A lot of people in the comments section on this site and elsewhere on the Internet have been totally ragging on season thirteen of Big Brother, and while it’s hardly as good as some of the past iterations, I don’t think it’s at the bottom of the pile as some people suggest. Just think back one year ago when we were faced with the dullest season since the first. 2010’s competition saw a group of players so unwilling to scheme or think critically that an alliance of buffoons managed to bamboozle the entire house and take home the victory. There were no power shifts last year. There was no high drama. It was all Brigade, all the time.

For what it’s worth, this season has seen a decent roller coaster of power and emotion. Granted, some of that may have been caused by producer interference, but it has nonetheless been entertaining watching the Newbies and the Vets duel it out all summer. Still not convinced? Just look at the drama that’s unfolded…We started with the Vets firmly in power. With their backs up against the wall, the Newbies splintered (thanks in part to a pretty nifty twist that had couples both tied to and pitted against each other). Just when it looked like it would be smooth sailing for the returning players, greed and hubris got the best of Daniele, whose scheming against her own alliance, forced her into the arms of the Newbies and caused massive infighting for the next several weeks. During that time, the Veterans gained and lost allies. Their one-time lapdog Porsche felt alienated and joined the ranks of Kalia and Daniele. Shelly, meanwhile, became an ardent ally of Jeff and Jordan… until, of course, she wasn’t. In the end, it seemed as though the once-fractured Newbies had somehow persevered over the seemingly unstoppable Veterans… until a conveniently timed Pandora’s Box saved Rachel and Jordan from an uncertain fate. Now we’re left with two Vets and three newbies with at least one of the latter going home. We could not have a more appropriate numbers game for a season that has seen the house so divided in so many weird ways.

And yet people are still annoyed with this season. I suppose I can understand the frustration. There hasn’t been a great hero, nor has there been a great villain. Jeff and Jordan are always lovable, but they veered into sanctimonious territory on more than one occasion this season. Daniele and Kalia, meanwhile, made for solid underdogs, but their personalities don’t allow us to embrace them with open arms. Then we have Rachel and Brendon, two villains if there ever were any, but quite frankly, given some of the lazy gameplay by Adam and the like, it’s hard to be totally against Rachel. This wishy-washy perception of the players unfortunately mitigates our emotional investment in the game. After all, the best seasons are when we LOVE some people and HATE others (Janelle and Kaysar vs. The Friendship always comes to mind).

Additionally, while there has been a large amount of scheming, there haven’t been too many fireworks. There was the dustup between Shelly and Jordan, and we’ve seen Jeff raise his voice a number of times, but even Rachel hasn’t been the heinous wreck that we thought we’d be. We certainly could have done with fewer Lawons and Adams and more hotheads (think Russell the Love Muscle).

That being said, while this season may lack the high drama, it is by no means a dud. We should be thankful for all the strategic scheming and shifting, especially in the wake of last year’s sleepy season. Plus, last time I checked, no other season featured The Chenbot wearing A CAPE. ’nuff said.

Don’t hate; celebrate!

What do you think?

18 replies on “In Defense of ‘Big Brother 13’”

  1. I agree, turns out I’ve actually liked this season and I think it’s hilarious when people post comments like “I’m so done with Big Brother.” riiiiight. The producer manipulation is so blatant this season it’s ridiculous, but at least it’s made it entertaining. I even sort of hoped Brendon would be voted back in because of how crazy it would drive some of the people in the house. And when else has a houseguest actually thought that getting himself evicted would further himself in the game? Priceless!

  2. Exactly! Last year I had a hard time staying awake long before this. The twists this year although appearing contrived, have kept things flipping back and forth. At the beginning I never would have believed it if someone told me who I’d be annoyed by, or rooting for near the end.

  3. I agree that this is far from the worst. And, once I let go of some disappointments and accept the season for what it is, I found some it enjoyable a filled with some memorable players and gameplay.

    Disappointments: 1: Vet vs. Newbies – I either want all new or All stars. Don’t like it on BB, don’t like it on Survivor. 2: Dick dropping out 1st week – I was looking forward to a summer filled with fireworks. 3: Accepatnce of Producer manipulation – up to Season 13 I blinded accepted that the game was pre-set, Amer votes all legit, that conspiracy theorists were blowhards. I did come to accept that producers were influencing play by introducing twists, HoH/POV comps and other activities that based on timing/skill favor certain outcomes.

