Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From My P.O.V: BB18 Disappointment Continues (Week 7)

Last week, some of you may have noticed, there was no new ‘From My P.O.V’ column, and before diving into this week’s column, I want to touch on why that was. I think it may provide some help in understanding the tone of this week’s column, as well as my perspective on the season as a whole.

If you’ve read any of my columns thus far, you already know I am not impressed in the least with this season. I find the cast unprecedentedly unlikeable, I find that the gameplay is so devoid of strategy it's hard to watch and be interested in, and honestly if I wasn't a Big Brother Superfan and didn't consider this show such a huge part of my life, I would’ve turned off the television by now. I am surprised that the ratings are relatively in-tact and that all the casuals haven't fled already.

Now, all of that may lead you to believe that this column will be an angry one, that I will be telling you why I'm “PISSED” (Thanks, Paul) about the season. But I’ve done that already. Over and over. The way I am feeling towards BB18 now, and how I was feeling last week (leading to the lack of published column) is frankly, defeated. I am sad. I am desperate, literally desperate, to feel like I'm partaking in something worthwhile. People say BB9 was the worst, least exciting and engaging season ever - BB18 is trying really hard, IMO, to take that crown.

I am going to make a loose analogy here, before moving on, that I think embodies the season pretty well, “from my point of view”, if you will. In Big Brother, my favorite HGs have always been those who are strategists. I don't care if you're likable. It helps, but it's not necessary. Dr. Will wasn't really likable… he was only likable, because he wasn't, if that makes any sense. Sticking with that motif, I have always said the worst BB players are those who play with their emotions. AKA, targeting someone who could benefit your game simply because you find them irksome or annoying. Sometimes the annoying people are what's best for you in the BB house, because chances are they're annoying everyone, not just you. This season has made me feel, an avid BB Superfan, as if I have been devolved to an emotional Houseguest. Because there's such a soul-sucking-void of strategy, I am literally to the point where I am just rooting against people I don't like, which is so unlike me as a viewer that I actually genuinely feel gross about it.

There's been the birth of a little, tiny bit of strategy in this last week, but nothing outside of the status quo, and while I am feeling a little less beaten down today than I was last week, I still don't know that there's much to write home about. But, for you, I will anyway.

So, Victor is HoH after a grueling endurance HoH comp where we saw about the amount of crying and vomiting that one would expect from this season. Unsurprisingly Victor is targeting Michelle and Zakiyah, because… well… Michelle is a mean-spirited and annoying person and Zakiyah is a love-sick puppy who probably would stop breathing if Paulie asked her too. Yep, that's about it. That's the level of strategy going into these noms, basically. I wish I could say, even, that Z is the target because The Executives & The Board are concerned about Paulie’s showmantic ties, but that's not even the case. Essentially, Z and Meech are annoying outsiders and that's why they're nominated. And at this point, I am okay with that. Kind of because I don't have a choice, and kind of for my own sanity in reasoning at the level that these HGs are to actually understand this game.

Before getting into why I am basically okay with the Noms, aside from the fact that they are just par-for-the-course with the level of play of this season, I want to talk briefly about ‘The Executives’ and ‘The Board’ because I do think they are perhaps the only somewhat upside in an otherwise really downsided season.

To save myself from the obvious criticisms here, let me just say that for one I am not usually a fan of majority alliances. Two, I am certainly not typically a fan of bro-alliances. And three, as I have already stated, I am not a big fan of “the status-quo”. All that being said though, I don't advocate big moves for the sake of big moves, I advocate big moves as game defining, individually beneficial strategic moves. While The Executives and The Board may be the ones maintaining this monotonous, status-quo season, they are also the only ones playing the game on any level, as minute as it may be. For that I have to give them at least some credit.

The Executives, being Paulie, Paul, Victor, Corey, and James (and lead largely by the PP alliance) at least have an alliance. In a season dominated by showmances where it feels a lot more like we’re watching a dating show rather than watching Big Brother, at least these guys have gotten together and given themselves a name and established some general targets.

I know people are going to hate on this opinion, because everybody loves an underdog and nobody loves a dictator, but from a purely game-based-perspective, Paulie is the only HG in the entire game who deserves to win. He has a superficial showmance who is absolutely 100% willing to cut in a using-her-to-the-end Chilltown-esque way (BB7), he has secured multiple alliances who trust him unwaveringly, he's won essentially every competition he's tried to win, and he's inarguably controlling the house. He might be a womanizer, he might be completely arrogant, but he's also the only one who is even kind-of-sort-of playing the game this season and for that I actually am finding myself more and more endeared to him.

He's dragged these other 4 along with him kicking and screaming, but they're at least sort-of along for the ride too. James is too busy being floored that Natalie talks to him to care and Corey might still not know he's on a reality show, but at least they listen and talk game with him, and Paul and Victor are coming into their own in some ways too, understanding the nuances of the game by learning from Paulie, who actually gets it on some level.

