A Wretched Affair
By: November Rain

What is wrong with Big Brother? It would be easier and faster to write about what isn’t wrong with Big Brother. I am not an aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I was an avid viewer of the show and the live feeds of seasons one through 3, but after the major disappointment that was season three’s finale and other life circumstances, I stopped watching. Now, as we are all slithering our way to the finale of what was supposed to be the biggest baddest All Star season ever, I feel disgusted I was sucked back into this wretched affair.

I dig the concept of Big Brother more than I can explain. The idea of Big Brother ruling over every aspect of the houseguests’ lives and becoming the invisible 15th houseguest really appeals to me. Big Brother shaking up their tiny world and impacting their game play in monumental and miniscule ways that even the houseguests don’t quite see coming, is interesting. Big Brother is a sociological experiment done on a large scale for all the watchers in the world to see. Unfortunately for me, and anyone with likeminded interests, Big Brother is instead an exaggerated romper room stacked to the rafters with houseguests whose qualifications for making the cut seem to be boobs, abs, and the ability to throw out all of life’s lessons.

For most of the fans of Big Brother the aforementioned qualifications, and the sheer abundance of them, seems to be quite satisfying and exactly what they want. I want something a bit higher minded. I realize that in order for the show to even make it on the air, they have to have something for everyone, but it is my estimation that this All Star cast was very heavy on the Hollywood Wannabe side and the Average Joe side was almost non-existent. Even George, whom I am sure rates as an average guy in some people’s minds, was in fact a Hollywood Wannabe masquerading as a jackass.

There can be no true twist or turn in the navigation of this game with 14 people who lack all inhibition and a moral compass. Houseguests who worry incessantly about their camera time and making good television are not going to spend much time pondering life’s questions of good versus evil.

The All Star casts obsession with their perceived stardom led me to believe that this was an isolated occurrence, and that Big Brother isn’t really to blame for winding up with such a lopsided cast, so to make myself believe that Big Brother isn’t intentionally stacking the cast in favor of Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood, I went to the CBS site for each of the past three seasons. Nope. Not an isolated occurrence at all. Big Brother producers have stacked the last three seasons with boobs and abs and contestants who, in my revue of the episodes, biographies, and Q&A sheets, seem to lack that little tiny thing called ethics.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not above the game. I want to see a diverse group of people playing it though. I want to see every possible combination of the human experience represented. I want to see people struggle with their desire to win and their desire to do what is right.

The formulaic casting of this show, and many other reality shows, is wearing awfully thin. I have a fascinating idea. Why not find 50 people who would make awesome cast members, throw their names in a hat, and draw 14 out? Maybe then we would get a few average Janes/Joes versus the paltry one we now get all rolled up into an overweight, middle aged man. We might actually get several black cast members. Wouldn’t that be shocking? That is just another thing to hate about the casting. Need a black cast member and a gay person? Why not kill that bird with one stone and cast a gay black man. Can it possibly get any worse than that? How about a woman, who when fans call her fat, actually is fat. How about a full on dyke? How about a gay man who can just as easily hang out with the guys in the house as he can sit with the girls? The list of possibilities, in this country, is endless, but to watch Big Brother, and other reality shows of late, you would think that America is full of bubble heads and actors.

I realize the producers want to appear to be casting a true representation of America for these reality shows by using a mathematical formula, but it isn’t working. When is the last time you felt you had anything in common with one of the people cast on these shows? There are enough of the jiggling boobs and brainless blondes to go around on the other 5,000 television shows. Can’t you, the producers of Big Brother, just this once, make a reality show that is actually real?

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