This Monday I saw a brand new Reality Series called “The Glass House”. People hate the show for it being a ripoff of Big Brother, and while they would be correct there are many notable differences. On “The Glass House”, the viewers get to vote on practically EVERYTHING! What they eat, where they sleep, what happens and the most important part – who is eliminated.
On Big Brother, the contestants have to conspire against each other and form alliances to knock off people one-by-one until there is only one left standing. Where do you fit in? When you vote on “America’s Player” (which is probably dead) and “What else do the Slop Eating Losers eat?” each week. At the very end, you do get to pick your favorite, but instead of $250,000, it’s a lousy $25,000 (probably the same amount as their stipend).
Yes, both shows take place in houses with cameras and microphones.
Yes, both shows have really terrible competitions.
and Yes, both shows are REALLY boring to watch on the livefeeds.
The difference I see is that on one show – people are being fake and phony to each other to win the game, the other is being fake and phony to you, the audience, in order to win the game.
CBS really had nothing to worry about with this show. They have their summer splash show, Big Brother, on three nights a week, with a late-night feed of people staring blankly at the ceiling saying absolutely nothing.
ABC put this show on at 10 PM on a Monday, and gave it a “late night feed” on Monday, that West Coast people (such as myself) can’t watch and a daily hour-long liveshow on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday. No recaps of what happened, and it’s hard to compile everything that happened into an hour long show. It’s going to flop, because they didn’t give it that much exposure. It’s also painful to see “America Votes” while the audience is wondering “How the hell do I vote on this show?”
Big Brother has simplistic rules for elimination – HOH Contest – They Nominate 2 People For Elimination – VETO Contest – They Choose to Keep It or Save Someone – HOH Votes for someone else if it’s changed – Everyone in the House Votes – Most Votes Out.
Glass House has complicated rules for elimination – America votes for to save – 2 with lowest votes ends up as captains and selects team members – Losing Team’s Captain is up for Elimination- Someone else on losing team is up for elimination as voted on by the house – Those two are “In Limbo” – America Votes Someone Out.
It’s complicated and convoluted, if America is voting and the two with the least amount of votes are “captains for the challenge”, the contestant who is in limbo because of their loss in the challenge is pretty much safe each week. What should happen is the two lowest votes are “In Limbo” and then America votes again who is “safe” each week. If you took out the “Big Brother Competition” each week, it would make for a better show.
The Glass House is a simple idea, and I loved the idea of “America deciding on everything” it takes me back to the very first season of “Big Brother” or any of the other incarnations of the show (Big Brother UK, Big Brother Australia) where the nation votes on who is safe each week. The difference is Social Media (Facebook, Twitter) plays a pivotal role on this show, while on others – it’s just a hashtag.
Big Brother is a decent show and it has goofy competitions, zinging robots and surprises around every corner. But it doesn’t have something that “The Glass House” has – which is intelligent discussion. During Liveshows on “The Glass House”, the voice of the house (Crystal, Oracle, GHIRL, VAL, what have you) actually gives the housemates information about the current events going on that day and they are forced to have a conversation about it. Big Brother doesn’t allow current events aside from the “Summer Blockbuster Movie Screening Luxury Competition”. Just imagine having Jeff and Jordan try and explain “The Death of Rodney King”. It’ll be comedy gold.
Likewise, The Glass House doesn’t have something that Big Brother has, which is exciting contestants. Aside from Erica, Gene and Mike – everyone else is boring to watch, not funny, or just trying to say “what sounds the most appealing to America”. Even the so-called “Most Epic villain in the House” Alex isn’t that much of a villian, he’s just a smug arrogant prick, and this was BEFORE I saw the first episode. Even on the liveshows he’s smugging the camera giving off an “Aren’t I the stinker?” look. While failing to understand that the best Reality Television villains, are the ones who are the most self-aware and themselves. You just have to show up and go “stop acting up so America likes you” and you’re instant-villain. Evel Dick is the best “Villain” of any reality television show, because he was himself. We don’t need to see another Evel Dick or an Evel Dick for Glass House. I just want to see people being themselves, and whenever there is a huge disagreement that it’s captured and broadcasted for America to see.
As of right now, the show doesn’t know what it wants to be, is it Big Brother US, Big Brother UK, or a tattered mesh of both? The show would’ve worked better with a live audience, a physical host, and a physical entrance similar to BBUK. But nevermind that, ABC doesn’t even care about this show.
All this show has is a really cool entrance and exit. Other than that, it’s just a boring reality show to watch.
So CBS, stop acting like a bunch of babies because you lost a lawsuit regarding this show. Making phony press releases as revenge for ABC winning only makes you look like sore losers. If you would’ve just stayed the course, pretend this show doesn’t exist and used the money that was spent on lawyers for high definition cameras, set dressing and reconstruction of the Big Brother House, you would have nothing to worry about.
Instead, stuff like this happens and it makes you look like a terrible company. Which is a shame, because I really love “The Price is Right”. Between Big Brother and Glass House, I’m probably going to stick to “The Glass House”, simply because of the actions that CBS pulled to try and stop this show from airing… and then next summer I’ll probably go back to watching Big Brother, because this show got cancelled. Should’ve put this show on during Winter.