Monday, June 15, 2015

Big Brother - My How We've Grown


I went ahead and signed up for the CBS "All Access" program, in preparation for tomorrow's big house guest reveal. This year they are charging a monthly fee and I'm guessing they will keep hitting my credit card every month until I tell them to stop.  The All Access feature is not new---it's been active for quite a while now, with CBS selling it as a way to watch all episodes of all seasons of many of their programs.

I started watching an old season of Survivor on All Access, and was surprised to see so many commercial interruptions.  One of the selling points for me would have been watching an hour-long program in about 44 minutes, but CBS apparently doesn't agree.  The old seasons and episodes were very easy to find though, and loaded almost immediately.

As far as exclusive BB17 content, there is an interview posted that Jeff did with Derrick that I will probably watch later this afternoon, but that's all I could find at this time. I'm sure that will change soon, though.

Because it's never too soon to start my Summer of Unproductive Procrastination, I started watching the very first episode of the very first season of Big Brother in the US.  An earlier version of Julie Chen was there, of course, to introduce America to this new, crazy TV show.


Julie spent a lot of time explaining the cameras, and the voyeuristic nature of the show.  Live feeds were free that first year, but way back then internet access was far from common.  And high-speed internet access hadn't even been invented yet.  (I never even saw any live feed action until BB3.)

A CBS correspondent named Ian O'Malley toured the house and talked to us about it.  They didn't even have a round dining table back then, as you can see.  And the refrigerator was one of those tiny ones that you see in college dorm, or under somebody's desk at work.


And take a peek at the ghetto bathroom.  Only one sink for all of those people!  And check out the open WC door---I can't believe Julie Chen allowed that angle on her watch.


Ian showed us all the camera in the WC, but said that in general, people wouldn't be filmed in there, unless they were up to something.  This Ian guy was by far the most attractive human being in that house that first summer, even including the female house guests.


While all of this was going on, Julie introduced us to the house guests, and kept showing footage of a convoy of SUVs rolling through Los Angeles.  That first year, each person arrived to the house in their own ride.

Are network TV shows still given parental ratings? I don't remember seeing that before, but maybe I just ignore it, or blow through that part with my DVR.  The show aired on CBS that summer every weeknight, but I think it was just a 30 minute program.


The live audience set up was kind of low budget, too.  I spent New Years Eve in Time Square one year, and they corralled us behind those same type of aluminum barriers.  In fact, I remember walking to get as close as I could to the center of Times Square, and then the police just caged us in with those barriers and told us that was where we should stay until after midnight.

But I digress.... the first of many times this summer, I'm sure.

Each house guest had family and friends corralled behind those barriers.  Julie urged them to say goodbye on the way into the house, so there was a lot of smooching and hugging going on.


Here's Ian visiting one of the two bedrooms.  Damn, that's harsh, huh?  I've seen youth hostels with more appealing furnishings.  America used to vote every week on who would be "banished" (not "evicted" back then) and one of the house guests was a girl named Jordan who slept in that top bunk you see there.

Apparently when she was nominated she would lay in bed and flash the camera, in an effort not to get voted out.  (It didn't work.)  She was a stripper but didn't fit the profile.


There was A LOT of footage of the SUVs rolling deep and driving to the house.  I guess it was sponsor-related, and Julie even went to each SUV to open the door and greet the house guests by name.  It looked like the house guests had to walk across a street with live traffic, dodging cars.  It looked dangerous to me.


This is the whole cast---10 house guests--before they all entered the house. Note the little silver briefcases---that is what everyone carried in there, rather than today's big duffle bags.  The Big Brother house back then was an actual house. The show didn't move to it's own sound stage until BB6, and that was a HUGE change for the viewers and Production.


Julie gave the viewers a peek at the website, and gave some long, complicated instructions about how to watch the live feeds.  I remember her telling us some sort of "key word" to get to the right place.  I don't think Google existed back then, but somehow during BB2 I found a website that discussed the live feeds.

Fun Fact:  It was called "Poppy's Pain Forum", and was later renamed Joker's Updates.


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