    Highlights: Overall not mean spirited but lots of back & forth gameplay. Bucked the trend that the house must all vote the same. Shelly – from week 1 had us wondering what she might do, say or lie about next. Lawon Classic stupid move. Dani flipping too earlier. Rachel going from intolerable to contender. Jeff’s dumb Dumbledore remark. The Kalia Nom Nom song – check out you tube if you have not seen. While this Season is not an off-the-charts rollercoaster of action – it was not too bad.

  4. Every season people complain, so that’s nothing new.

    Every season there is some producer manipulation, except maybe last season….and that season was in desperate need of manipulation.

    I like the fact that I hated Daniele, but grew to like her for about a week, and then started to hate her again. I also like the fact that I grew to love Rachel. Even Brendon as the mayor of jurytown is enjoyable (i’m hoping for some more juicing scenes).

    I will always enjoy watching Jeff & Jordan.

    So yeah, I’ve enjoyed this season (even though the feeds were pretty slow)….and if Rachel wins it would be even better.

    I would have loved more fights (like seasons 6, 10, and 11).

    Probably the biggest “pro” of this season is that Dick left in the first week.

    1. What really sucked was BBAD on Showtime no fights, no drama, just Kalia and Porsche eating and sleeping, and eating and sleeping, and eating and so on and so forth ……………

    2. bit of a contradictin. u want confrontation but want Dick to be evicted?
      wish he didnt have to go. it wouldve been so much more entertaining

  5. By this time last year, I had already cancelled my feeds because the house had become duller than Shelly’s complexion (well, come to think of it…that would render the house more greasy, and with Enzo remaining in it, it was). This season hasn’t seen many eruptions, but there have been enough flare-ups to convince me to keep my subscription. The house guests all generally get along, which for us, the viewers, can be unbearable. This sense of superficial harmony I think obstructs us from perceiving some of the shrewd gameplay that has been going on–Daniele, Rachel and even Shelly come to mind.

    The house guests being amicable towards one another is great for them, but not so entertaining for us. Selfishly, I’m still longing for a season as explosive and tension-riddled as season 8. I know, I know, I don’t want to be one of “those” people, but I can’t help but think what would have happened if Evel Dick had remained. That guy was scheming day 1, beginning with how fast he reeled in Porsche. And had Dick remained, Jeff might not have had such a relatively easy rise to power…and might just have been drenched in ice tea instead. But alas, what’s done is done and I agree Ben, comparatively, given other seasons, this is not the best but certainly not the worst

  6. OMG! I cannot believe that I’m soooo hoping for Rachael to win!!! She’s def different this year and also sooo veryyy much better without her bossy,egotistical, whiney Fiance’.
    All in all it’s great this year after suffering thru last seasons brigade. Loved Matt tho!
    GoGoGo Rachael!!

  7. Based on spoilers I’ve seen….

    I think the person with POV needs to use it. It forces a vet on the block and then a newbie has a shot of winning this game. Of Course, it’s not going to happen.

  8. I think it’s been interesting to watch Rachel learn to play the game a different way. I admit to missing some of her theatrics, however. But it’s nice to see her on her own, taming her impulses somewhat. I love her competitiveness, and it can be appreciated more because she’s found a way to make herself likeable, vulnerable. I think her love for Brendon is over the top at times–but it’s also kind of touching. I hope she wins.

  9. I always hate to be a “here, here” bandwagoner, but I have to be honest and second the sentiment.

    Definitely, most of us enjoy the explosive fights and trainwreck meltdowns (even if we don’t want to admit it… our guilty pleasure side craves it) and while we didn’t have those in spades this year, I feel like each week there were one or two happenings that came close enough to satisfy. Also, as opposed to last year, the edge-of-your-seat HOH & POV results made a triumphant (and glorious) return – seems to me like every week people either loved or hated whoever was in power; there was no lukewarmness. That’s always a big sign of a successful season.

    Unfortunately for me, 2011 will be remembered as the year the curtain was pulled back on the wizard that is production. Like one of the previous posters above, I too deluded myself since I first started watching into assuming that everything was pre-planned, lines were at most very loosely scripted, and that the players generally rule the house with a team of decidedly and dedicatedly neutral production living in the walls with the goal of being invisible to the HG’s. Boy was I way off the mark. I understand the rationale of the meddling, and always appreciate drama, but it just seemed a leap too far this year. Let’s hope the right people get their knuckles rapped this offseason and an effort is made next year to show this lesson learned from the public outcry.

