Big Brother Is Actually Perfect Quarantine Viewing

Photo: Courtesy of CBS.
After weeks of dissecting clues floating around on social media, CBS finally confirmed that the delayed Big Brother 22 would premiere on August 5. If you are a die-hard fan like me, then this was the best TV-related news you’ve heard all summer — especially since GOAT players are returning for this all-stars season. But, if you have never really understood the appeal of watching a show where people are trapped in a house for months, then you probably aren’t eager to watch Big Brother in quarantine. 
If you’re unfamiliar with the format of the show, Big Brother places a group of strangers in a locked-down house which they cannot leave until they are evicted. Each week, the houseguests compete for power and safety while forming alliances to avoid being booted so they can be the last person standing and claim a $500,000 prize. The reality TV staple, which premiered way back in 2000, has held onto a dedicated fanbase for years. But, with much of the country shutting back to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, you have time to see what all the hype is about. I might be a little biased, but if there was ever a time to become a fan it’s now, when you — much like the contestants — are stuck in your house.
Hear me out.
Big Brother Is The Only Reality Show Whose Format Isn’t Dramatically Affected By COVID-19 Precautions
Other summer reality series like The Bachelorette and Love Island have had their seasons pushed back. However, when Clare Crowley’s season of The Bachelorette and season 2 of Love Island finally premiere (possibly in the fall), there will be constant reminders that both were shot using COVID-19-era protocols. These shows have eliminated trips to faraway locations (like Cleveland!), surprise concerts, and hometown visits to keep contestants from spreading the virus amongst themselves. Big Brother, however, doesn’t have to adjust any of its on-camera procedures, which means we won’t see changes that clearly point out how the world has changed because of the pandemic.
Big Brother will quarantine its season 22 contestants, but the show has always sequestered the houseguests before they move into the house. Once the contestants settle in, the location, drama, and competitions will all be the same as they were in the 21 seasons prior. Behind the scenes, as Entertainment Weekly reported in July, the houseguests will be tested weekly for the virus. But all viewers will see are the typical strategy sessions, blindsides, and blow-ups — all taking place within less than six feet of each other since the contestants live together in their own quarantine bubble. So, while Big Brother unfortunately can’t stop your recently developed social distancing alarm from beeping, it won’t actively remind viewers every episode that life is drastically different right now. 
There Is Seriously Endless Big Brother Content
Longtime fans of the reality show know that the true gameplay and drama is shown on Big Brother: After Dark and the live feeds. (I highly recommend watching the uncensored version of Keesha’s birthday from Big Brother 10 to get a feel for these.) Big Brother: After Dark airs every night for three hours on Pop TV and gives viewers updates on nomination and veto ceremonies (where two contestants are nominated for eviction and hope to win safety to avoid getting the boot) before they air on CBS. The best, unedited content is shown on the live feeds which stream 24/7 on CBS All Access and show the houseguests in real time gossiping and slowly becoming more paranoid as they worry about being sent home or to the jury house (another place the all-stars can’t leave). 
I don’t know about you, but the amount of shows on my DVR list and Netflix queue has become pretty sparse recently. I finish binge watching every new show on Netflix by the end of the weekend. I need a new show that’s going to keep me constantly busy. Take the three (possibly more) episodes a week of Big Brother itself and add the approximately 168 hours of raw, live footage, plus a three-hour long aftershow, and you’ve got more show than you can physically consume for three months. Boredom? I don't know her.
Big Brother Twitter Is The Best Reality TV Twitter
It can be overwhelming to think about devoting so much time to a single show, but there’s an app (sort of) for that: Big Brother Twitter. Dedicated fans flood the Big Brother hashtag with info that you miss from the 24/7 live feeds, much of which doesn’t make it to air on CBS. The show hasn’t even premiered yet and Big Brother Twitter is already all over the new season. Update accounts and BB experts were trying to pin down the cast for weeks and when rumors spread about which fan-favorites could return for the second all-stars season, fans tweeted en masse about all-stars like Big Brother 10’s Keesha Smith and reality TV legend Da’Vonne Rogers. 
The BB community, with its inside jokes and spoilers, really cuts through the heavy topics that dominate Twitter. Social media is much more enjoyable when, between Donald Trump Jr.’s latest misinformation debacle, you find a Big Brother fan theorizing that BB18 winner Nicole Franzel may have plotted to have other houseguests removed before they stepped foot in the house.  
We all need something lighthearted and fun to watch while quarantining. I can’t think of anything more entertaining (and hilarious) than seeing reality TV icons also #stayhome while they battle, plot, and argue for half million dollars.
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