Back in 2013, I started watching "Big Brother" as my neighbor's son was on it. I only expected to watch it until he was evicted, but he kept not getting evicted so I kept watching. He ended up winning that season (which was BB15). By the end of that season, I was hooked. The show became a routine for me over the summers, and I would often change around plans in order to be able to watch the show in the following seasons. I'm often asked why I watch this show, as it seems ridiculous to some people, and other than saying that it's my guilty pleasure, I have a set of reasons I sometimes give.
1. "Big Brother" is a social experiment for me
Locking people in a house and watching what happens is a really interesting look at how people interact. These people have big personalities and it's really cool to watch what happens when people can't walk away from conflicts.
2. Showmances are funny
Oftentimes people couple up in the house, sometimes just for game strategy and sometimes romantically. I find the showmances very entertaining, especially post-show, when most often the couples fall apart. Occasionally, we get gems that stay together and get married and have kids, all because of a reality TV show.
3. I like thinking what my strategy would be
Would I play dumb? Would I beast mode right out of the gate? I don't think I'd ever be able to beast mode myself, so who would I align with?
4. Bitter juries are hilarious.
One of the important distinctions that sets "Big Brother" apart from some reality shows is that the contestants pick the winner, not the general audience. This is really funny to me as often what makes the deserving player lose in the end is the bitter jury. For example, the previous two seasons, BB18 and BB19, Paul played a brilliant game, but didn't consider how he made people feel in his goodbye messages, and he lost because the jury was mad about how he treated them.
5. Blindsides happen all the time, just like in life
A big game move often comes in the form of evicting a big player by "backdooring them". Backdooring involves not initially nominating them and then after the veto ceremony, you replace a nominee with the person you want to blindside. It's dramatic and it's emotional, and I love it.
6. America picks their favorite houseguest
Even though the houseguests pick the winner, America gets a say in the favorite player of the season and usually, it isn't who wins. Last season, Cody won America's Favorite Player despite him being made out to be a villain. People liked him because he was blunt and honest about how he felt, and wouldn't take anyone messing around.
7. People make final twos with four people
Tyler, this season, made final two deals with four people - essentially promising to take all of them to the end. While this is useful strategically, it is also risky for jury management as you inevitably have to betray them. Andy, the winner of the first season I watched, worked with every single person.
8. The people are very relatable
There are a lot of big personalities, and there a lot of extremely understandable reactions to things that happen in the game. Multiple times an episode there will be some facial expression that just gets me and I laugh for minutes about how I would be making the exact same face if I was in that situation.
9. The competitions are physically and mentally impressive
Some of the competitions last for hours, some minutes. I'm almost always awed by the winner of each competition just because I know I couldn't handle some of these challenges.
10. You get to see people at their worst, and their best
The houseguests are in the house for just about 100 days, which means they just can't keep up the pretense of dressing up every day or doing their hair every day. Some houseguests are really genuine people from the get-go, some lie profusely. It's really interesting to watch everyone figure out their games and keep up their acts or to watch them abandon the pretense of it all.
As the season ends and casting begins for the next season and for the second season of celebrity "Big Brother," I know that I'll be watching again next summer. Every season is different and exciting, and who knows, maybe one day I'll be on it. Maybe I won't. We'll just have to wait and see, and expect the unexpected.