Sunday, July 13, 2008

Big Brother is (Worth) Watching

Tonight’s the season premier of Big Brother 10, and you know what that means – summer has officially begun! (Actually, summer’s almost over, but shh.)

I’m a latecomer to the show. I watched season 1, back when it took a backseat to Richard Hatch’s naked antics on Survivor: Borneo. But as I have an inexplicable tendency to only watch the first season of reality shows, I checked back out until last summer when I friend got me sucked in. It's the perfect, mindless summer show. And Big Brother After Dark on ShowtimeToo is even better, because it's television white noise. I can pop it on and it keeps me just distracted enough get a ton of writing or editing done without fear of getting sucked into actually watching. (Except if they go all Caligula on our asses - that you gotta watch.)

I know from watching seasons 8 and 9 (and 6 and 7 on tapes provided by the aforementioned friend) that the first few weeks of any BB season are fairly slow. But then, around week 3 or 4, something magical happens – everyone simultaneously falls down the rabbit hole. Having lived through similar experiences a few times, it’s hilarious to watch play out on television. See, something happens when you spend all day and night with the same group of people. It can happen when you go to summer camp or away to college, or even when the majority of your social network is culled from your co-workers (this happens a lot in retail/service and has proved fertile territory for Gen-X Hollywood – Clerks, Empire Records, Caffeine, Waiting…). Suddenly, your world shrinks to this tiny, tiny group, and you have a seemingly endless capacity to obsess over the quirks and perceived slights of those around you. You fall under this spell of scheming and fretting and fixating, and the spell isn’t broken until you get yourself out of that environment and are reminded that you have a life and family separate these people. And this happens at summer camp, college, work – places where people have distractions, other things to do. Aside from a few competitions and some jockeying for house position, the Big Brother Hamsters have nothing to distract themselves from falling down the rabbit hole. So while I know tonight’s episode will be fluffy get-to-know-you filler, I’ll be trying to guess which Hamster will flip their shit first. But if we don’t have anyone equal to BBUK’s Kathreya, I’m asking for my money back.

And speaking of so-cheerful-they-might-be-brain-damaged people, Kelly Ripa hosted a stiletto run last week to raise money for the March of Dimes. Excuse me? Are you seriously telling me that the most go-go-girl-power way to raise money for MoD is to round up a bunch of women and give them shin splints? I just…wow. And also, ow.

No comments: