Big Brother 15 premiered Wednesday night, and it’s… mind-numbing! Again! YES! Some fantastic things never change, including the summery blast of skull Novocaine that is Big Brother.
The only change in sight? Now instead of two eviction nominations per week, Headmistress Julie Chen is ratcheting it up to three. The third nomination is posted by a designated “MVP,” the houseguest voted by Big Brother viewers as the week’s best player. The best part? MVP status is a secret, making that third nomination very enigmatic. Oooh. Call me Diana Rigg, because you’re watching MYSTERY!
Also good news: There are no returning cast members this season. While veterans are entertaining, they’re usually what makes a season feel staler faster. This year, we have 16 (deeply) archetypal newbies, and I already have my favorites. As well as even more non-favorites, of course. Let’s sort ‘em out!
Key quote: “I might come off like a girly girl, but I have no problems getting my hands dirty.”
Aaryn also has no problem spelling her name “Aaryn,” which is a problem. So far she’s spunky and cartoonishly cute (literally, like a coloring book illustration of young Christie Brinkley), and I think she’s right about having a devious edge. I don’t hate her yet, which is staggering news.
Key quote: “We need to get our poll numbers up. THERE’S NO ROOM FOR ERROR HERE.”
I love that the producers wanted to make Helen seem like a hotshot urban professional, so they staged “an important conference” where she snapped, “We need to get our poll numbers up!” at a group of smirking extras in blazers. She’s not messing around, kids! Not with poll numbers! Helen’s actually not as antisocially bossy as you’d expect, so I hope she can use her apparent intelligence to some good.
Key quote: “I’m a lot like Peter Parker in the sense that I’m skinny and nonthreatening. But I’m a lot like Spider-Man; I can lay down ‘the smack’ when I need to.”
Oh, no! Not… the smack! (Cue Rachel Leigh Cook anti-drug frying pan tantrum.) Nick is the Shane of this season. Symmetrically good-looking, vaguely devious, and not a real candidate for the win. Needs more gonzo nefariousness. So far all I see athletic competence and alpha heterosexual power-blandness. You know the type. Fratty and cocky, but too boyish for those traits to be sexy. I see him getting duped by an Ian type, to put it in #BB14 terms (which are my favorite terms).
Key quote: “I’m not a typical country bumpkin. I don’t even own a pair of overalls!”
I don’t really know what Duck Dynasty is, but Spencer would normally be on that show, I think, and not Big Brother. He has a beard that says, “I lost half my family in a backhoe accident.” He struck up a friendship with two other clods on day one, and that’s a strategy I admire, but I’ve yet to see how manipulative he can be.