If its summer, it’s Big Brother

By Erin Clarke

Big Brother is the type of reality show that I enjoy. I have already mentioned a few times that I like the competition element of those types of reality shows, which is ironic cause I literally am the least competitive person I know.

My issue this summer with Big Brother, besides the vapid, shallow female contestants – bar three of them – is the absolute lack of game play and the insurgence of the “showmance” importance to epic levels.  I know there has also been a lot said about the behaviour and out and out racist/sexist/homophobic views that have been displayed on the live feeds.  I don’t watch those additional hours and until they begin discussing those views on the show, I’ll leave it at that.

For those of you that don’t speak reality TV, a “showmance” is when 2 people on a show like Big Brother or Survivor, one where the contestants are in close quarters or living together, get romantic.  Due to the fact that it is generally only for the duration of the show or that it benefits someone’s game, it is referred to as a showmance.  While they usually take a while to develop, it’s simple really.   It happens every day in the “real world” and happens on hyper drive in the reality TV world, but this summer it came about at a break neck speed on Big Brother.  These girls were in their first interviews talking about the likelihood and “need” for a showmance.  I really don’t see the point.  Firstly, most couples get busted up if the rest of the competitors are smart.   Powerful singles hooking up means strong partnerships and if the history of Big Brother shows anything, it’s that power couples need to be busted up or they win.  Secondly, wouldn’t it be smarter, and frankly more exciting, not to be so open about your possible feelings for another person?  It seems as if the money prize this year is falling a distant second to falling in love.

Already about 20 days into it, they are holding each other in passionate ways, not strategizing the way they should be, but rather obsessing over sleeping arrangements and opinions of the others regarding who is the cutest and the most fit.   The guys are no better at this point, strutting around like peacocks and loving every minute of it.  I know that this sounds like I don’t like this show, but I do, I really do – I just think it is a very different atmosphere this summer.  And I have spoken with many a Big Brother fan that agrees something is not the same

So why is it different this year, is it that Big Brother may have lost its lustre or is it that the cast is so non-diverse.  With the exception of two married moms and a sweet, red headed gay guy, everyone seems to be a carbon copy of the person sitting next to them; all of them seem to be thinking about love instead of the experience this is and the possibility of making a lot of bank.  Maybe the show has run its course, maybe the version of Big Brother Canada made me all gooey and sweet but I don’t think so, and neither would anyone who knows me.  Maybe, and this is the hardest thing to accept, maybe I’m just 10-15 years older than most of the people playing the game and I’m an old fogey (please don’t let it be that) but I will hang on to see how it pans out, to see who really is there to play the game, my money is on Red, and to see if the slogan of “expect the unexpected” really rings true, because my expectations are pretty low so far.  Stay tuned for updates throughout the summer.  Do you watch Big Brother? Is it different to you as well?

Tweet me @erinl_clarke