Summer is my favorite season for a number of reasons — hot weather, the beach, flip-flops, iced coffee — the least of which is that it marks the start of another season of “Big Brother.” Oh yeah, I watch that show religiously every year and I refuse to apologize! I subscribe to the live streams too. And I listen to a freaking “Big Brother” podcast every week. Don’t judge me! I’ve got company! The CBS reality show must be popular considering they bring it back every summer and air new episodes three days a week. (That’s more airtime than “American Idol” gets, you guys.) But I am the only person I know who watches it and it’s gotten to be kind of lonely. With the 15th season premiering tonight at 8 p.m., here are four reasons you should join me in watching this latest crop of goons compete for $500,000.
1. It’s unpolished. “Big Brother” has always felt strangely authentic to me. Perhaps its because there are 65 cameras and 98 microphones monitoring their every move and recording every moment, and the live feeds make it difficult (though not impossible) for producers to meddle and the house guests to maintain a false persona for very long. While there are certainly people cast who hope to use the show as as springboard for some sort of career in Hollywood, most are just there to play the game. Plus, the house guests on BB are always rough around the edges in some way, tackier, dumber, and goofier than what has become typical of reality TV stars. Even the house guests whose personas are the most calculated — like “BB 13″‘s Rachel Reilly (whose sister Elissa is competing this season) or “BB11″‘s Jessie “Mr. Pectacular” Godderz — seem like people you might know, if not actually talk to.
2. There are twists! Oh god, what would reality TV be without unexpected twists that completely fuck everyone’s original game plan, forcing them to completely rethink their strategy at the drop of a hat? Double eviction nights! The Golden Ball of Veto! Pandora’s Box! It all sounds ridiculous — and it is! — but it’s also incredibly exciting. Who can forget when Dan Gheesling narrowly escaped an almost guaranteed eviction by faking like he wanted to leave the house, then teaming up with his nemesis, lying to his alliance, and eventually getting his original ally Britney evicted instead? It was basically a master class in sociopathy. (Nevermind that he was robbed — robbed! — in the end.) And the twists this season have already started to come out. No longer will there be two nominees each week — instead there will be three, which is sure to impact how the various alliances vote. Also?
3. No more floaters! This season, America gets to choose one houseguest to be each week’s MVP and that person will get a special power in the house. Regardless of what that power is, this twist makes it basically impossible for any of the house guests to lay low and “float” their way to victory. America is watching and tag alongs won’t be rewarded. The people who are actually aggressively playing “Big Brother,” be it strategically, socially or physically, will rise to the top. As aggressive players are typically more entertaining — hello, Evil Dr. Will Kirby forever – this is good news for fans of the show who are sick of boring wimps staying in the house longer than they deserve.
4. There are sure to be sexytimes! Pack a house with a bunch of relatively attractive 20- and 30-something men and women, take away almost all forms of entertainment and distractions (except a pool and some free weights), lock the door for a record 100 days and romance, I mean showman, is sure to blossom! As in seasons past, I expect a couple or two to form relatively quickly. Who will be the next Jeff or Jordan? Rachel and Brendon? Jessica and Eric? And will they care that the infrared cameras and high tech mics broadcast their every moan for our at home enjoyment? I cannot wait to find out.