Closing Time, 2016 Edition

Summer 2016 has come to a close, and with it the eighteenth season Big Brother ends with the closest vote in many seasons and a historic winner in Nicole, a returning player who beat a strong new player in Paul and became the first woman to beat a man in the final vote. It saw a new America’s Favorite Player in Victor, a man whose own season was historic for his multiple returns to the house in one season. It saw the It saw the promotion of the first all-online season of Big Brother, to premiere in less than a week.

With all of this came the end of one of the least popular seasons in Big Brother, and the hope that future seasons learn from the mistakes of Summer 2016.

Continue reading “Closing Time, 2016 Edition”

Double Play, or Struck Out

At the end of any season of Big Brother, there is no greater power than that of the Veto. From the Final Five on, alliances can be made or broken based soelly on who wins he Veto, moreso than who wins Head of Household. It is quite telling, in fact, that the two most recent Head of Household were evicted the following week. Victor and Corey’s evictions could be predicted as strong possibilities going into their respective final weeks.

What was less predictable, however, was the lack of realization in each player as to their respective fates.

Continue reading “Double Play, or Struck Out”

The Crushing Truth

The most painful losses in Big Brother are ones in which the person evicted had no idea how much they played a role in their loss. Players who put the blame on others for their own poor play have been shown the painful truth later on, and the realization that they sealed their own fate has caused embarrassment for many a former Houseguest.

In the end – and despite putting the blame on James for most of the week – Natalie had no one to blame but herself

Continue reading “The Crushing Truth”

The Delusion of False Assuredness

In a game where deception and double-dealing are remarkably effective strategies for victory, it is just as remarkable that people can feel assured of anything as a Big Brother Houseguest. Any information gleaned, any promises made or any long-term plans must be taken with a heaping mound of salt, as the very motto of the game itself is to “expect the unexpected.” James was the very model of this axiom in his previous season, as he reneged on a promise and deal made during an endurance competition and ensured an enemy was taken out.

It is fitting, then, that this truth of the game – that few things can indeed be taken as truth – may in fact cause irreparable damage to James and Natalie’s long-term games, especially when this has already been used against them in recent weeks.

Continue reading “The Delusion of False Assuredness”

The Imitation Game

From the beginning of Big Brother 18, there has been a consistent effort by two players to play the strategy that led to a win by Derrick LeVasseur in 2014. Both players were coached by Derrick, both came in with a pedigree (though with different origins), both have seen some success during the season and prior to two weeks ago, there was a clear indication of which was most likely to succeed and which would not.

That the tables turn in Big Brother is unsurprising – that Paulie’s eviction became unavoidable while James is in a clear position to be successful in the game going forward was surprising, and tells much about the lessons each took from the Big Brother 14 winner.

Continue reading “The Imitation Game”

An Unhealthy Dose Of Paranoia

In the Big Brother House, it is important that the power of paranoia not take over your game. While it is healthy to remember that it is a game and that others will be working to eliminate you, it is also important not to sabotage your own game by looking for conspiracies when none are present. Preventing yourself from falling victim to your own suspicions and paranoia is just as important as any other aspect of your social game, and the halls of Big Brother are littered with players who could not control this part of themselves.

The two evictees of the past two weeks, Frank and Da’Vonne, both suffered from shortsightedness – but in Da’Vonne’s case, her inability to control her own paranoia ended up devastating her game and alliances throughout the season.

Continue reading “An Unhealthy Dose Of Paranoia”

The Pendulum’s Swing, Part II – The Other Swing Back

Key to the ability to play Big Brother is the understanding that one will not be in power forever. It is simply a numbers game – eventually, the other side has to get a victory. Inevitably, however, the reigning group makes the mistake of believing that they can win out. More amusing is when a group that finally gets a taste of power makes the exact same mistake a week later.

Sure enough, this mistake was made when Becky came into power this week – a mistake that cost her dearly in the end. Continue reading “The Pendulum’s Swing, Part II – The Other Swing Back”

The Pendulum’s Swing

It has been said time and time again – Big Brother is chiefly about social interactions and how we survive the loss of control. How we deal with others is as important – if not moreso – than winning competitions. Indeed, 17 seasons of Big Brother have given us countless examples of players who have either survived a loss of power due to an excellent social game, or seen their game collapse once they lost control. From Jace of BB5 to Ronnie of BB10,  the show is littered with the corpses of gameplay that failed the social game. When the pendulum swings, one has to be prepared to face the consequences if one has not played a good social game.

Once again, the pendulum has swung – and once more, we see examples of gameplay that led to survival as well as departure. Continue reading “The Pendulum’s Swing”

Off To The Races

Going into this season of Big Brother, there was no way to know how this group of Houseguests would interact with each other. Would we see a mediocre cast, one that fell into place behind one master strategist a la last year? Would we see a group that didn’t mesh well at all? What would we see?

It seems no one could have predicted the cast we have – and as a result, we have one of the most exciting opening weeks of Big Brother in terms of gameplay, scheming and strategy.

Continue reading “Off To The Races”

Once More, Unto The Breach

With the rising temperatures and passing of seasons, the thoughts and fancies of a few million people turn once more to a small studio set in Los Angeles. Here, 16 people will once more compete for half a million dollars while several of us watch intently looking for all sorts of action, backstabbing and fascinating social interactions. We will comb through words and deeds, looking for any sort of entertainment value that can be thrust upon us by these people.

In other words… Big Brother 17 has begun – and not a moment too soon.

Continue reading “Once More, Unto The Breach”