Can we give the judge who said that The Glass House wasn't a Big Brother rip-off a pair of glasses and force him to watch episodes of both shows? Because while there are a few noticeable differences, ABC's reality series definitely looks a lot like BB to us, right down to the terrible interior decorating. But since we're not in the legal business and have nothing to gain from that copyright infringement lawsuit (aside from maybe one less show to watch this summer), we're more interested in how the new program is better or worse than its predecessor.
Worse: Not Really a Glass House
The house isn't really all glass, like we'd imagined. We thought you'd be able to see straight through, giving people constant visuals on each other, but that's far from the case. There are some solid walls (probably necessitated for the cameras and the tech stuff), and giant drapey curtains. What's the point of a glass bedroom if you can just seal it off? Give us Big Brother's Head of Household room any day.
Worse: Sucky Streaming
Not that we necessarily need to be able to watch the houseguests 24/7, but only seeing them for a few hours on Mondays and an hour a day at certain times the rest of the week seems... suspicious. What are they doing the rest of the time? If you are going to be taping these people constantly, we should be able to see it or at least have access to more than about five hours a week.
Worse: Only on Once a Week
And not only is there limited streaming, the show is only on for an hour on Mondays. So instead of the thrice weekly updates on TV that you get from Big Brother (if you choose not to go online to see stuff) you can easily forget that these people are trapped in the house altogether.
Better: The Power Is in Our Hands
The fact that we can vote people off (and by we, I mean the people who actually take the time to go to the site, register, login and then vote), instead of that being solely determined by the houseguests is one of the biggest difference between Glass House and Big Brother (at least after Season 1). It potentially allows a villain (like Alex) to get further in the game without worrying about destroying relationships. Well, that is if the voting public actually appreciates someone who's attempting to make this show interesting.
Worse: No Host
No Chenbot? That's a massive fail. The fact that there's no awkward host to put these people on the spot, or talk to them when they exit, just feels incomplete. Take the case of Jacob just leaving with no warning, and no explanation: the Chenbot would have had a field day grilling him, while wearing some deliciously tacky outfit.
Better: Random Questions to the Outside World
We do like the idea that the houseguests can pose secret questions to America in the comfort of their diary room, and get very ambiguous answers that they can then twist to their advantage (if they are smart enough to do so). It adds a fun interactive level to the show, though if Erica wastes all her questions on Bachelorette updates, we might crack through our TV screens to smack her.
About the Same: Telling Them What to Do
Voting on food and their party gifts and whatnot is the same crap that Big Brother does, and we never care about it then either. Until we get to vote on something of consequence, telling someone that they get to eat sushi isn't really all that riveting at all.
Worse: The Nominations
We sort of love the old-fashioned wall of pictures and the giant key box that Big Brother uses to announce its potential eliminees. Watching teeny girls carry something twice their size always makes us laugh, and we just like the retro-ness of it all. Here, the high-tech video game setup that lets the players shoot the virtual window panes came off as obnoxious instead of novel.
To Be Determined: Limbo Land
The idea of taking two people and putting them in limbo while their fates are determined by the voting public has potential. Will time away from the masses help or hinder their games/strategy? Hard to say as one of the guys this week walked out, and the other guy is determined to be the biggest villain in reality TV history (good luck with that), so buddying up with people isn't part of his plan.
Our biggest lingering question after The Glass House premiere: Will there be slop?
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