Sunday, June 24, 2012

Glass House Live Feed Updates - NOT

I know we were all excited about The Glass House at one point.  There was the juicy CBS lawsuit (which they lost) and the fact that the show would get a good month's head start on BB14.

But then, I watched two different live feed streams---the last 15 minutes of the first live stream, and then most of another stream later in the week.  You know, the one where the yoga teacher visited the house.

I did a recap of the first live feed, which you can read about here.

I also watched the first episode of the ABC broadcast last week.  At that point, I made up my mind that I would not be watching any more live feeds from The Glass House, nor would I be discussing it very much.

I just don't care about it.  

The Glass House live feeds are totally different than the Big Brother Live Feeds.  Let me break it down for you:

1.  The Big Brother live feed cams are focused on the action at all times---24/7 during the season.  Now, there are times when they can't show the live feeders what is happening, and we get a screen with footage of the fish tank (FISH), or the front of the house (FOTH), or my favorite, the control room with the "We'll Be Right Back" screen (WBRB).  I like that one because you can see dozens of camera streams, and a bunch of production employees hunkered down to watch.  That view is not unlike the one you see at NASA during a shuttle launch.  A lot of live feeders get REALLY angry when the Big Brother live feeds are interrupted.  They call RealNetworks to complain, they berate the production team on Twitter, they threaten to cancel their feeds, or file a class action lawsuit.  I think all of that anger is displaced.  It's a good time to take a break.  Get up and move around a little.  Walk your dog.  Do a load of laundry.  Have a chat with an actual human being.   Based on my years of BB live feed watching experience, the feeds are interrupted for important reasons that we can't do anything about.  It is not a conspiracy against anyone.  Here are some examples of reasons why the feeds are interrupted:

             a.  The house guests are singing or humming copyrighted material.  Prime examples of repeat offenders are Kalia (BB13), and Amy (BB3).  When you broadcast a song, the network has to pay the parties involved with creating that song.  It's that simple.  Paying constant royalties is not part of the show's budget.  So the feed is interrupted, and the offending house guest is warned.  And warned. And warned again, if necessary.

            b.  The house guests are talking about real people who have not given their consent to be discussed by the house guest.  When the house guests agree to be on the show, they have a few (?) people in their lives sign consent forms.  Usually their close family members or friends.  The house guests can tell stories about other people, but they can't name them or give details about them that might cause a lawsuit.  As an example, let's say you used to be friends with someone who has a sharp wit and tongue like James Rhine (BB6 & BB7).  And let's say your relationship with James Rhine ended in a bad way.  Would you want him talking about you by name on the live feeds, describing all of your dirty laundry?  Well,  I wouldn't either.  To prevent lawsuits, the feeds are interrupted, and the offending  house guest is warned.  ("James, STOP THAT!")  There is one example I can (kind of) describe to illustrate this:  Chiara (BB3) was using sign language to tell a few of the girls who she was dating before she came into the house.  It was a very powerful person, from a very powerful family.  A family that could squash Les Moonves like a bug.  She then started describing the mental health problems that someone in  loverboy's family had.  Unfortunately it took them a while to find out what Chiara was saying, even though she was using basic schoolyard sign language.  That's all I can say about that. 

             c.  There are key parts of the show that CBS wants to keep a secret until the television broadcast.  CBS pays production bazillions of dollars for the rights to broadcast Big Brother.  They allow the live feeds to occur, but they want to save some secrets for their own show.   This is usually the case for the Power of Veto competitions, and the nomination and Veto ceremonies.  

             d.  During these competitions and ceremonies, the directors can be heard giving the house guests direction about where to stand, what to say, etc.  I'm pretty sure that they would have to paid extra if their voice was broadcast, so they can't let us hear that.  It might even be a union issue.  I would love to get some feedback from someone about that, if they know more details.

           e.  Sometimes, shit goes down in that house.  In a way that could result in violence or somebody getting hurt or maybe even killed.  At those times I think it is an "all hands on deck" situation and they don't have time to deal with the camera views, nor do they need us all witnessing what went on.  Last year I posted about two of these instances here (BB6) and here (BB4).   I can think of two more examples of this:  on BB9 Alison had an allergic reaction to something that made her face swell up, requiring medics to attend to her in the Diary Room.  It was life threatening.  At the same time, Amanda,  who was on slop that week had a diabetic seizure and was inside the house, convulsing.  It was crazy to have those two things happen at the same time.  The show's medic earned her paycheck that day.  They both ended up going to the hospital but came back in the house later on that evening.  The other example was the famous BB8 situation where Evel Dick and Jen got into it, and she claimed he burned her with a cigarette.  (Evel Dick recently told a story on a podcast that somebody in Florida called the California authorities and told them someone was being tortured in the BB house.  The cops actually came to the set and Production had to show them the footage before they would leave.  Live feeders are crazy, no?)

Anyway, as usual I digress, but the point is that the Big Brother live feeds are always on, except for these occasions I have described.  For the most part.  

2.  In contrast, The Glass House live feeds are produced as a show in and of themselves.  They are only live for a few hours each week, and everyone in the house is putting on a show for us.  They know the show is live and are posing and acting out to get the most camera time.  They do what they are told by the viewers  (i.e. stupid yoga poses)  and answer the stiff and forced questions posed by the weird female voice (i.e. would you use someone elses' toothbrush).  The live feeds for The Glass House do not exist to show us what is going on in the house at all.  They exist so that the viewers can build some sort of connection with the players.  You know, so we can vote on who is in Limbo.  Or whatever.

So the live feeds are not the same thing at all.  And did you know that all of The Glass House contestants stay in a hotel every weekend?  Supposedly they are "in isolation" but you can't tell me that the producers don't give them some hints and direction regarding what they should do.

So watching and the recapping The Glass House live feeds is no fun, as far as I'm concerned.  And it's hard to type when you keep getting hit with waves of douche chills.

 ***FYI RealNetwork's SuperPass is offering the Big Brother 14 live feed package at a 25% discount through July 11th.  You can order the feeds by clicking on the icon on the top left of this website. 


  1. how do you know that they stay in hotels on the weekend?

    1. It was revealed in court documents when CBS brought on the lawsuit against ABC. The contestants are out of the house for 52 hours a week total.


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