Now I am not saying Paulie is Derrick. I know that's what Paulie wants me to say, but I won't. In a house full of so many sheep, no one is Derrick. No one is even all-star worthy because when you're surrounded by this many non-players, how can you deserve any credit at all for just being competent? But, all that said, like it or not, Paulie is your Will/Dan/Derrick/Vanessa of the season. He's at least playing, which is more than most can say, and at this point my eggs are in his basket for that reason alone.

I am going to rant for a second here about two people who are arguably playing the game the least, despite being on the block. Zakiyah and Michelle. Sorry for stating yet another unpopular opinion, but Z and Meech deserve to be on the block. And if you're convincing yourself otherwise, you're just being an underdog-supporter and aren't letting yourself see the forest through the trees.

To start with Z, she's not playing the game one ounce. She's only concerned with Paulie, and at this point it's disgusting and laughable. He's betrayed her time and time again, and despite her “I am on to him” edit on Sunday’s show, she's still all over him on the feeds. If there's anyone I feel that I hit the nail on the head with in my pre-season first impressions, it's probably Z. I said that she seemed like an empowered, intelligent young woman capable of winning the season, but that her outward desire to be in a showmance worried me and that I think if she ended up in one it would spell the end of her game. Not to toot my own horn, but look what has happened! I am in no way a clairvoyant of Big Brother, but I love the game and I call them like I see them and I knew that Z saying in her very first Jefferview that she would love to be in a showmance meant bad news for the outlook of her game. She has become completely dependent on her male counterpart and she has literally no game of her own. If/when she's spared on Thursday, it will only be because Paulie made it so. Its sad to see someone with such great potential fail so miserably, but frankly I don't blame anyone but Z herself. She got (sorry to use the word again, but its the best one I have) disgustingly attached to Paulie and now isn't even her own person. I would call her a puppet, but she isn't even that. More like a forgotten about rag-doll left under the bed.

Michelle is no better, she might even be worse. Michelle has expressed numerous concerns about being “the worst BB Superfan to ever be cast on the show”. Well, you're right Michelle. It may be the only thing you've ever been right about in your entire life. Not only is Michelle not a true Superfan by my estimation, as she said on the feeds recently she's only seen 7 seasons of the show (significantly less than half) she also has just NO understanding of the game at all whatsoever. Big Brother is a strategic game, and its a physical one, but perhaps more than anything else its a social game. The strategy is my favorite part, and the competitions definitely matter, but that's only maybe 25% of your life in the BB House. The remaining 75% of the time you’re sitting around with downtime, just socializing and shooting-the-breeze with your fellow HGs. Michelle has made herself so damningly unlikeable and has been such an unrelenting “mean girl” that she's 110% put herself in the position she is in. She’s rude, she's judgmental, she's catty, and pardon if this is too harsh, but I think she has a lot of internal turmoil she needs to talk to someone about. She's a jealousy-driven, fat shaming, “mean girl” whose every solitary move in the BB house has been marked by an extremely personal, non-game-related vendetta.

I know this all makes me seem awfully mean, and like I said at the very beginning of this article, I don't like being devolved to an “Emotional Gameplayer” myself, but this season has beat me down to my knees and forced me to be this way. Michelle literally epitomizes someone with a social game so bad it leads to their demise (which is honestly pretty difficult to do, some really unbelievably unlikeable people have won this game, so to be so bad that the house literally cant stand to have you around says a lot) and Z has no mind of her own, literally. It pains me that I am so disillusioned with this season and that my words are so harsh, but at this point, despite it being the boring ole status quo, Michelle and Z deserve to go home. One of them isn't playing the game at all and one of them is playing it terribly and I truly would like not to be subjected to it any longer.

So this this week is the Double Eviction. There may be another one this season, people are saying, I don't know. That's neither here nor there. The Double Eviction episode(s) are among my favorite every season as a BB Superfan - and I think that goes for most everybody. With this seasons disappointment, I am really hopeful the Double Eviction shakes things up, but I am admittedly having a difficult time getting really excited about it.

Really, whatever happens I am at peace with, which I think may be the definition of apathy. I dislike all of these HGs so much, I don't really care who stays and who goes, I just hope its entertaining. If the person who stays this week (Meech or Z) go on the double sending them home back to back, I would be fine with that because (despite its being a status-quo move) I cant stand either of them on a personal level anymore. If something monumental goes down like Paulie or Paul getting sent home, even though I expressed my approval for Paulie earlier, hey - at least a big move went down.

I do, though, see some opportunity for a turnaround for the season. Or at least the start of one. If PP decides to try to evict Victor, and he ends up staying by way of Veto or RT Ticket, or the same scenario with Nicole rather than Victor. If James and Natalie are blindsided and targeted. There's a glimmer of hope that by end of episode on Thursday, there will be some shake-up that will create some waves that might make this season watchable, yet. If any of those scenarios went down, it might light a fire under some bums to get to work and actually play the game, rather than disgrace it to millions of people who passionately love it.

To say I am cautiously optimistic would be too generous. To use the word I mentioned previously, apathetic is more apt. Maybe apathetic with the slightest trace of hope remaining. I don't know, its hard to discern through my immense sorrow and disappointment towards the season.

I guess I'm just hoping something… happens.

Until Next Week -

Matthew (@JYABBSuperfan)

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