Big Brother just didn't feel right these last few days.
On the one hand, I assume that any of this week's Power of Veto competitors -- Amanda, Candice, Gina, Jessie, Judd, and Spencer -- had nearly equal chances of being stuck with the dog cone, the clown suit, or the repeated spray tans. As long as producers intended no specific "punishment" for any specific house guest, perhaps we should think that all is as it should be in a game show which is outrageous by design.
On the other hand, in a season already infamous for insensitive, incendiary house guest commentary, why would CBS allow producers to design competition outcomes which seek to produce humor and/or humiliation by changing participants' appearances into caricatures? Candice was targeted early on by racial comments ... which, whether spoken in malice or ignorance, were unquestionably inappropriate. Now Big Brother dresses Candice as a clown, practically inviting us to laugh at the character she was required to become? After days of this, it's no wonder she mostly stayed in seclusion on Monday. And what would everybody be saying if, instead of Amanda, Aaryn had been the one to have the color of her skin changed so drastically?
It's as if they're trying to morph #BB15 into a farcical reverse-psychology whacky after-school special on race relations.
At best, this is uncomfortable. At worst, it's outright disrespectful. I'm not necessarily sayin' the producers shouldn't have gone ahead with plans which were probably in place before the season started. I'm just sayin' that it troubles me when factoring in the present context.
This is an honest reaction from a newbie's perspective, and my commitment to sharing the remaining #BB15 experience with you is unchanged. But CBS should recognize that events like these do not particularly inspire new viewers to come back next year.
CBS added a disclaimer to the feeds and broadcast this season for the first time in show history. Do I need my own disclaimer? These views are mine only, offered with zero offense-causing intent, in the hope of inspiring civil, respectful discourse even if we disagree. Comment here or chirp @uselesstraffic.
Back to normal (if there is such a thing) next time at the Newbie Desk: Making sense of the different daily activities, weekly competitions, and TV schedules.
Before posting the above, I asked Indy Mike about all of it ... and I learned that silly costumes happen every season -- typically unitards of some form. There was even a long-time curse, occasionally broken, that the unitard-wearer would be voted out. (At the moment, it appears it will happen again this year.)
And the spray-tan punishment was copied this year from the UK version of Big Brother.
This makes me feel better, but only a little bit. TV shows, even scripted dramas filmed several weeks in advance, change all the time in reaction to current news events when they realize that what they had planned to air was no longer appropriate.
I'm still not entirely comfortable with #BB15's clown costume and repeated spray tanning. Because context matters.