There are some parts of Syfy’s “Opposite Worlds” as a series that do not necessarily excite us so much. Take, for example, the worldly challenges so far … or strictly the name “worldly challenge” in the first place. Also, all of the statistics right now suggest that there is really a balancing-off point between all of the various twists on the show. While the living situation clearly favors everyone who stays in the future, the public is almost always going to favor those who live in the past.
What is to us the most intriguing thing about the show is their real-time Twitter Popularity Index, which uses an algorithm to determine who is the most popular of the contestants based on what you are tweeting about them. In a way, the formula is imperfect given that it may read certain words as negative and cannot account for context or tone. However, there is something very interesting that basically comes from defining contestants every week and then telling the whether or not they are loved and hated.
This would all be amplified on a show with live feeds. For example, do you feel like “Big Brother 15” could have been at least in some way different if the houseguests knew what America thought at them. It wouldn’t change that some of them had already said offensive, racist things, but at least it could have curtailed that sort of behavior a little earlier on, and caused them to have a wake-up call that there is something that they are doing that is wrong. It could also create so much more paranoia in the house, since there may be a strategy to almost not be the most-popular person in fear of that making you a target.
One way in which the popularity index is changing “Opposite Worlds” already comes in the form of Jesse. This is a guy who early on, seemed liked a cocky jerk to most everyone he ran into. While we are not saying that he has had some sort of grand epiphany, there is a change in his demeanor that has come with being second-to-last in the most recent poll. Seeing humans react to statistical data can be fun, especially when it is all captured on film.
While we’re not quite sure that we would want real-time tracking data on other reality shows, we at least wish that “Opposite Worlds” had a live stream so that you could really fix what is their index’s greatest flaw: Production basically dictates it by edit. This is what keeps this idea from perfection; while they may feel like it is a fair-handed edit, there is still a certain joy that comes from seeing every contestant in their element.
Do you think that a popularity index should be carried over to other shows, or would you prefer that “Opposite Worlds” had a live stream, and then gave us everything we wanted at once? Share your thoughts one way or the other below, and head over here to get even more scoop on all things TV via our CarterMatt Newsletter.