Season 25 of Big Brother has ended, and my least favourite player of the season, Jag, was crowned the winner. As I have reflected on this blog each week, I've realized that it wasn't Jag (or any of the players) that I don't like. Twenty-three years in, I may have outgrown what was once my favourite reality competition series.
For the past ten years (except for Season 23 and the brilliant minds that created and sustained "The Cookout"), I have watched every episode and read every review (and spoiler) and have been entirely disappointed. Again, except for Season 23 (and Season 24, whose winner, Taylor, I only remember because of how poorly she was treated by the entire cast - whose names I cannot remember), I can barely remember who won, let alone who played the game, or what happened.
This season was no different. Sure, it's fresh in my mind, and I can tell you the complete cast, but only because it just happened and not because any of them were overly memorable. This isn't their fault, though, nor is it the fault of CBS. This is a new generation of players who have never known a world without Big Brother - and who probably have never read the novel that made the term and the game famous, but that's a whole other complaint - and I don't like how they play. Gone are the days of players who can lie and manipulate. Now, players flip from side to side and lay their game play out to anyone in the house who will listen.
Jag won, not because he was strategic, but because he made alliances with everyone and could win competitions. And sure, yes, that is being strategic in its way. It just isn't why I have loved and watched the show. I prefer a different type of strategy.
There were also a lot of misses from the production team this season, one significant being Ciri and Jared playing as strangers. CBS didn't think that one through, considering Jared got the boot mid-way, and their relationship ultimately made no difference. I'd argue Jared ruined his mother's game. Had he not been in it, she would have been free to make strong alliances with capable competition winners instead of being pitted against them since her son was such an initial physical threat.
We'll never know how that version of the game would have played out.
For the first time, I doubt I'll watch Season 26 (and I definitely won't be watching "Reindeer Games," whatever that is supposed to be).