Closing Time, 2015 Edition

As the summer months come to a close, so too does the 2015 season of Big Brother. Big Brother 17 came with a different manner of gameplay, countless alliances – some of which actually stuck to the final episode, and game uncertainty that lasted through to mid-September. This combined to create the most compelling feeds we have seen in years, and one of the better seasons to air in the last decade.

In the end, the season was won by a man whose strategic game was flawed but highly successful – Steve, the college student who beat a master poker player in the final Head of Household competition. Continue reading “Closing Time, 2015 Edition”

The Dynamics Of New Player Gameplay

Returning Houseguest weeks are tricky, as they can go smoothly or poorly for those in power. As the returning Houseguest is never a guarantee, they are often seen as a vengeful wild card – as a result, they are often targeted quickly for eviction. Indeed, past seasons have often seen the returning houseguest leave within one to two weeks.

It will say a lot, then, if John’s immediate return this week after his eviction will play out this way as well, given the dynamics of the House at this time. Continue reading “The Dynamics Of New Player Gameplay”

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”

“Don’t Be Lazy.”

Over the past three weeks, the Big Brother House has seen dominance by one side of the game. The alliance of six spearheaded by Shelli and Vanessa have ran the game with ruthless efficiency, clearing out 3 major opponents while building further inroads with neutral players. One might think that, given this run of dominance, other opponents would step up their games and be ready for battle.

This eviction of Jason this week, coupled with his last piece of advice to the remaining players, proves that the old adage is true – if you’re not in power you’re in danger, and the moment you feel comfortable is when you’re in most danger. Continue reading ““Don’t Be Lazy.””

Fandom, Tiers and the Importance of Access

The Big Brother fandom has always been one where there are tiers to the group. There are the casual fans, those who have seen a few episodes each season or maybe tune in to just the eviction nights. There are the TV Fans, who have seen each episode of the show but do not subscribe to the Feeds. There are the Superfans, which is a term that encompasses many tiers within itself – old-school fans from the earliest seasons, more recent fans who have gotten addicted after a later season, etc. These fans typically are feeds subscribers, read and participate on websites that discuss the show, discuss the shows on social media, listen to shows or podcasts that discuss the show and in general are heavily invested in this summer show.

It is important to consider that despite the differences in these groups, the fandom has an obligation to respect the other tiers and on occasion take a walk in their shoes – an idea reinforced by this writer’s recent experience as a tv-only fan. Continue reading “Fandom, Tiers and the Importance of Access”

Making A Move

There are moments in the Big Brother game that have lasted as memorable over all others. Oftentimes, these are big game moves that ultimately have a large effect on the flow of that season. From Marcellas’ refusal to use the Veto, to Adria/Natalie’s original Twin Twist reveal in Big Brother 5, memorable moments have helped define this show and the success it retains with its fans.

On the morning of July 9th, one such moment occurred – and in the process, set up the story of this show for the next few weeks. Continue reading “Making A Move”

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”