The Glass House finally made its debut last night. I’m taking an educated guess that 50% of the viewers tuning in were Big Brother fans just “checking it out”, 25% were hardcore reality tv fans who would have checked it out even if it was called The Glass Toe, and maybe 6 women who tuned in just because it was on right after The Bachelorette. You do the math.
I watched live, from Belgium, at 4am my time (don’t worry, my newborn Noah was under the care of my baby daddy…for all you baby mama drama queens out there) and I’m glad I did. As a reality TV fan first, I appreciated something new and different that wasn’t very new and different. Nobody was taking money out of my pocket and nobody was making me watch anything I didn’t choose to.
There were so many negative tweets out there in the Twitterverse and I couldn’t quite understand a) why these people were taking this copycat of a show so personally and seriously and b) why they were still watching if the show was such a “rip-off”, etc. Even many of the BB alum feigned disgust when I know you know I know that a good majority of them would be willing to be cast in FAR worse than The Glass House. I suppose that’s why I’m the one writing this and not any of them. As obnoxious as I can be, I can also be equally objective.
So let’s take 16 “common” attributes from each show and see “Whodunit Best”!
COOL HOUSE: Some may disagree with me on this one, but I don’t think the GH house is “that” much cooler than BB houses. It is cooler yes. The GH house’s furnishings probably cost more and the “coolest” effect is the glass all over the place, while much of BB comes from IKEA…making the rooms in the BB houses sometimes look too sterile. GH does it better though, because they manage all the video/camera angles without the “people in the walls.” So GH wins this round.
ROBOTIC HOST: Now before you get all excited and let Chenbot know I gave her a “win”, just know that it’s because with the GH gives us nothing more than her monotonous voice to poke fun at. There’s no glitter, or cameltoe or cue cards to make fun of like we have on BB. So BB wins this round.
TYPECASTING: Every show does it. It’s not just GH or BB. However, GH and BB seem to typecast equally obnoxiously insulting stereotypes for the American public to watch. The single mom, the single dad, the angry douche, the funny gay, the token Black/Hispanic, the sole old dude/lady, the bimbo/jock, etc. You get the idea. This is a draw for me.
CHALLENGES: I can totally see BB doing the challenge that GH set up for their players last night. HOWEVER, BB always has that budget Double-Dare-feeling to all their challenges while GH’s attention to detail is clearly tighter. In addition, the outfits that GH provided their players for the challenge were of way better quality. So GH wins this round.
TECHNOLOGY: The GH pages on the ABC site are a sad example of the copycat job drawn from CBS’s BB pages. However, the microphones GH uses are black/metal ones worn around the players necks and are FAR superior to the dinosaurs BB HGs must wear. Notice I used HGs…a term strictly only to be used for the one, the only, BB. Plus, the voting system that GH’s players use, etc… is much more entertaining, in theory, to let’s say the clunky nominations box (it’s heavy, trust me) that is BB. So GH wins this round.
DIARY ROOM: Both shows employ a “diary room” where their cast members can speak freely without fear of being heard by others. We haven’t really seen what the GH diary room looks like but we know the BB one isn’t much to write home about anyway. So this is a draw for me.
STRATEGY: Though not all BB alum have had successful strategies (some with none at all), the premise of the game is always clear. With GH, there is so much power in the hands of the viewers that there’s no real rhyme/reason to cozying up/avoiding people in the house. A few of the GH players attempted whispered gameplay…which would come in handy with “nominations”, but still seems pointless. This is a clear choice for me. So BB wins this round.
DRAMA: There’s never a shortage of drama in the BB house and even on the first night in the GH house we saw some drunken stupidity and heard insults hurled. But GH clearly supplies their players with more alcohol than BB ever did. And we all know what happens when unstable people get their hands on booze with free refills. So GH wins this round.
SKIN: Like, drama, there’s never a shortage of skin of all colors and elasticity. Whether it’s competitions involving swimwear or fake beach or pajama parties, both CBS and ABC like to provide the voyeurs with some exhibits of undress. This is a draw for me.
FAKE BOOBS: I had to think long and not-that-hard on this one and I can’t believe I actually sat here and counted boob jobs from BB seasons past. But I did. It’s a humiliating job but some Korean’s gotta do it. Clearly, the casting crew from both networks always make sure there is sufficient implants on their respective shows. This is a draw for me.
JACUZZI: Both shows have jacuzzis. BB has theirs outdoors and GH has their indoors (although with all the glass everything feels outdoorsy). Having experienced both kinds myself, I don’t think there’s really a point to argue here. EXCEPT that BB always makes their HGs earn their jacuzzi. So BB wins this round.
AMERICA'S INFLUENCE: BB likes to have us think that the viewers’ choices matter, when really, everything is pre-planned. GH producers could quite possibly be doing the same thing, since the voting is not calculated by some accounting firm who provides a big reveal like on beauty pageants. And lord knows, I’ve never bothered voting for any of BB’s past America’s Choice questions… So GH wins this round.
LIVE FEEDS: This is an easy one. GH “feeds” are free, while BB feeds are not. But BB feeds are 24-7 while GH feeds are barely a few hours a week. So GH wins this round.
FREQUENCY TELEVISED: BB is on three times a week every summer while GH is on once a week. Not that I (or any of us for that matter) would want to watch GH three times a week, once a week for a show based on BB’s everything is not nearly enough. The beauty of BB is knowing what’s going on as much of the time as possible in conjunction with feeds and televised programming. So BB wins this round.
SHOW DURATION: BB is an all-summer show for the long haul of three months. GH is on for 10 weeks. Plus, BB HGs do not leave the house for the duration of the summer (unless they get to go to the MTV VMA show like I did. However, it seems GH players are only physically in the house for the week…leaving to stay at a hotel on the weekends. SO strange.
PRIZE MONEY: GH is 10 weeks for a possible winning purse of $250,000. That’s half the $500,000 prize BB awards. So BB wins this round.
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So there you have it. Big Brother took 7 rounds while The Glass House walked away with 5. Obviously Big Brother will win every time because there is, only, one Big Brother.