Big Brother started its 16th season last night by introducing only half of its contestants, which was in some ways a thrilling twist because where are the other ones? But also kind of a downer, because they are mostly horrible. Or at least duds.
We didn't get the big racist cowboy guy—that's tonight—but we did get some awfully strange concepts in the guise of humans. For example, meet DJ Paola.
(Pictured with and without fun hat.)
Usually the thirsty person who comes into the house looking to fuck is one of two types: Either the "I'm a player" guy who turns out to be a huge softy that is not in fact a player but a charming gentleman (and/or slightly misogynistic Nice Guy), or a girl who hates women so much she will destroy them from inside the alliance she herself constructed (out of pieces of herself she hates; i.e., other women).
But In this case, the thirsty person is a DJ who wears a Blossom hat and suspenders, and seems to hide a keen intelligence behind a lot of sociological adaptive behaviors that make her seem deeply unthreatening. The former (horny) type, I do not care for, but the latter type—women who are able to seem stupid no matter how clever they actually are—is something I very much admire.
There is a dark horse going the other way: Meet Blonde Girl. (Maybe Nicole? But don't hold me to that.)
(Pictured: Nicole, possibly.)
If so, Nicole shows up in the pre-package looking like the girl in a high school movie who is set to take off her glasses and reveal a hottie, but when she takes off her glasses in this case, this happens instead.
I love Blonde Girl, she's my second-favorite at this time. She has the strangest accent in the world, if you don't count this guy:
(Pictured: Just your average schoolyard maintenance man without any secrets.)
Who is clearly the King in Yellow for all intents and purposes, and appears to be a serial murderer, until he opens his mouth. This is how homeboy talks:
It is surprising! I like surprises. Like for example, I would love the surprise of finding out that this "lateral, oblique and abdominal muscle" prototype from a medical school was actually super decent, super smart, or otherwise someone to root for:
(Pictured: Priorities very much in order.)
His name is, I'm assuming and I think I'm correct, is Cody. He is also down to fuck, this season, which makes him a good match for DJ Paola. And guess what? They are down to fuck each other! So score one for romance. Sometimes you just know.
Devin is inherently interesting, insofar as being a black man—especially a hot and/or gigantic black man—is usually the worst move you can pull coming into the game. Historically, choosing to enter the Big Brother house as a giant black man is even worse of an idea than choosing to be born a giant black man in the everyday world.
While it's compelling and edifying every year to watch the female black contestants constantly remind themselves (and each other) not to "fall into the Angry Black Woman trope" (also known as "having an opinion" or "not being a mute robot"), in some ways it's even more nerve-wracking to watch the men try to escape this parallel curse, because it's the nexus of such an ugly set of associations we don't even have a parallel name for it.
(Pictured: Every racist's worse nightmare and hottest fantasy at the same time.)
One strategy might be to be super weird, though! So maybe Devin will be the one to figure it out, because what is weirder than having an instant crush on this monster of a human being:
(Pictured: Rachel Maddow plus Kate Gosselin equals monsters.)
Who says she is from Seattle but clearly has escaped from the set of Portlandia. If you ever wanted to know what CBS thinks is hip and hot among the younger liberal set, this is what they think of you, person they are trying to impress:
"I'm a Democrat, on the way liberal side. My way is the highway! Left Wing is the only way to be. I would love to see if there's [sic] any hot, liberal men in the house, and see if we click!"
— said no one in the history of spoken language except this one person
Which, viewed through that lens, is fucking hateful. "After last year's racist bonanza, we are angling to acquire and keep the NPR demographic around. Let's find someone very intelligent and very left-wing, maybe with some hair concepts happening up top." And then this is what they came up with: A person who is not technically a person but a collection of bad ideas, like if Megyn Kelly were to imagine her worst possible Presidential nominee. And Joey would definitely be the worst houseguest!
Except then you have this:
(Pictured: I don't acknowledge it, and I won't respond to it, but there it is.)
That's Frankie Grande, whose sister is Ariana Grande but that's not even the most important thing about him, per Frankie Grande: He is also a YouTube and Twitter celebrity!
As every gay man knows, there is a job opening available to you from birth for the role of "gay dude so inconsequential that straight girls feel okay pushing him around." It is a fine role—women deserve somebody to push around!—but most of us opt out, if not immediately then at some point down the line. But if you don't, then you have a certain kind of popularity and a huge amount of a specific kind of freedom.
I am not going to judge your choices! There are a million ways to be gay. But it seems to me very naïve to, in the spirit of that nonjudgmental inclusiveness, ignore the fact that each and every one of us is a social construct, no matter what we are born working with, who has been adapting to the needs and desires of those around us in a hundred thousand different ways. And in this case, adapting to the form of Frankie Grande means what you are shooting for, and will almost unquestionably be achieving, is at best this bullshit:
Which makes me wonder: What is victory really? Is it as simple as bunting your entire life so you can have friends as shitty as Joey from Seattle? Because good for you for setting a goal and accomplishing it (with almost no effort).
(Pictured: The crazy eyes, which indicates at least two things immediately.)
And finally we have Amber, my very most favorite, who because I know her name right off the bat and fell in instant love with her means she is definitely going home, immediately. They're already noticing how "dedicated and driven" she is, which is a threat other houseguests take very seriously. Especially when they are women, beautiful, or non-white. Sorry Amber. You should suck at things more, that's my advice. At least for a little while.
So that's your BB16 cast, as we know it so far. After a dumb competition in which half the people pretended to lose and the other half pretended they were pretending to lose, we had our first Head of Household, and it was this maniac:
Which is fine, because A) There is a twist so remarkable coming up that nobody knows what it is, including possibly the people that made it up, and B) The first Head of Household means less than nothing, so I won't even bother running through the rules or the meaning of that phrase at this juncture. It doesn't matter. All you need to know is that Frankie Grande won the first challenge, and it will lead to his downfall one way or the other, but NO WAY is the show getting rid of him this early, so the twists and turns are already priming up to keep him around.
Have you watched the show before? Would you say these eight people are... The worst? I know everybody says that about every season of every show, and certainly on shows like this where the draw—for them in the house, for us outside it—is getting yourself into absurdly intimate relationships with strangers you may not remember in a year... But I still feel like these people are remarkably shitty, overall. What they are not is particularly boring, as the only thing more interesting than a person who is a person is a person who is no longer a person, which is why I donate most of my money to the Illuminati, via its pop singers and occasionally its reality TV hosts.
[Images and video via CBS]