Saturday, February 9, 2008

Is CBS Encouraging Controversy? I Hope So

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what CBS is hoping for in this season’s edition of Big Brother. Just take a look at the female bios – you have a former Penthouse Pet of the Year, a “bikini barista”, and a young party girl who brags about her clit piercing. Add to that a “couples format” that forces pairs to do everything together and you have the potential for more skin then we’ve ever seen before.

Obviously, the network is aiming for more than just the standard “showmance” that has rarely translated into actual tawdry behavior. Was last year’s flirtations between Nick and Dannielle really that interesting? Or the previous season’s couplings of Josh and Britt, Will and Shannon, or Drew and Diane? Even season four’s one-night stand involving David and Amanda was quite possibly the most boring, least sexy boning ever captured by television cameras.

This year the network is doing everything they can to encourage some hooking up. Besides the openly brazen sexual outlook of the majority of the cast (even the token conservative woman has fake tits), the producers are using an eHarmony-ish survey to create the pairings.

Yet there are plenty of rumors calling shenanigans on a few of the contestants. We’ve all heard that one pair (Jen and Ryan) are already dating, and reportedly another pair (Jacob and Sharon) were childhood sweethearts. What if, however, these couples are not actually paired together? Isn’t it possible that the results of the surveys will pair these four with other people? Some good drama could come out of this situation.

But why is CBS amping up the sexual tension? Why would they turn up the house’s heat enough to encourage fewer clothes, as some sites have proclaimed? The answer is obvious – ratings. This is the first time that CBS has aired the show outside of the summer rerun season, and despite the writer’s strike there is much more competition on not only the other networks but also the cable channels. Big Brother has never had to compete with American Idol or The Apprentice, or previously unaired episodes of the various Law and Orders.

Don’t forget about Showtime, as I bet they were very disappointed with last season’s nightly airings. Instead of the uncensored, R-rated material we were promised in the promos, 99% of the evening consisted of Dick smoking, spitting, and ranting. The closest thing to sex we saw all year was Nick and Dannielle sharing a hammock, and outside of Jen’s skimpy bikini we never saw any skin. Something tells me that won’t be a problem this year (or at least I hope not).


Big Brother 9 Begins Tuesday. Information on obtaining a discounted subscription to the Live Feeds can be found here: Big Brother Live Feed Discount Information.