I always find it difficult to write about Big Brother once the season gets going because what happens in the house and on the internet live feeds is typically quite different from what makes it to CBS's edited telecast. But never has that been more true, and more true in such a rapid fashion, than with Big Brother 15. By now, chances are that you've heard about how certain houseguests—most notably Aaryn, GinaMarie, Spencer, and Jeremy—almost immediately began using racist, homophobic and misogynistic language to refer to fellow players. People much smarter than I have already dug into this issue and CBS's public condemnation of houseguest activity, so I won't use this space to get on my soapbox.
But I will say is that all of this stuff makes an enjoyably stupid show a lot less enjoyable, and much more frustrating. If I were to only talk about what I've seen in the four hours of Big Brother that CBS has aired over the last week, I'd not only be giving you just a modicum of the story, but a much less interesting modicum at that. So as I present what I think are the most interesting things to come out of week one, know that some of this is coming from the show, and some of it is coming from the feeds.
Maybe there's some Big Brother karma after all
I won't get into specifics, but I don't think I'll ever forget the few moments right before and right after David was eliminated. Aaryn's reaction alone made my week. Julie Chen was right to say that we could hear a pin drop, but really, those of us at home couldn't hear a damn thing because members of the house were saying a wholllle lot of stuff that producers didn't want us to hear. I'm just going to assume that they were all uttering horribly bigoted things, because their lips were moving.
David seemed like a harmless enough dolt and I'm certainly going to miss both his inability to spell and his constant need to tell people how smart of a guy he is, but if this is the universe's way of acknowledging that Aaryn sucks as a human being, then party on. Wednesday's show of course didn't key in on any of her hateful language, but it at least went of out the way to paint her as the instigator in a truly stupid fight over red whine. At this point, I kind of hope Aaryn sticks around for three or four more weeks while her obnoxious and/or ignorant buddies get picked off. Girl's a straight-up villain, y'all.
The Moving Company, the Idiots and Some Other People
I've always been interested in how quickly alliances form in Big Brother, as well as how quickly they crumble. This season's big tentpole group is the charmingly named Moving Company, made up of Nick, McCrae, Spencer, Howard, and Jeremy. Like all alliances, this one is so secret—you know, except for the fact that Spencer is hanging out in the HoH room on a regular basis and Nick and McCrae are having nightly strategy meetings. Put it this way: Elissa and Candice both assumed that McCrae was connected to the other guys really, really quickly and I wouldn't label either of them a particularly skilled strategist. But what's more fascinating thus far is, unfortunately, Jeremy. He's a charter member of the Moving Company, but doesn't really hang out with them socially, and didn't vote with them this week. He's more likely to fully jump over with the band of other idiots (most notably Aaryn and Kaitlyn), right? I'm not even sure the idiots in question are technically an alliance, because goodness, they don't have a Stupid Official Alliance name. So I'm going to stick with the Idiots because I'd prefer to call them lots of other things that are much worse, but I'd love to hear what you would name that little segment of the house.
And in a season where "floaters" are so demeaned, there sure are a lot of people who already aren't getting much camera time, and that's even without the telecast showing some of the more vicious arguments. But that's okay. Folks like Helen, Judd, and Andy are bound to go far (but probably not win) because they're not immediately in people's faces and they're still working an angle or two.
So many showmances in so little time
In the past, showmances used to require at least a few weeks to really develop. But this season, three couples immediately shacked up: David and Aaryn, Kaitlin and Jeremy, and, somehow, Amanda and McCrae. The lifecycles of these TOTALLY REAL relationships are so short now that both David and Aaryn and Kaitlin and Jeremy have fought, "broken up," and reconciled multiple times in the first nine or 10 days. They are literally fourth graders. Thank goodness for Amanda and McCrae, whose improbable coupling is probably my favorite thing of summer 2013. Amanda was already in the running for all-time diary room interviewee status, but then she went ahead and overtly seduced McCrae in the HoH bed. The "you can't stop looking at them [her breasts] can you?" line! I feel McCrae's anxiousness, you guys.
Elissa and the problem with the MVP
This is why we can't have nice things, America. I know, I know, this is a reality show democracy, and you have the right to vote for whoever or whatever you want. And I'm really happy that Elissa's MVP win led to David's ousting. However, if she's going to win this really important power every week simply because she's the sister of a popular former winner, we're going to have a problem. It feels like Elissa has straightened out her gameplay a bit since gaining the first MVP, but she's still a product of the show's obsession with nepotism and frankly, she's not especially deserving of it. Now, if you tell me that you're voting for Elissa to win MVP mostly because her diary room interviews feel like they're happening right in the middle of her getting blackout drunk and she sounds like a Britney Spears record played backward, then okay. I'll allow that.
But seriously, Big Brother fans can't be trusted. The MVP is too much power for us to handle, and I'm guessing it's going to backfire sooner rather than later.
Those are my four big takeaways from the first full week of Big Brother. Where do you stand with the show and the houseguests so far?
AIRED ON 9/24/2014
Season 16 : Episode 40