I've said it before with other reality shows — I'm not too keen on "All Star" seasons and I often really don't want to see people I've previously watched competing once again. Okay. That said, the hook for this season, for me (other than the fact I'm a Big Brother addict), was Will Kirby. A Big Brother All Stars version had to have him or I couldn't consider it "All Stars." In his season, I rooted for him. In this season, I sat back and marvelled at his ability to charm and manipulate his way through the crowd.
Sure, it was so cool to see Chicken George once again and I didn't see enough of Nakomis. I personally could have done without seeing Diane, Erika, or Mike Boogie at all. Several of the players fell in the middle for me. I understand why they were chosen, but they weren't my season favorites — Jase, James, and Alison. While I think Kaysar is probably a great guy, he's not a schemer and it showed with his lackluster performance on the show this season.
Then there's Danielle, a woman I thought was only second to Dr. Will in gameplay. I was disappointed with her choice of allies and a few personal errors she made this season. She could have done so much better. Howie imploded this time. He was never a real strong player, more of a follower. Alas, his adolescent ways overcame him. I have seen him tender and thoughtful to others, but he let rage rule too much this season and it cast a bad light on him. Marcellas, once funny, seemed bitter and unhappy all season. Janelle, the buxom blonde America's Choice, played competitions so well, but fell flat whenever she had to make a decision, despite making it to the Final Four through her talent at winning competitions. Kudos to her.
But the cast is what it is, or for that matter, was what it was. If not for the Will/Janelle Show and the Chill Town phone segments, this season wouldn't have had any entertainment substance at all. The competitions were run-of-the-mill, the house had no excitement, no America's Choices per se, no luxury comps, or cool doings. Compared to past seasons, these houseguests got diddley-squat. I don't know why, but they did. Again, it was up to the PuppetMaster to keep the season lively. And, he did. Thank you, Dr. Will.
The season itself had a few really dull weeks in its start as the houseguests sat around and talked of past seasons. Yawn. Once it went constantly topsy-turvy with the sides switching power, the POVs being used, alliances mixing, Chill Town using them all… it became intriguing. And, to whom can we credit this? I'd say Will Kirby. With the exception of the final two, I'd have to say the season was a success through fate alone… and Will. I just never liked Mike Boogie and Erika always seemed like more of a non-entity than a player to me.
But, I think the producers seriously have to examine some of the areas in which they fell short ith this outing. If next season, with new unknowns, has the same boring days and nights, it will fall on its face. This season, it was dependent on the houseguests' personalities and past appearances to make it. That won't cut it next time, and barely cut it this season. The All Stars show concentrated too much on sensationalism and humiliation of the houseguests when all else failed.
While the show itself is one built for trickery and deceit, I personally don't care for the "mean" factor we saw when folks were evicted — and in the finale itself — when Mike Boogie's ways were exposed to Erika. Yes, they have to find out sometime. And, no, I don't care much for Erika, but that was almost to the point of cruelty on national television.
I realize Big Brother isn't a hugely cerebral kind of show, but they took a step closer to becoming the World Weekly News tabloid of TV shows when they do that sort of thing. It's all about sensationalism and I don't think that's why I enjoy the show at all. I actually enjoy watching folks interact with strangers. I enjoy seeing a Dr. Will use charisma to charm while telling folks he's lying all the time. I liked the days when the houseguests had no clocks, had no automatic washing machines, yet got luxuries in competitions that they really appreciated, unlike the Will Farrell movie, which, if memory serves, was the only luxury comp this season.
It's time for the producers to analyze what this season would have been if not for the personalities of the houseguests. It's time for them to step back from sensationalizing the show and go back to the simpler, non-cruel ways of strangers in a house.
My favorite part of the finale was watching Danielle smile through the Will/Mike Boogie phone call segments, including the one in which they talked about evicting her. You could see admiration for a game well-played in the eyes of all the jurors as they watched the phone call bits. That was "good television." And, of course, I credit Will… not his sidekick.
I also enjoyed Jase admitting there was a Mr. and Mrs. Smith alliance via a phone call blurb to Diane. That was a bit overshadowed by Chill Town, but it was interesting to know that it did, indeed, exist.
The vote of 6 to 1 for the Mike Boogie win didn't surprise me at all. Will (of course) proved he's the Ultimate PuppetMaster and even said so. Yes, Mike turned on the gameplay and he proved he could win comps, but in the end, he's Will's sidekick. I personally don't care if he thinks he's not. Will could have done well in the show on his own, but Mike wouldn't have been there if not for Will and certainly wouldn't have won.
So, what's next? I'm sure to be watching next season, but hope the producers don't follow their formula from this season. Will Janelle and Will get together? I haven't a clue, but I loved watching their flirtmance as it played out. They were like kids flirting and it was even kind of innocent and sweet. Will Erika go out with Mike? I doubt it. She's been used, abused, and tossed to the side by Mike Nasty. I don't like her and I wouldn't have allowed myself in those shoes, but I can't imagine how horrified she is after going through that humiliation live on national television. Feh to Mike Boogie. He won, but in the long run, you reap what you sow. I'd personally rather be known for being a decent human being, not a user of others.