Big Brother 15 is one of my favorite shows. I have been watching it since the third season, 12 years ago. Of course, some years are better then others, and some are more unique then others. Each year, CBS tries to change something about the show to make it more interesting as opposed to mere repetition of the prior year. Even my ten year old daughter joined my 14 year old son (and I) in liking this show (in prior G-Rated years).
Before you jump the gun and think this is just another discussion about another dumb reality show, wait. This season’s show has made headlines throughout the world, caused CBS to rewrite their disclaimers, and ended the careers of two contestants.
For example, one year, the contestants had to compete with their significant “ex-s,” whether that was a former love or a former spouse. Some had bad breakups, others were still friends. Some hadn’t spoken in years, others were still in contact with each other.
The game is played like this. At the beginning of the show, there are about 16 players. While the contestants appear somewhat homogeneous, being in their 20’s, for good measure, they usually throw in someone who is gay, a contestant who is older, and some other mix of contestants to achieve a measure of diversity in the house (big city northern sophistication v. small town southern country).
Each week, someone is voted off the show. The last “man or woman standing” wins 1/2 million dollars. The runner up wins 50K. everyone else wins next to nothing. Each week someone wins the “HOH” or “Head of House” and is the person who nominates the two people to be evicted. That person also gets luxuries like a private room, special food treats, and more importantly, is not only safe from being evicted, but has power to influence who will be evicted. The remaining people vote on who stays. OK, for simplicity sake, I have omitted some minor rules..
Here is the catch. If you go all the way, you are in the Big Brother House for 3 months.There is no TV. No Books (not that the people chosen look like the reading type.) There are no phone calls, no newspapers, etc. Absent the occasional death or serious illness of a family member, no information is given to the contestants. On the other hand, television subscribers can watch the contestants 24 hours a day on the Internet in addition to the three one-hour episode(s). Contestants have no privacy, and everything they say or do is watched by the public (and the good stuff is shown on TV). They only get privacy in the shower or bathroom, and then, only if they go in alone. If you go in with someone else, the cameras come on. There are cameras all over the place, including night vision cameras, and one-way windows (with cameramen lurking on the other side), so that every contestant can be filmed and heard all the time, without the possibility of escape.
People mistakenly assume that contestants can hide their true selves due to the fact that they are being filmed. Interviews, however, with reality show participants show that the people become immune to the effects of the cameras and forget that they are there. That is even more true in the “Big Brother House” where there is nothing to do except talk to others. People drop their guards and say things they later regret. One year, a contestant whispered her secret to another contestant – that she had gotten an abortion and no one, including her family, knew. She got angry when that contestant told her secret to a third contestant, incredibly forgetting that tens of thousands of viewers heard her secret live, and that the blogs picked it up the next day.
Here is where the game gets interesting. There is nothing to do but to form alliances and conspiracies in order to try to win the 1/2 million. If is impossible to do well in the game if you play honestly. You have to lie about who you will vote for, who you are in an alliance with, etc. So the show is about good people acting bad, and that effects people. Some people are effected very badly and get torn up by guilt. Others have no morals and that becomes very evident.
Furthermore, people who are perceived as too strong a player or in too strong an alliance [like in a romance on the show (called a showmance)], can make other contestants feel threatened and “put a target” on their back, causing even their friends and alliances to vote them out. Similarly, weak players tend to become targets as no one fears nominating them for eviction of or conspiring to follow through. People ingratiate themselves with others by trading information (like who is campaigning to evict whom) for promises relating to future votes.
Some people have fallen in love on the show; at least one marriage resulted. Some really nice people have appeared, and some really rotten ones have been exposed. On the third season, one contestant made some cruel anti-Semitic remarks about a Jewish contestant which I, as a Jew, took personally. No one made a big deal that year (curious)? People with genuine dislike, fear, or lack of exposure to homosexuality have had to get to know, in intimate and close quarters, gay contestants. Usually there is a positive result. Usually, people become friends after the show, as everyone understands that “it is just a game” and people have to act badly to win.’
Not this year! CBS outdid themselves in finding people who were already bad, real bad. In a week in which allegations of racism permeated the news in connection with the Zimmerman trial, we needed tolerance and harmony. INSTEAD, The first week, the severely racist, misogynist, and anti-gay comments were flying on the show. Minority contestants were in tears. Two contestants have already lost their jobs [even though they don’t know it] as their employers have issued Press Releases terminating their employment due to their racism.
Since contestants are secluded from society, so they have no idea that they have lost their jobs, and are hated and mocked by America, while they continue to play this game on reality TV. I AM REPEATING THE UGLY COMMENTS WHICH WERE MADE SO THE AUDIENCE CAN SEE THE HATRED, IGNORANCE AND UGLINESS WHICH STILL EXISTS. I SPECIFICALLY AND MOST VIGOROUSLY DISCLAIM AND OPPOSE THE COMMENTS AND THE THINKING WHICH GAVE RISE TO THESE COMMENT:
One contestant said that, because of her income level, she receives “nigger insurance” (she whispered the n-word, so it’s possible she said the version that ends with “a”). She also referred to another contestant who is Asian, and said, “should be kissing our ass and serving us some fucking rice.”
The most vile contestant, who lost her job, said of another contestant [who is a nice guy but appears a little different] “No one’s gonna vote for whoever that queer puts up.” She also suggested he’d win MVP because “people love the queers.”
In talking about a Black candidate, incredibly, she said, “be careful what you say in the dark; you might not be able to see that bitch.” She told the Asian contestant, “Shut up. Go make some fucking rice.”
A third contestant, incredibly said that the medical torture conducted by Nazi doctors was beneficial and praised Hitler’s speaking abilities, even while acknowledging that he’d be criticized for that.
TMZ reports, Aaryn Gries — the Paula Deen of the “Big Brother” house — has been dropped by her modeling agency after dropping racist and homophobic comments in the BB house … TMZ has learned – Click Here
At least I get to root that the bad people get evicted and loose. Talk about reality shows, what I wouldn’t give to watch these people when they learn they are more hated and more unemployed then Zimmerman.