I am a big fan of the Big Brother reality show.  ABC-TV, using castoff Big Brother producers, aired their copycat show last night called — “The Glass House” — and it is an awful and pale program in comparison with the original inspiration.

There is a terrible claustrophobia in The Glass House that you don’t get with Big Brother.  There’s no outside.  The set is dark.  The rooms are compressed and transparent.  You’d think all those things would add up to incredible tension, but they do not.  They only make you uncomfortable as a viewer.

The Glass House’s main problem is the sheer spitefulness of the unfriendly cast.  You root for none of them.  They’re all shallow and bitter.  The one person ABC wanted us to root for — a nasty fellow with shark teeth and The Joker’s smile — completely misunderstood the game.  You don’t become “the greatest villain in the history of reality television” by calling women fat and men stupid to their faces.  You become a memorable bad guy by actually believing you are good, hiding your treachery, and successfully flying so low nobody in the house suspects your true intentions.   You don’t get voted out of the house at the first opportunity — as happened last night.

Another problem with the show is that a cast member quit last night.  That must be a reality show record — and it demonstrates poor casting.   Why invest so much time and promotion in a person who doesn’t have the guts to stay around awhile to see what will really happen?

I know CBS was furious with their Glass House betrayers, but Big Brother has nothing to worry about when it comes to this miserable show.  I can’t imagine The Glass House will last the entire season.  There’s no live-streaming 24/7 video from the house — and that instantly removes any sort of fanaticism that is one of the best and gleaming hallmarks of Big Brother.


  1. Sounds like ABC used the old Zynga technique of copying something exactly, only it seems to have backfired in a major way! It does sound like a pretty pale imitation.

    1. There was a lot of interest from Big Brother fans in this new show. Now, we’ll just stick with the classic and pass on the imitation.

  2. House, M.D. which after 8 yrs is CANCELLED!!! and Bones are about the only TV shows I can handle watching these days. Maybe I’m getting old, but the above scenario pretty much explains why. 🙂 Live streaming? Really?
    I wonder if Hugh Laurie would allow that?

    1. The reason House is cancelled is because Hugh quit the show. He wants to be a Blues singer instead:


      Big Brother live streaming is fantastic. It’s a reality show so it isn’t really scripted. Some parts of the show are planned, but when the houseguests are interacting with each other throughout the day, it is all pretty real. It’s a great way to learn about interpersonal relationships.

  3. I thought that the show was pretty good, but I do agree that Alex was the one that we were supposed to root for. Instead, he flubbed up the evil part. One of my Dish co-workers suggested that I watch Glass House since I am a fan of Big Brother. My receiver automatically recorded the show using PrimeTime Anytime, and since I enabled Auto Hop, I didn’t have to pick up the remote to skip commercials. Though I don’t think the show was as good as Big Brother, I did like it. I really hope that Alex gets voted off this week!

  4. UPDATE:

    As I suspected, the ratings for Glass House are just as horrible as the show:

    If CBS is still feeling sour about ABC’s Big Brother lookalike Glass House, the premiere ratings might ease the pain. The new reality offering entered the Monday lineup with a soft 1.6 rating among adults 18-49. Though Big Brother’s most recent season did air on different nights (Wednesdays and Thursdays), its demo score outpaced the ABC premiere significantly, posting an average 3.2 adults rating over the course of last summer.


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