Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Feed my addiction

The cast list for Big Brother 6 is up on the CBS web site. Aw yeah.

You didn't know about my addiction to Big Brother, did you? It's true, I love it. I love Julie Chen with her bad outfits and body glitter. I love the cheap-ass, badly-decorated, Ikea-crap house they live in. And I love the contestants. I mean, I generally HATE the contestants, but I love them for all the stupid, self-righteous, entitled, mean, stupid, ugly, bitchy, scary, stupid, adorable, cute, disgusting, horrifying and mind-blowingly STUPID things they do.

Normally, reality TV is not my thing. I've only dabbled enough in Survivor to know who a few contestants are and to know how rad Sue's "snake and rat" speech was. I've barely dipped a toe in The Amazing Race waters, even though I hear it's excellent. I've tried on the Surreal Life and America's Next Top Model and Kept, and they're all amusing at first, but I get bored quickly.

Big Brother, on the other hand, holds endless fascination for me. It's all about how the game is played. Yeah, they throw in a couple meaningless challenges here and there to pit people against each other "physically" or "mentally." Of course, mental challenges usually entail "remembering shit you heard or saw earlier today." Physical challenges run along the lines of, "stand there and try not to pee yourself."

The true fascination, however, comes from the pure psychology of it all. Ultimately, winning the game has very little to do with winning challenges, and everything to do with personality, strategy, and relationships. Which is interesting enough, but with these people? Oh, these people are special.

If you picked out 14 random people, put them in a room, and said, "Get to know each other, then start voting people off for a chance at $500,000" you would see some interesting stuff happen, right? Alliances would form, people would start bargaining and reasoning and generally doing whatever it takes to win.

Now, imagine that on TV. With a bunch of vain, vapid, misguided fame whores. Who not only want to win, but they also want people to like them. They want fans. They want their decisions to be perceived as good and right, whether they are or not. The most despicable contestants (or hamsters, as we fans like to call them) are the ones who believe that everything they do is good and right and, as such, they are entitled to win. The other contestants, really, should just step aside and hand over the prize.

The likeable contestants are generally the ones who don't give a shit what people think.

In time, however, everyone on the show reverts into the worst versions of themselves. And that's when the show gets really good.

I am not alone in my obsession. There's a whole crew of groovy people over at a site called Hamster Time that recap the live feeds (!) and help feed my addiction.

Call it a guilty pleasure, call it a sickness, call it whatever you want. I don't care. The cast list is up, Julie has a whole new closet of fugly, and my kitchen is stocked with some PB & J. As the hamsters like to say, "It's Aawwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnn!"

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