'The Glass House' Premiere Review: Is It a 'Big Brother' Rip-Off?
Monday, June 18, 2012
Realistically, that should be my entire review of ABC's new reality series The Glass House. The show about 14 people locked inside a house and forced to compete was at the center of a huge legal dispute with CBS' Big Brother, which tried to get this show off the air before it began. And after watching the premiere of The Glass House, I wish they succeeded.
As a huge fan of Big Brother who's been watching it for a decade, I'm loyal to the original and have no intention of continuing with The Glass House. I hope many of my fellow Big Brother fans will do the same, and I suspect they will. Unlike singing competition shows, which are all the same, Big Brother has intensely loyal and obsessive fans. And The Glass House looks and feels EXACTLY like a Big Brother rip-off.
The only slight difference is that viewers vote for who gets eliminated, which is an experiment Big Brother tried in season 1 and quickly got rid of because it was so stupid. The Glass House has two teams, and the captain of the losing team and one other member of the losing team will head to Limbo, where America votes for who stays and who goes.
The key to a reality show is casting, and The Glass House is full of painfully obnoxious people.
There's Alex, aka Prime Time 99 (whatever the hell that means), who seems to have wandered onto this show after being eliminated in the first round of The Bachelorette for being too douchey. He openly admits to trying to play the role of the most entertaining villain in the history of reality TV, which is just wrong on every level. My biggest complaint is that his idea of being a reality TV villain is so cliche and pedestrian (ooh, he calls a woman fat and says her poop stinks, how edgy) that he's nothing special, and some of the other idiots on this show fall for his crap.
It's all so forced and staged, especially the way he keeps calling everyone else "baby back bitches." He's not even worth hating because he so desperately craves the attention. Calling him a "fame whore" would be insulting to actual whores. I'd more than happily write 1,000 more words on how annoying he is, but that's exactly what he wants, so I'll stop now.
There's Jacob, Alex's instant bro-mate who isn't sure if Oregon is on the west or east coast. He describes himself as "street smart, not common sense smart" which almost makes me like him because it makes me think he's mentally retarded. There's no other explanation for his level of stupidity.
There's Jeffrey, the big, fat gay guy who is such a painful cliche that I assume he's Kathy Griffin's personal bodyguard.
There are a ton of hot girls who all use the word "real" to describe themselves in their introductions. Seriously, more than half of them said it so now the word "real" means nothing to me.
There's Apollo who reminds me of a slightly uglier version of Adam from HBO's Girls, only with ears as big as a satellite dish. He also decides his entire game strategy based on random draw.
There's Mike, who claims that being 48 years old makes him a senior citizen who is close to death. I suppose when it comes to reality TV casting, he's right.
In case you can't tell, I have nothing but contempt for this group of misfits who are either not smart enough or not interesting enough to make it onto Big Brother so they have to settle for reality TV's sloppy seconds like the singers who are on Duets instead of American Idol or The Voice.
The premiere competition featured Jacob's team losing, which was heavily foreshadowed the night before when he told his team "I got no doubt that we're not gonna win." Obviously he didn't mean that, but when he's forced to string together more than four words at a time, he gets confused.
The most interesting part is a twist where the contestants get to ask online fans a question and everyone else in the house sees the answer, but no the question. These range from strategic questions to questions about whether Ari the racecar driver is still on The Bachelorette (that question obviously comes from a contestant who knows about network synergy).
At the end of the day, Alex is sent to Limbo with Jacob because everyone is sick and tired of Alex acting like a d-bag. They don't hate him because he's an amazing reality TV villain, they hate him because it's so obvious he's trying to be the villain.
The funniest part is that, at the very end, it's reveled that Jacob quit the show after he went into Limbo, so he's gone and now America has to vote on whether Alex should stay or go. In theory I hope he is kicked off The Glass House, but since there's no chance I will ever watch this lame Big Brother rip-off again, I honestly don't care.
(Image courtesy of ABC)