That’s it. No more Big Brother for me.
When Big Brother premiered years ago, Clyde and I missed out completely on the entire phenomenon. Friends W & D raved about the show, but after watching one episode, we felt no real attachment to it. As years passed, we continued to ignore Big Brother … until, finally, one dull summer, we found ourselves caught up in Big Brother 5. (Remember Cowboy and his tattooed half-sister Jennifer/Nakomis?)
We got hooked.
Over the next few years, Big Brother continued to be one of our guilty summer pleasures. The year Janelle and Kaysar appeared on the show, we actually subscribed to the 24×7 feed. (Once was enough; having fallen for that, we didn’t fall for it again. There’s a reason the show is heavily edited!)
Though we didn’t know most of the contestants, we got into Big Brother All-Stars … and the following year, we were intrigued enough by Big Brother 8 to sign up for Showtime’s Big Brother After Dark. (Again, once was enough. There are only so many whispered hot tub conversations you can bear to watch for three hours at a whack.)
So this year, when CBS rushed Big Brother into production as a last-minute stop-gap strategy for dealing with the writer’s strike, we popped some corn, poured ourselves a Coke, and settled in for what we hoped would be a distracting alternative to, say, reruns of King of the Hill.
Alas, ’twas not to be so. Big Brother “‘Till Death Do You Part” is, quite possibly, the worst reality show ever aired on network television. (And that’s saying something. Remember Temptation Island?)
Neither the men nor the women in this season’s cast are, by any measure, attractive. They don’t dress well. They don’t undress well. There’s nothing endearing or sympathetic about anyone in the House.
Worse, I begin to suspect that every single cast member is — how to say this in a politically correct way? — mentally challenged. There’s something about their whiny voices and wide-eyed stares that I associate with abnormally low IQs; given this, it’s hard to take their meager efforts at “strategy” seriously.
Meanwhile, in lieu of any genuinely juicy interaction, we’re subjected to bizarre, uncomfortable interludes — like squealing cast members breathlessly going on and on about another cast member’s uncircumcised penis. Yep. That’s great t.v.
Throughout this travesty, Julie (who needs to have that bottle of body glitter taken away) winks and leers and nods to the audience, and the producers tell us, through music and narration, that what we are watching is supposed to be heart warming, titillating, shocking, and surprising. None of it is. This has all been done before, and done much better, by better-looking people who were genuinely capable of thinking more than one move ahead.
Big Brother has never been Masterpiece Theater … but, from time to time, it has been, at least, engaging. This year? Not. And so, Big Brother is off my list. If it comes back this summer refreshed and revitalized, I may give it another try … but for now, I think the best thing to do with this bunch of house guests is to forcibly and permanently evict ’em all.