Big Brother 10: Basking in Houseguest Ambiguity
Big Brother 10: Basking in Houseguest Ambiguity
Big Brother 10 provides us fans with an endless stream of discussion topics.  Everyone has their favorite houseguests, the ones they absolutely despise, a prediction on how the season will play out, and their own very personal reason for disliking Julie Chen.  Every single fan of Big Brother has opinions.  In this way, Big Brother is different from most shows, even the popular reality ones.  American Idol fans can take in episodes without holding strong opinions, and enjoy it merely for the singing and the spectacle.  Survivor fandom is predicated on how CBS decides to edit each episode, and thus makes it much easier (and common) for fans to change opinions throughout the season.  Dancing with the Stars is just plain goofy.  With Big Brother, rabid fandom comes with the requirement to take hard-line stances, to root for houseguests with much gusto and to root against houseguests with strong vehemence. 

The thing I love about this season of Big Brother is the vast array of different, potentially likable houseguests.  There's no one remaining in the house who absolutely deserves universal hatred.  There's also no one remaining in the house with totally clean hands.  They seven houseguests are all of ambiguous character, and it makes everything much more fun.  No out and out villains, no out and out heroes.

This is different from previous seasons.  As much as I may like Dan this year (or Keesha or Memphis), they are not entirely free of blame and deserving of complete love.  Dan has been downright manipulative at times, under-handed, and has lied about his motivations on more than one occasion.  Keesha has stirred up the occasional controversy, and has (in my estimation) wrongly called out some fellow houseguests in situations where she could have taken the high road.  Memphis has been sneaky and occasionally arrogant, with a slight aura of superiority.  Ollie's relationship with April is enough, for me, to deduct more than a few likability points. Renny is crazy and prone to high annoyance.  Jerry is a loose cannon, spineless in his gameplay, and we can't forget his Judas ramblings.  And Michelle, well, all you have to do is recall her uncalled for remarks regarding Libra and her family. 

You see, no one is totally irredeemable.  But, you can make an argument about why you should root for any one of them.  In year's past, this was hardly the case.  Last season, Natalie was almost a complete waste of space, offensive in her words and actions, and frustratingly dumb.  On Big Brother 8, Amber and Jen were two of the most unforgivable houseguests ever, and it was nearly impossible to find fans openly rooting for either.  On the other hand, I'd be hard-pressed to find any reason to root against Eric or Jessica.  I could go on and on.

Ambiguity on Big Brother is interesting, and it should make the final weeks and the jury vote a lot of fun.  We need to enjoy it while it lasts – Big Brother is always hit and miss when it comes to the cast.  This season, they got it right.


-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of BigBrotherCaps.com)
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