I just watched a group of people go from over-excited schoolkids at the start of summer to a roomful of apprehensive strangers waiting for news in a doctor’s office. Am I a bad person because I actually enjoyed those people’s poorly-hidden panic and “this isn’t what I signed up for at all” writ large across every face?

No, I’m a Big Brother fan delighted that after so many years, production still managed to shock hell out of a cocky group of twenty-somethings, each of whom were positive that they had the winning strategy, knew the show inside out, and had only to lie, backstab and cheat for a couple of months to grab a pot of money at the end of the Big Brother rainbow.

Normally they’d have been right, but Big Brother Canada has a few surprises in store this year. The first one was apparent from the moment the new houseguests entered that blatantly tech house: there wasn’t one stick of furniture anywhere, not even the ubiquitous Big Brother couch. When host Arissa informed the group that not only would they have to “earn” that furniture but their own belongings as well, faces began drooping in misery. All of that expensive lingerie, those carefully whacked-short tank tops – packed in vain?  Makeup by the vat and fake tan spray tantalizingly out of reach? Horrors!

In fact it’s vaguely reminiscent of the year UK Big Brother tortured their own “house mates”, forcing them to earn 10 minutes of electricity for hair straighteners. Good God, you’d have thought BB USA’s producers had announced “Big Brother 2015: Return to Prohibition.”

Bring on the cruelty! Why give our favorite hamsters their usual cushy wheel? Instead, bruise their little hammie toes on a starkly-ugly cog like the one growing out of the naked floor! Oh, that’s right. Someone is bound to use that for a pillow as the beds are locked away as well.

If only that previously-gleeful group of cuties knew that even their one modicum of power, the right to vote and evict their own, was also gone and in the hands of a currently-gleeful Canada, I believe we’d have seen the first Big Brother house in history to revolt and run like hell.

And the first headlines in history to show “JokersUpdates Owner Croaked, Drowned in Tears of Laughter.”