Big Brother has been a summertime guilty pleasure for me for years. I’ve skipped some seasons (three episodes a week for nearly three months is not always a commitment I am capable of making), but I couldn’t tell you which ones without consulting Wikipedia. The seasons fade from my memory or blur into fuzzy recollections of other seasons minutes after host Julie Chen announces the results of the final vote and the “Houseguests” wave goodbye to the cameras that spied on their every whisper, argument, cuddle, swim, smoke, flirt, folly and fart for three months.
I remember the rogues best — the characters we love to hate. The smug, showmancy puppet masters of Chilltown. Duplicitous Danielle and her diary room downfall. Demon dad Evel Dick. I watch Big Brother for the soapy sensationalism derived from stupid people plotting intricate conspiracies of lies, betrayal, and emotional abuse to win a week’s worth of power and chase a meager pot of prize money. Last year’s runner-up Dan Gheesling pulled off one of the greatest fork-tongued ass-saving scams in reality show history with a devious deception that involved feigning the appearance of Biblically-inspired contrition and traumatizing his closest ally with phony allegations of treachery. Delicious. It’s like watching the callow hedonists of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers play Mafia for three months, with a couple nerds, geeky professionals, and parents (who clearly need a break from their kids) thrown for diversity, and a dash of humanity.
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