How I Fell in Love with “Big Brother”

On a Wednesday evening early in the summer I was bummed. Sidney and I were to leave for Spokane to enjoy vacation with my family. However, Delta Airlines called me right as we were about to leave for the airport to tell me our flight was canceled. With our trip now on hiatus at least for the night, we tried to make the best of the situation. We went and picked up Chinese food and returned to my place to eat and watch television. Sidney had the remote and changed the channel from ESPN to CBS. If there was a silver lining in our whole mess with Delta, it was that Sidney could now watch her favorite summer program.

It was the “Big Brother 17” season premiere. On a typical day I would have protested. I am not a fan of most reality television and at the time I considered the Big Brother franchise the scum of the genre. How boring, uncreative, and trashy can you get? People are confined to a house for three months while cameras follow their mundane activities and random conversations. No thank you.

I watched that first episode with Sidney from start to end. I made fun of it the entire time. I wasn’t really even paying attention to the content of the show, I was just expressing how dumb I thought the people and concept were. Sidney told me that she didn’t want me to watch it with her anymore.

We went to Spokane and for roughly the 12 days we were there, she kept up with the show. I didn’t. When we returned to Myrtle Beach and she started watching it on the scheduled nights again, I told her I wanted to watch it with more of an open mind. She gave me a second chance. Those first few episodes I was still very cynical. I tried to be on my best behavior but my sarcasm sometimes came out and Sid became frustrated with me. However, after those initial episodes, I started to chill out a little bit. My interest was piqued.

My insults turned to questions. I asked Sidney question after question about game strategy. I inquired about Power of Veto competitions, double evictions, Zingbot, and Julie Chen. I learned about the tradition of the show and common tactics. I actually learned the names of the cast and the weekly format of the show. Although I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the program yet, I was at least becoming educated.

As the weeks went on I actually started to kind of look forward to Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings in front of the TV. I started to understand the competition. Perhaps most importantly to my Big Brother initiation, I began to root for certain houseguests. I also zeroed in on a few houseguests who I absolutely detested and wanted to see evicted. A subtle passion was developing inside of me.

By late August I was very involved with the show. Sidney and I planned our evenings around the program and discussed it during our free time. I was talking “Big Brother” with people at work. At times I would watch the expanded “Big Brother After Dark” programming. In a couple true moments of weakness, I turned to blogging sites for spoilers. Sidney had converted me into a true “Big Brother” fan.

My fandom reaches a new level tonight. The “Big Brother 17” season finale will play out at 9:30 p.m. Three contestants remain but by the time 11 p.m. hits, only one person will be left. A cool $500,000 will be awarded to that skillful player and his/her name will forever be revered in Big Brother lore. I will have a rooting interest…

Throughout the season I strongly supported Jackie, Austin, and Vanessa. Jackie appealed to me much to my fiance’s chagrin. Austin was just a likeable and eccentric guy. Vanessa had been on my radar since her poker playing days and I respected her intelligence and strategy. Unfortunately, not all three made it to the end. Jackie earned herself a spot on jury but was evicted weeks ago. Austin was stunned early last week when he was evicted by an unlikely houseguest. Who was that houseguest, you ask? It is the person I am 100% rooting for tonight…Vanessa!

Like I mentioned, I am in awe of how smart and calculating Vanessa is. She has been my favorite the whole show and I want to see her win that half million. I know she faces a tough road this evening but her back has been up against the wall several times this summer. I really hope she makes the final two and that the jury makes the right decision to crown her the champ.

Sidney, you were right…”Big Brother” isn’t that bad. I have enjoyed watching the show this summer and I appreciate you putting up with me! Will I watch next summer? Tough question. These shows bring with them a significant time investment. I might watch, I might not. However, I won’t knock it. Enjoy the finale, everyone. Don’t Blink.

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