handle that; but that
doesn’t seem to be the case. A basketball hoop is 10 feet high whether the players are 7’4” or 4’7”, and Big Brother
should be Big Brother whether it’s Rachel, Ragan, Matt or Monet on the block.
This is the big one. Big Brother is using us all, and we fall for it week after week. America’s Vote made Ragan the
Saboteur, gave Jeff the Coup D’état and has even brought evicted players back into the game. Hell, America had a vote
in the finals last season (though in fairness, we can blame Chima for that). But America’s Vote would still be a great
idea if Big Brother wasn’t telling us who to vote for.
This may seem foreign to the über-obsessed among us (myself included), but I would wager that 90% of viewers are not
watching the feeds, nor are they following a magical little blog that watches the feeds for them. The average Big Brother
watcher probably sees one hour of actual interaction inside the house per week (competitions not included). And of that
hour of interactions, all of it is slickly edited and taken out of a much larger context. Even the live feeds are censored
now and then.
Now, I’m not naïve enough to expect Big Brother to fill an hour of network, primetime television with Enzo sleeping and
Lane lifting weights, but the problem is that the only thing that the majority sees is the drama… convoluted and sometimes
flat-out manufactured drama.
For example, there is a rumor floating around the Interwebs that Britney’s caustic goodbye message to Rachel was recorded
on the day that the two of them fought in the backyard. I don’t have the proof to confirm or deny this, but it is a fact
that Brit is wearing the same clothes in the Diary Room that she has on during the aforementioned confrontation. Of
course, this means (if true) that Britney was asked to record a goodbye message to the newly crowned Head of Household, who
obviously was in no danger at all of being evicted. Big Brother knew that Rachel was probably leaving soon, so they asked
Britney to opine when she was at her worst. And then, out of 168 hours of footage per week (multiplied by however many
cameras there are), those two minutes of drama are delivered completely out of context to the viewers who may later be
asked to vote for or against these houseguests.
So, to put a bottom line on it, Big Brother is creating heroes and villains, alliances and rivalries and competitors and
floaters… and then asking us to vote for our favorites. Ask Jesse if he thinks America’s Vote is fair.
Misspeak of the Week:
Nothing too bad, but Britney did say “all of the sudden”, which is personal pet peeve of mine.
All signs point to Brendon getting the boot. He probably needs to win two of the next three competitions to stick around
next week: the first Power of the Veto and then either the ensuing Head of Household or the second Power of Veto.
At least the double eviction will give Kathy somebody to talk to while Me&Brendon are busy “reuniting” in the Jury House.