Is the Problem Really Julie Chen?

Perusing the internet this week looking for news on Big Brother, I came upon this article from buddytv, suggesting that the problem with Big Brother is the poor host, Julie Chen. As a dedicated Big Brother follower and reality TV watcher, I respectfully disagree.

I think the quality of the host can only be measured if this is integral to the program. Jeff Probst, host of Survivor, was used as an example. He is definitely an integral part of the show, infusing his questions at the tribal council and playing back and forth with them. He leads them through the challenges and has a distinct banter with them.

Look at other reality TV hosts. Phil Keoghan brings his hometown warmth to The Amazing Race. Ryan Seacrest has a banter that doesn’t have to be part of American Idol, but he has made it be a part of it. Tom Bergeron has a quick wit that he uses on Dancing With the Stars that is integral to how the show proceeds and moves along.

But Julie Chen doesn’t have any of that. It can be argued that a small part of why we watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars is because of the host. Julie Chen is not a part of Big Brother’s success and never was. Never do you hear people saying did you hear that crack Julie made about Natalie, or did you hear what she said when Dan won.

Julie Chen has been kept separate from Big Brother. She only hosts the Head of Household competitions, with the food comps, luxury comps, and power of veto comps being lead by the houseguests themselves. She’s never even in the same room with the houseguests until they’re voted out. She talks to them once a week.

The reason we watch Big Brother is to watch the situations the houseguests put themselves in when working around living with strangers. We watch because a certain part of us wants to be big brother, checking in on everyone else. We like to watch the strategies and alliances as everyone fights to stay. Having a good host walk in on Thursday night to lead the voting and eviction wouldn’t make a difference to the success, as the show is on two other nights as well. What about those nights?

CBS head honcho, Leslie Moonves, taking his wife, Julie, of the payroll isn’t going to fix Big Brother. What’s going to fix it is continued seasons like the last. Instead of spending the offseason thinking of new twists, keep it simple and to the point. Somehow the unexpected became the expected. That was evidenced this season as the whole house ran around wondering who America’s Player was.

Have next season be similar to this past one, but instead of throwing last minute twists in that were redone from previous seasons, such as America’s Player, do nothing. They won’t know next year whether to expect anything or not. Everything will be unexpected. Then in a few more years, work in a twist or two, then stop for a few more seasons. That’s how to fix Big Brother.

Photo Courtesy of cbs.com

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Dan’s Football Team – How’d They Do?

We’re big football fans here in this house. In fact, my son played on the local high school’s sophomore team this year,  and my husband coached a youth league while my daughter cheerled for the team. So, it’s something of interest to me. I wondered often since this past season of Big Brother ended how Coach Dan’s team did in his absence, and what happened after he came back.

According to his MySpace, Dan Gheesling isn’t back to teaching yet, but he is back to coaching, or at least he was. Searching up St. Mary’s site online, I found that they were .500 for the regular season, going 4-4, and two weekends ago had a wildcard playoff game in which they lost. Their season is now done.

It’s too bad it wasn’t more of a Cinderella season for St. Mary’s. It would have been nice if Dan had come back from the Big Brother house and led his team to the playoffs, but that wasn’t too be. I’m sure either way he’s doing just fine with his win of a half million dollars.

Come to think of it, Dan’s high school football team is doing better than the Detroit Lions. He should be proud!

Photo Courtesy of cbs.com

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Zombies Invade the Big Brother House

What an interesting concept Charlie Brooker has come up with. He’s created a TV mini-series based around zombies attacking the Big Brother house. The only problem I can see is that this is a mini-series airing only in the UK.

Assumably Dead Set is set in the UK Big Brother house, yet it’s also “fictional,” so I like to think that it could be set in the U.S. Big Brother house as well. The interesting part is that the zombies, the walking dead, are the people on the outside of the house, and they attack the houseguests one by one.

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Now, that would mean us viewers are the walking dead, right? What kind of comparison are they setting here? That our love of this show is because we are basically just waiting to attack them upon their exit of the house? That we watch this show in a zombie-like fashion with no thoughts extended at all? Both of which probably could apply.

Yet, it also makes for an interesting process of watching the show. The next season of Big Brother, which will probably be next summer, when we get someone on there like an April or a Jessie, we can imagine them being on this fictional Dead Set. Or maybe as zombies we could attack alumni as well, as I think Boogie would fit the bill quite nicely.

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Boogie Wins Again!

mike-malin-mugshot000à—0400x496.jpgMike “Boogie” Malin has won a big chunk of change again! It’s just a guess, but I’m figuring he didn’t deserve it this time any more than he deserved it the first time.

Boogie and buddy Dr. Will Kirby were originally on season 2 of Big Brother, with Dr. Will going on to win and Boogie being the first guy evicted. They came back together for All Stars in season 7, intent on winning big with their “Chilltown” alliance once again. This time, Will was evicted by Janelle, who realized he would always choose his buddy over her, his showmance.

We would have much rather seen Dr. Will win for the second time, as he just isn’t as slimy as Boogie. The comments Boogie would make about women were terrible, and he took the showmance thing to an all new level, getting to final two with Erika Landin, then refusing to share a bed with her anymore, after several romps in the hay to get ahead (no pun intended) earlier. They were barely speaking when he won the 6-1 jury vote.

Reading up on his time in Los Angeles, although he and Dr. Will are now the owners of several nightclubs, before hitting Big Brother, as an aspiring actor, Boogie had been arrested for trespassing on the Warner Bros. lot and was found to be making a bootleg version of Batman and Robin. Allegedly, he was going to sell that and some pictures to Inside Edition for $35,000, according to Wikipedia. He was also arrested last year for assaulting a waitress in Denver over a World Series disagreement.

TMZ has now found Boogie to be a winner once again, with $150,000 extra in his pocket after a successful turn at a blackjack table at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Is it just me, or does he seem like he moves about his life doing whatever he wants and getting rewarded for it?

Mug Shot Photo courtesy of insider.com

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So Just When Does Season 11 Start?

300cbslogo042208.jpgSince the end of season 10 in September, there’s been quite some speculation about the eleventh season of Big Brother and when it will air. We were lucky, or unlucky, depending on how you look at it, to be treated to two separate Big Brother seasons in 2008. But what does 2009 have in store for us?

First of all, we have to realize the only reason we had an extra season in 2008 was because of the Writer’s Strike. With Big Brother airing three nights a week, that gave CBS three hours on their schedule they didn’t need to worry about. But, the season turned out badly, and it seemed to hurt the show more than anything else. Really, if we wanted all that, we would just turn on Skinemax.

CBS seemed to finally get it right this summer, airing a season that went back to basics, with little to no twists, and no one having pre-existing relationships. This was great, everything we’d been asking for, but there seemed to be less viewers, most likely because they’d driven so many away with that extra season of highly sexually-energized houseguests.

Baring all that, CBS really would have no reason to have a second season of Big Brother in 2009, unless they have three hours primetime that totally bombs this fall and nothing to replace it with this winter, then maybe they would, but with the writers back on the payroll, I’m not giving that theory much credence.

Browsing the web looking for an answer to this, I found no definitive answers and only speculation. CBS had announced the next season would be in the summer of 2009, but then applications are currently being taken with for the upcoming season with no definitive date for a deadline, and they were casting back in September, which makes no sense if they’re filming next summer.

I’m not a betting person, and only because I usually lose, but if I was, I’d be betting on there not being an extra season. Besides, if Les Moonves does sign off on another season of this in 2009, he’ll have his wife, Julie Chen, to contend with.

Photo courtesy of eonline.com

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