When Julie Chen said "Expect the Unexpected," did she mean fans should expect a disastrous season?
Seventeen years in, Big Brother is bound to have its fair share of good and bad seasons. With the finale just a couple of weeks away, BB 19 can definitely be classified as a bad season.
It would be irresponsible to call it the worst season, not when there is Big Brother 15 's racism to contend with, but BB19 is pretty darn close. At the very least, the players in Big Brother 15 actually tried to play and win the game.
So what has made this season a colossal flop? Oh, let us count the ways. Check out our reasons below, then hit the comments and let us know what you think!
It's not the first time BB has thrown a former contestant into the house with a bunch of newbies, but by God, it needs to be the last. Paul was a "fan favorite" from BB18 who was ironically robbed of a win by that season's BB veteran, Nicole. This season, however, the bearded "snake" has become increasingly more obnoxious, vicious, rude, and intolerable. He was instantly afforded an advantage that had him safe for WEEKS.
He fostered a cult-like environment that had him Jim Jones-ing his way through the season with a legion of players who are at his beck and call. All of which has made for a frustrating and boring season. He has also taken to sending players after outcasts in the house to antagonize them with personal attacks. He bought into his own hype, and it has made him unbearable to watch. Not to mention, he has singlehandedly ruined the word "friendship."
Showmances are an acquired taste; some people don't mind them and others loathe them. It IS possible to have a decent showmance in the Big Brother house as evidenced by Jeff/Jordan and Rachel/Brendon. But in the end, this is Big Brother, not the Bachelor. There are too many people who forget that. Jody, Marlena, and Maven latched on to each other early on and were distracted from the game.
The primary risk of being in a showmance is being the number one target, right? Wrong. The majority of the showmances made it through most of the season, which is absurd. If players refused to target the BB vet, why not go after the couples of the house?
Jody at least committed to playing the game, and Marlena eventually started playing, too. Matt and Raven, however, coasted through the season like lovers on vacation, then inexplicably got furious when others had the audacity to put them up against each other. This isn't summer camp, this is Big Brother. Hook up or not, but play the damn game!
We have the temptation to thank for Paul's return, that alone should convince you that it was a disaster. What would the season have been like without that twist? Who knows? The temptation doled out measly perks that were poorly used (Halting Hex, anyone?) and ridiculous punishments that were far from entertaining. What made it so unbearable was knowing that the show had to actually use it to tempt/ bribe the majority of the cast into actually playing the game.
Bullying and Isolation Tactics
In all 17 years, no season had an entire house relying solely on unprompted, unnecessary bullying and isolation as a game tactic. It's absurd that it passes as strategic gameplay when, in reality, it's the equivalent of school yard bullying amongst adults. While Paul has been one of the greatest perpetrators and instigators, nearly the entire cast has resorted to this tactic since the season's inception.
Everything from threats of physical violence, ridiculing and berating someone based on their personal appearance, rape jokes, and taunting have taken place. A Marine's service was called into question, someone had a concoction reminiscent of pepper spray thrown in their face, and folks were goaded until things nearly got physical.
Never before has the person likely to go home on the block ridiculed, isolated, and ostracized by the entire house. As part of being in a confined space for so long, respect and decency, in that regard, were never overstepped until now. It's needlessly cruel just for the sake of it and a dumb strategic move when done to future jury members.
All BB fans can agree that Raven is the worst. It's not just the fact that she prances around with quirky buns and fake accents, or that her makeup skills rival a mortician's. It's also because she might be a compulsive liar and her list of ailments grow by the second. Raven has also made a mockery of those suffering from gastroparesis by being the spokesperson that no one asked for. She's an attention seeking hypochondriac, too.
To get an idea of Life according to Raven; she's in Mensa and her GPA was dance (yes, you read that right), she died twice and is currently dying, and she trained for the Olympics. She was almost kidnapped by a serial killer, her mother was struck by lightning, she has an inverted spine, and there are a dozen ways her pacemaker can kill her.
This Queen of one-upping has more ailments than BB wins, mostly because she'd rather beg and guilt trip people into letting her win instead of doing it, herself. She contributes nothing to her alliance and expects to coast through to the end. You can add entitled to the list, too. That's... so Raven
Backdooring as the Only Strategy
BB5 legend Nakomis came up with the backdoor strategy and it was pure genius. It's one of the best moves and a BB staple, but it's SUPPOSED to be used sparingly and strategically. It's not meant to be the only way to evict someone. If the target is someone incapable of winning the veto, then why the hell do you need to backdoor them?
