Full disclosure: As a “young lad” at age 50 or so, I recall a Tweet from a colleague who accused me of watching Big Brother because I wanted to be perceived as “cool.” A few years later (more than a few, actually), I imagine this same person must assume I am now sitting in a rocking chair watching repeats of Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis: Murder by now.
Guess what? I am not.
Once again, I was immediately sucked right into the typical backstabbing shenanigans of CBS reality/competition staple Big Brother (this time in a “celebrity” edition). And, as always, the show I look forward to every summer (and hopefully now every winter) leaves me sometimes wishing I did actually want to see Angela Lansbury solve a murder (or about 300, actually). Like any season, where the good is mixed with the evil in the Big Brother house, the villains often seem to prevail.
So, let me begin this review of this three-week season of Celebrity Big Brother by assuming that more viewers than not are more interested to see if either Shanna Moakler or Lamar Odom (i.e., the “good”) will be named America’s Favorite Houseguest than who will actually win the season. While I understand the theme of every season of Big Brother is to “never expect the expected,” personally I have a difficult time when I see anyone being bullied or completely lied to.
Naturally, the goal of Big Brother is to win the cash prize. But there is still a world outside of the Big Brother house you have to live in. And, no…I will not be tuning in to see Todrick Hall or Miesha Tate anytime soon.
Mirroring the first two seasons of Celebrity Big Brother (where two of my personal favorites, Marisa Jaret Winokur and Tamar Braxton, were crowned the winners), what I immediately liked about this long-awaited next edition was the diversity in ages. Instead of the typical frat house mentality in the summer, when I often wonder if I am watching Big Brother or The Dating Game, houseguests like Carson Kressley, Todd Bridges and Chris Kattan prove there is life (and interest) after age 50. But what particularly ticked me off this season was someone like Chris Kattan who had no idea how to play the game. Next time, why not stick to the people who actually understand Big Brother and deserve to be there?
While I applaud Carson Kressley for apologizing to Shanna Moakler on social media (if you are watching you know why), using the excuse that he had not really seen much of the show before entering the house is pretty lame. Note to Carson: Your error in judgement goes down in the record books as one of the worst moves in Big Brother (regular or celebrity) history.
Like 9 out of 10 shows on broadcast television (or, more likely, 19 out of 20), the traditional Nielsen ratings exhibit a marked drop in viewership for Celebrity Big Brother. But what this competition series has in droves is interest in social media. The Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms, among others, are gutted with regular commentary. And what this does for the former home of Murder, She Wrote, CBS, is bring in those younger viewers.
Personally, I am now not one of those people who the broadcasters or networks covet. But a viewer is…well…still a viewer. And, no…I don’t care to see aforementioned Ms. Lansbury solve a crime anytime soon. It is Big Brother for me!
Celebrity Big Brother concludes its season Wednesday, February 23 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.