    Speaking of next year… (I’m always speculating)… I think in response to not wanting to get caught meddling again, production will cast a wide array of people who are so batshit insane that they have no fear of needing to stick their hands in the cookie jar again. We’ll have a midget luchadore with a drinking problem, TWO gay guys (A BB FIRST!) – one an insatiable nymphomaniac porn star, the other a virginal southern Baptist who because of his daddy issues loves God but believes he’ll spend eternity in hell because of his primal urges. We’ll have a gangbangin’ hood mafuka’ with a heart of gold, with the requisite white BBW who is obsessed on a stalker level with dark meat; the guy in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest consecutive logged time on WoW who has lived in his parents’ basement so long the bright lights in the house will render him blind for the first week in the house and give him 3rd degree burns; a schizophrenic cutter, a 50 year-old ecstasy addict, and they’ll throw Russel back in the house just for fun.

    My money’s on the midget!

  10. Dick/Danielle’s season was the most”producer manipulated one”…that was the season that i and many many others vowed to never watch the show again, tried to get alison fired, and wanted to boycott all the sponsors. I really don’t think season is as bad. Dick got away with so much, threatening jen-ious, throwing tea on her, banging pots and pans, and just generally getting away with homicidal behaviour. I think if he would have held a knife up against someones neck, ala Justin Season Two, he would not have gone home immediately, he probably would have won the game in that instant. It’s like what more can the producers do to make Dick look like more of a dick. and how much more whiney can we make that little anorexic blondy crybaby look?

    On the other hand, this year we have actual people not charicatures. And yes , i am including, Rachel, Adam, Jordan, and Porchse. The only cartoon character is Kahlia. (the next Oprah, Sex in the City, who after a record 19 days of sleeping gets her dream job ….testing mattresses and pillows.) And , i was disgusted at her begging, bawling, and yelling, to try to get her O.W.N. way. Don’t let the door kick you on the way out…or all doors destined to go in and out, and maybe they kick us in the butt, because they WANT to give US a kick in the butt???

  11. I also agree. This isn’t the worst or the best. Almost every season there is the outcries of utter boredom with vows never to watch another season. But we all come back for more. I mean no matter who you throw together, putting people in a house where they have nothing to do but sit around all day and sleep is going to be boring for those of us who watch 24/7. And of course the CBS show will be boring for those of us who already know what happened well in advance.

    I think part of the problem with this season was that the “newbies” didn’t really have much incentive to play the game unless they’re butt was on the line. They could just sit back and watch the vets battle with each other and for the first few weeks, being on the block actually gave an advantage if you survived with the golden keys. As much as we bash the newbies for being boring and not playing the game, they saw the ones who tried to play getting picked off one by one, so why would they want to stick out.

    All in all, not a bad season and for all the whining we will all be back next summer to complain about another group of boring players and producer interference. It’s what makes BB great.

  12. This has been the best season since Kaysar & Janelle’s season IMHO. There hasn’t been a lot of fighting but it was just fun to watch Dominic (in the beginning) and Danielle and the fun crew have a great time in the Have Not room. Actually, Jeff & Jordan’s crew were rarely shown in the beginning (unless they were talking game or if Brenchell was fighting) because they were such a downer.

    I loved this season because I laughed a lot @ Dominic’s pre-teen torturing of Danielle. I laughed @ Rachelle’s breakdowns. I laughed @ Lawaan acting like it was 1930’s vaudeville. I laughed @ Khalia’s apparent subconscious dislike of the other two black people on the show. And I started using terms like “obviously”, “SHOCKER”, and “Sorry, I only have one face”!

    Yeah, I loved this season despite producer interference. I would like it more if a newbie won.

  13. IMO, it is unfair to compare any season of BB with Season 6 (Janelle/Howie/Kaysar v.The Nerd Heard) as that was the BEST.SEASON.EVAH. The BB house has *never* been as divided as it was that season — the live feeds were truly epic. There will never be another season that can to Season 6.

    And production manipulation production schmepulation. Ever since Alison Groder took over from Shapiro there has been ridiculous production manipulation every season, the most heinous being Season 8 — how do you think that bull in a china shop Evil Dick & his bratty daughter got to F2? Compared to Season 8, this season’s production manipulation has been relatively minor.

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