Apparently, no one in this house got the message that they could just nominate their targets, win the veto, and get them out without backdooring them. What has been the primary motivation for backdooring this season, you ask? To avoid dealing with the target reacting poorly and breaking up the harmony of the house. Newsflash there is no way of playing this game without stepping on toes or pissing someone off. Grow a pair, make a move, and deal with the repercussions.
The Glorification of Jody
Cody and Jessica are being hailed as the best players all season and constantly compared to real BB greats, when quite frankly, it's undeserved. Ironically, the main difference between Paul and Cody's strategy is Cody was too arrogant, off-putting, and socially inept to successfully pull off the same method. Big Brother is just as much about social gameplay as it is about winning competitions and mental strategy.
Cody destroyed his social game by assembling an alliance but refusing to listen to them, treating the other contestants like crap, putting his own ally on the block when he didn't have to, and isolating himself from the others long before they started ostracizing him. Jessica wasn't much better. She was a "mean girl" with a poor social game.
The pair spent an extraordinary amount of time gunning for Paul, but they didn't actually do much to convince others to turn on him. It made Cody's battle back pointless, and Jessica's HOH a waste when she eliminated a non-threat instead of actually getting getting rid of Paul or one of his allies. In any other season Cody and Jessica's terrible gameplay would be obvious, but with so many blinded by their hatred for Paul, they are getting credit just for being contrary.
Terrible Cast of Awful Players
Casting has declined over the years, that much is true, but this season's cast is an abomination. What was the point of casting so many people who didn't come to play the game? Are they all just here to be on T.V.? Is it stunt casting? Not only is it the grating trope casting they're known for (quirky girl, annoying gay guy, mean girl, meathead, sole black woman), but this cast ranges from boring to despicable. They're so terrible, finding a single person to root for requires a compromise of morals and decency. The bar is that low. No one, I'm rooting for no one. Scrap the whole thing and donate the money to charity, I say.
Christmas Remaining in the Game
There were high hopes for Christmas when she entered the house. She's a veteran, competitive body builder, and has a body that screams "comp beast." When she injured her foot, that all came crashing down. Except, for some reason, it didn't. Christmas' injury was serious enough to have her sent to the hospital for surgery and sporting a cast all season. Under any other circumstances, she would have been let go. She has to sit out of most of the competitions because of her injury and has only won HOHs because they were thrown to her. When you think about the fact that poor Cameron was sent home before he ever had a chance to play, it hardly seems fair.
Large Alliances and "Voting with the House"
The days of multiple alliances (with names) competing in the house against each other are long gone. So are the days when you didn't know how the votes would play out because, in the secrecy of the diary room, everyone had their own agenda. Voting with the house has happened for years, but an entire season of it? That's just unacceptable. How can anyone join a 14 person alliance when there are 17 people in the house? The numbers are dwindling, the end is in sight, and people are still voting with the house. Seriously, people; screw the house. It's half a million dollars at stake. Act like it!
Some of the comps are classics that were bound to pop up again, but the comps this season have been a reflection of the cast... terrible. Comps used to bring the heart, soul, and grit out of the contestants. Many of them tested mental or physical skills and agility. They brought out the competitive beast in even the weakest players. Not anymore, though. They are half ass put together and the equivalent of backyard games at a BBQ. There is no imagination or creativity. There are too many repeats, and they are often unfairly skewed. Add into the mix contestants giving up early on just to go back to lounging at the pool or contestants throwing them to each other, and it's just disappointing all around.
Megan Made the Biggest Move
Not only did Megan have the potential to be a decent player, but she appeared to be a decent person, too. In that sense, she already beat most of the cast in spades. Unfortunately, she was also the first victim of this season's unusual brand of bullying, viciousness, and douchebaggery. Megan, a PTSD survivor, self-evicted for her own health. Based on how the game has unfolded since then, her self-eviction is easily the smartest move made all season. It's too bad we BB fans didn't check out when she did. It could have saved us a lot of time, energy, and aggravation.