It’s pretty clear that the sixteenth season of Big Brother is a failure. In all of the years I’ve been watching, blogging, and/or podcasting the show, I’ve never found so much apathy in the fan base. My twitter feed used to overload during network broadcasts, and it would take an hour to catch up with the overnight posts in the morning. I now see more Utopia updates in my timeline than anything Big Brother-related.
What went wrong?
It’s easy to blame Frankie. He is in my opinion the worst person ever cast on the show, and even mainstream websites are starting to report on his diva ways. As I’ve stated before, since he outed his famous sister and his own supposed online celebrity status, he’s strutted around the house like it’s his personal stage. Everybody else is just an extra to the Frankie show.
It’s also easy to complain about the twists. We were promised the “most twisted season ever”, but there were really only two twists, and both the dual HOH’s and Team America were disasters. Otherwise, it’s been the same competitions and the same returning player gimmicks that we see every year. When the contestants whose only knowledge of the game is the DVD’s provided to them before the season starts know what’s going to happen every week there is a problem.
That still doesn’t fully explain why fans are leaving in droves.
The real answer is a bit more subtle. Like a high school boy mesmerized by his classmate’s short skirts, week after week we’re being teased mercilessly. Every Sunday or Monday, we have a glimmer of hope that the season will be saved. For a few hours, or a day or two, there’s a strong possibility of a big move.
Week after week feed watchers are played like fools.
Typically, it all begins with an idea that it’s time to blindside a so-called strong player. Hours of conversations are held; scenarios are played out. Quite often, the decision is made to make the big move.
Just as quickly as the idea is sprung, it’s deflated. A “voice of reason”, aka Derrick, decides it’s not the right time to make this move, and some combination of Victoria, Nicole, Donny, and Jocasta have remained on the block. From Monday afternoon to Thursday’s eviction, there’s been little worth viewing.
Most viewers can be ok with this type of turn of events once or twice. We’re now at weeks and weeks of this exact same scenario. I’m tired of it, and I know I’m not alone.
What is sort of funny about this lame season is that a lot of the blame goes to a player who was dispatched the second week of the season. Remember how we laughed and laughed when Devin (who?) created that alliance that included almost the entire house? It’s because of his work that a group of five have controlled the house ever since. They’ve been a part of every week’s HOH, and have orchestrated every set of nominees. Even when their plans don’t work out, they’ve been able to regroup and ultimately end up with that combo of noms I already mentioned.
This week was no different than the week before, or the week before that. As you’ll see on tonight’s broadcast, Caleb had a moment of clarity on Sunday, and for a few hours it looked like our long summer nightmare could be dispatched. Frankie was all but guaranteed to be evicted, but Derrick (along with some paranoia-inducing chatter from Frankie) convinced Caleb it wasn’t the time to do this. When will it be?
It’s really time for CBS to step in and fix the show. Forget about “twists” or stuntcasts. Stop recruiting in bars. Don’t call a person a “superfan” just because she made t-shirts of the cute, nerdy boys. Find people who have some knowledge of the game, but not enough that they’ll be too guarded to let loose on the live feeds. Mix up the competitions. Do something to fix this mess, as it’s looking more and more outdated every year!