The Revival Of A Certain Fondness

This season has, to date, entertained heavily. With a quarter of the cast gone, Big Brother 20 has become a quick fan favorite while avoiding the pitfalls that have hurt recent seasons of play. There have been lessons that Production seems to have taken to heart, lessons that – in a lesser season – have not always been considered.

With this has come a new fondness of the show and feeds, one that can be lost quite easily if Production falls upon mistakes made in the past.

This is not, to be clear, a treatise on how Production can go wrong – rather, it is a celebration of what they have done so well so far. Big Brother 20 is a wonderful season to date, and the fandom has responded with enjoyment. The question that must be answered is simple – what have they done so right this time around?

A New Cast

By far, this was the best decision that could have been made. An entirely new cast has been a major refreshment in terms of the product. While archetypes certainly come into play (everyone seems to remind everyone of previous players), we have still seen new people who play on their own terms and strategies. That alone has been a major factor in this season’s success.

New Competitions

It cannot be understated – although the basics of games cannot be avoided for repetition, the actual presentation has been new and original for the most part. Week Four saw the first real repeat competition (and, not coincidentally, the return of a previous player as host) so it remains to be seen if this trend continues. It should also be noted, though, that an anniversary season like Season 20 could – and should – have some callbacks to previous seasons.

Better Presentations

Feeds returning within moments of a live show ending. Full showings of an Endurance competition. Better presentation of important conversations that play out. None of this is coincidental. While the audio feed this season has been rightfully called out for issues, the rest of the presentation of the Feeds has been stellar. Week Five is beginning with a delay in feeds returning as the HoH competition has not played out as of this writing. This has been the exception, rather than the rule.

So, what does this tell us? It tells us that an investment into the product, rather than coasting on previous efforts and easy castings, makes for a great season potential. This has been a fan outcry for years, and it is agreeable to see that request come through to date.

Week Three Recap:

Week Three HoH: Scottie

Scottie, it turns out, has come out clean coming off of his HoH week. With the benefit of an extra week of perspective, we see that what looked like a bad week actually has managed to keep him relatively safe. His biggest threat was voted out, and more attentions were placed on Kaitlyn and Rockstar than back against him. All in all, this ended up being a rather successful HoH reign.

Week Three Nominees: Winston, Brett

Week Three Veto Winner: Scottie, Veto Not Used

The veto win secured his nominations, and Scottie kept his targets clear.

Week Three Evictee: Winston

Winston may in fact be the biggest disappointment in this season. For someone who was seen as a potential threat to go deep, Winston turned out to eb a bit of a dope when it came to playing the game. His emotional play made him an easy target, and his own alliance ensured he would leave since he was not playing well enough to be seen as a competition threat against the other alliance.

Star of the Week, Week Three: Brett

With one move, Brett managed to turn the game on its head going into a critical Endurance competition. A potential challenger was thrown off of her game, and it set the course for the rest of the week to come.

Goat of the Week, Week Three: Rockstar

Winston went from being in a position of perceived safety to Julie’s chair in moments. He never saw it coming, which defines a goat at times in this game.

Game Move of the Week: Brett’s Eviction Speech

There was no question, really. Brett’s speech, while not a major game-changer, defined what was to come… for about a day.

Week Four Recap:

Week Four HoH: Sam

Sam’s week as HoH was a bit polarizing. Her allies stayed with her but Sam’s actions and word choice during nominations definitely made her a future target.

Week Four Nominees: Kaitlyn, Rockstar (Replaced Kaleigh After Veto Used)

Week Four Veto Winner: Faysal, Removed Haleigh From Nomination

Faysal put himself in a bad position, by both winning and playing the Veto. The one saving grace was that Kaitlyn, by being voted out and evicted, could not come abck to target him going forward.

Week Four Evictee: Kaitlyn, Lost Chance To Return

Kaitlyn lost in her bid to remain in the House, an act that was unsurprising given her inability to handle the stress of the game well. Her inability to rely on herself – depending mostly on other players (and mostly men) to “save” her – made her a weak player overall, and her backstabbing throughout the game made her an obvious person to take out once the chance arose.

Star of the Week, Week Four: Faysal

No one in the House was at the root of more drama this week than Faysal. From his promises to two different nominees that he would save them, to his backstabbing of Kaitlyn and his final coup de grace of voting her out, Faysal managed to cause more drama and action this week than anyone else in the House.

Goat of the Week, Week Four: Rockstar

Rockstar’s week was salvaged only by being seen as the worse of two competitors going forward. She didn’t handle Brett’s save well, she played a poor social game this week and allowed her own preconceived judgments to taint her game and in the end, she was seen as a lesser threat than Kaitlyn. Were she not up against a more common foe to the House, she would easily have left this week.

Game Move of the Week: Brett Doesn’t Respond to Rockstar’s Attempts to Rile Him With Pan Banging, Avoiding Blowback Against Him and Directing it Back to Her.

This was a passive move, to be sure – but it had major consequences. Rather than being seen as the instigator of the tirade, Brett managed to be seen as the victim in the attempt by Rockstar to annoy and rile him up. This managed to do two things – first, it saved him from being seen as a danger. Second, it caused many in the House to see Rockstar as someone who needed to leave. This will have ramifications, in the future.