In a matter of a couple of short weeks now, we are likely going to hear the official cast announcement for “Big Brother 14” — a season that is coming off of a successful 13th installment — even if it was a disappointment in the sense of Evel Dick quitting the show a few days in and in a final three that was pretty disappointing with Adam and Porsche being the two of the most-lifeless players of the season. (The best part about Adam? When he genuinely thought he would be an All-Star when the season ended.)
So what can be done with season 14 to make it fresh? With “The Glass House” trying to steal some of the original’s thunder on Monday night, they’re going to have to get a bit creative in spots to stay traditional and strategy-based while at the same time adding a few new elements.
1. Either go with all returning players, or all newbies – We hate the whole fans vs. favorites concept. It’s ridiculous and unfair — and so long as there is more than one returnee in the game, they tend to get really far by taking advantage of the newbies’ fan colored glasses as well as the vetran’s previous working knowledge of how the house works. (Take last season, when Lawon eliminated himself thinking he was going to be granted some sort of special power.)
Season 11 was to us one of the best “Big Brother’s” in years, and with one exception in Jessie (who went home early in the jury stage), it was all new players. Even though the Brigade continued a pretty useless challenge player in Enzo on season 12, its lineup of newbies still turned out to be entertaining. The balance with these casts was so much better than season 13, which had a stinky feel from the start courtesy of the veterans’ dominance and the new players acting like a bunch of fanboy sheep.
2. Bring back America’s Player – Bring back this excellent twist — while it doesn’t make the entire game the result of what America chooses to do, it still gives them a pretty major place in the game. Is this still a bit unfair to the other contestants? Sure, but we like it better than the ridiculously-unbalanced coup d’etat or America voting on someone to return to the game who changes the entire framework of the house.
We know that the show wants to makes sure America has a say, and from the standpoint of gameplay this is the best way to keep a favorite from automatically get an upper hand.
3. Don’t get cute – If you don’t have a good new idea, don’t try to force it into the show. The saboteur in season 12 was a massive waste of everyone’s time, and none of the houseguests even took it seriously. The cliques for season 11 were much more fascinating, and an early division by gender or age could be more interesting to emulate that effect.
Really, what “Big Brother” needs to remember is that people love the game that is already in place. So long as you cast good players and not just mindless zombies, you are going to have a season that is at least decent.
4. Stay silly – We don’t want to see a debate about politics on “Big Brother” or a serious discussion on sociology — we want to see people getting slapped in the face by giant diplomas or being forced to hold on to giant bananas or hot dogs. This show is deceptively smart, and the only way it stays deceptive is if the challenges are by and large pretty stupid and/or humiliating.
5. Just ignore “Glass House” – After all, we see no evidence that it is going to be anywhere near as good a product. The loyal fans still know which show is going to bring the best entertainment night in and night out. Plus, 24/7 live feeds! (We’ll be covering them all season.)
What do you think “Big Brother 14” needs to do in order to ensure success? We want to hear from you below!