Big Brother Analysis: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Brian
Welcome folks to our first week of Big Brother Analysis for Season 10. This weekly article is not a recap of the episodes, live feeds, BBAD or any other “play by play” of the action, but rather a discussion about the show and its wacky characters. Unlike pretty much every other reality show, success or failure on Big Brother is almost always a result of interpersonal relationships between the houseguests as it is really just a “popularity contest” or is often the case, an unpopularity contest. Each week we’ll look at different strategies houseguests are using in their “social game,” evaluate its effectiveness in the game, and sometimes ponder how that strategy would work in real life.
This year we’ve been told that Big Brother is going back towards its original format of having only strangers in the house, having a live audience for the eviction shows, and no known “twists” at this point. We’ve yet to see the potato clock or crops in the backyard, but we’re happy that none of these houseguests are actually each others’ long lost conjoined twin or anything crazy like that.
In the first season of the American version of Big Brother, the tv audience voted out the houseguests and all of the really controversial players (Will Mega and Stripper Girl) were booted in the first couple of weeks. This degree of audience control was stifled for the following seasons so that “interesting” players would stay in the game longer, and houseguests have been pushing that edge for how annoying can you be without getting kicked out on your keister ever since. That was certainly the case this week as HoH Jerry and the Gang of Eight assured that all of the nominations were based on household harmony and getting rid of the squeakiest wheel. Let that be a lesson to you, users of cliques: the squeaky wheel does not always get the oil. Sometimes it ends up in the tire pit.
Who was more annoying in Week 1:
• Renny, the half-crazed late night screech owl or
• Brian, the self-proclaimed “cool and funny guy” who made 357 alliances within less than a week and was shocked when everyone else figured that out?
The House (an entity which appears to have abilities all its own, according to Ollie anyway) has decided that Brian and his Xtreme Allianz Strategy were more annoying and gave him the first boot of the season. It probably didn’t help that in his speech immediately prior to the live vote he told people that “The Game (a close relative of The House, also with uniquely human characteristics for a theoretical concept) is going to get much nastier very soon” implying that if the houseguests were fool enough to keep him around, they would all be paying for it and how. Brilliant strategy, you asshat, threaten people while you’re asking them to vote in your favor.
Brian’s strategy was fundamentally flawed on several levels.
• First he started out too early, making alliances before people even had their first taste of slop.
• Next he branched out in too many directions, talking to nearly everyone and getting them “on board” with choices. He made a rookie mistake of going to almost everyone. He must not be a fan of the show or he’d realize that a houseful of people with no tv and no internet will actually be forced to TALK to each other, and yes, there are no secrets that last very long in the Big Brother House.
• Then there was his overly aggressive approach to forming his alliances, which instead of cleverly convincing someone that the choice you want them to make is really their idea (Dr. Will’s secret weapon), instead he was very threatening with his bizarre “someday somewhere I’ll ask you to do me a favor and you will not be able to refuse” Godfather-type of approach.
• Finally once Brian was on the block, rather than try to patch things up with people and apologize for targeting his perceived competition Jessie and then Memphis, he thought he’d get votes from the same people he’d targeted (Jessie and Memphis) with a puppet show. What? I’m not saying that either Jessie or Memphis is a rocket scientist (although the title “Mixologist” does imply a certain expertise in the scientific field of, um, mixing), but how on earth is that going to gain their forgiveness and trust. It didn’t.
How would Brian’s strategy of “I’m going straight after what I want and I’ll run over all of you to get it” work out in real life? If he’s a lower level drone in cubicle land, he would likely encounter a Lundberg-esque middle manager who recognizes this guy’s aggressive style and relegates him to Milton Waddam’s basement office (for any Office Space fans out there). I can’t imagine that it would have been successful during Brian’s military career, as chain of command is something they take very seriously.
He’d probably have better luck in the dating world, sadly. There are plenty of women who’ve read too many dating books telling them that aggressive jerks who tell you where and when and how to think are real catches. Oh he’s so decisive. He must really be into me. And I’ll snag him for sure if I won’t go out with him on Saturday unless he calls by Tuesday.
We’re just getting to know this group of housemates, so I’m sure there will be plenty to discuss in the upcoming weeks. Tune in next week when we may have a chat on the couch with “Love Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry (Unless You’re Old and Ugly)” Jessie or help “Nothing Compares 2 U” Dan deal with his loneliness after his sibling-for-a-week Brian’s departure.
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