It’s that time of year again — to lament the downfall and the displeasure in how the most recent incarnation of CBS’ Big Brother “reality” television show is, once again, unfolding before us — and the thing that bites me today is the sort of person CBS lures onto the show to live an exposed life 24/7 for 90 days.
Elissa Reilly Slater was evicted from the Big Brother 15 house last night, effectively ending her chance to win half a million dollars, but she kept her morality and dignity intact and that, to me, is more precious than Big Brother blood money, and as far as I’m concerned the real, true, and only winner of BB15 is Elissa even though the show runs for another two weeks.
From the start of the show, Elissa was marked. Her horrible sister Rachel was a previous winner, and professional whiner, and there are few Rachel Reilly fans in the Big Brother world. Elissa was tagged by the other houseguests as being favored by the producers — and she was, just because of her shared bloodline with a previous winner — and it didn’t help that Elissa, a doppelgänger of her sister, denied being Rachel’s sister when asked. A lie from the clean start can never really take you to the dirty end in victory.
That said, Elissa, a premier athlete of a Yoga instructor, bided her time and played the game as well as she could all alone. She tried to make alliances. She wanted to team up. Nobody would have her. Nobody listened to her insight or wisdom. She was written off as a sibling airhead by everyone in the house — even her supposed “friend” Helen — who dictated to Elissa without ever hearing her.
Unlike women, as men age, there’s a tendency to stigmatize our awful attempts at humor by branding us “creepy” or “perverted” or “just gross.” Plant an unfunny line on a 20-year-old guy and a teenaged woman might giggle, while the same line said by a guy over 60, to the same young teen, begets the world breaking apart as the whole tone and timbre of the conversation changes to a perceived perversion.
Why is that?
Is there always some sort of unspoken sexual underpinning to every male-to-female interaction that cannot be denied or generationally negotiated? Why doesn’t the curse cut the opposite way against older women who are labeled creepy and perverted in the same condition?
I have been a paid live feed watcher of the CBS television show Big Brother since the first season. Every year, the show gets less interesting with horribly boring and psychotic contestants. Every year I keep coming back to the show hoping for a return to season one greatness, but it has yet to happen. This year, Season 14, is no different — and in an effort to save the show in the shards of ABC’s The Glass House defections of former Big Brother producers — Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner panicked and created a silly “Coach’s Twist” that brought back former players to coach new players, only to have the coaches actually become players in the game last week so they could go against their former team members for a $500,000.00 grand prize.
The saddest, and most depressing part of Big Brother 14, happened last night with the removal of perennial Big Brother America’s Favorite Janelle — she’s on the right in the image below — from the game.
Utopia is a new, $50 million, reality television series from Fox that is supposed to run for a year — but I don’t think the show will make it to the end of October because of horrible casting decisions and even more miserable ratings. The producers get some things right and most everything else wrong.
The technical aspects of the show, the live feed, the landscape, and the idea, are all right — but the casting is completely and horrifyingly wrong — as is the creepy-pervy peeping-tom-ish host who ruins the television show with his “stalkeristic” vibe and prissy mustache and bizarro hat and glasses.
As well, when you choose a convicted felon to be the center of your show from the git-go, and he’s also the initial online presence for your show and live feeds portal, something terrible and awful has gone wrong on a deep DNA level that cannot be cured by God, a false baptism, or human infusion.
I am old enough to remember the debut of “reality” television when it was actually interesting and meant something. Season one of “The Real World” on MTV and “Big Brother” on CBS are hallmarks. Even though those shows were “live edited” there was a certain authenticity about the series that bled through the television screen indicating human life. Why is it today that so many “reality” shows come across scripted and fake and inauthentic? Could it be because those shows are now brewed to be, from first blush, scripted, fake and inauthentic? True reality is too hard, too tough to touch. Fake reality is much easier to control and sell to the masses. Don’t think. Just believe.
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.