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The Glass House vs. Big Brother

Updated on September 27, 2012

Is there room in tv land for the both of them?


On Facebook the other week a friend of mine mentioned a new show on television called The Glass House. It is a reality show where contestants enter a house that America can see into and they have to try and survive to end to win $250,000. Television viewers decide who stays and who goes. It seems to be a great deal like the show Big Brother which has been on the air since 2000. On Big Brother the house guests determine who should stay or go.

Let us see the similarities and differences of the two reality shows.

The Contestants both shows have contestants varying in age, professions and they are both male and female. The contestants have to find their rooms. In the Glass House so far all the rooms look great. In Big Brother if a team loses they may be sent to an ugly, uncomfortable room which can fray on the nerves of some of the house guests. In Big Brother they give you time to learn about the different personalities in the house. In The Glass House so far the house guests there are scurrying around doing challenges and you never get to see them talk to each other for more than a few minutes. Maybe that will change later on but for now you don’t really know anything about them except where they are from and what their professions are.

The Host The Glass House has a host with a robotic futuristic sound. It is a voice like you would hear at a major airport telling you which gate to go to. She doesn’t make you feel very comfortable. On Big Brother we have Julie Chen as our host. Julie is great at hosting this show. She asks questions to make the viewer or house guest think about strategy or to share a laugh at things going on in the house. She can ease tensions when some of the house guests have had enough of each other. She also keeps the house guests on track when they are being timed in a competition. In this case I prefer Julie over the robotic voice in The Glass House.

The Challenges there are similarities to both the shows with the challenge aspect of the show. The loser in The Glass House has to go down a smoky tube along with another house guest who is chosen from the losing team. American decides who takes a ride up the tube and back into the house. On Big Brother the challenges can be for food. The losing team has to eat what America votes on and sometimes the choices aren’t too great. The challenge might be for a reward. The winning team can watch a movie or talk to a loved one on the phone or internet.

The Set The Glass House is very open with glass everywhere. Everything is visible there are pretty rooms but no privacy. In Big Brother you explore with the cast the different style rooms some are good and some are bad. You never know what to expect. Sometimes in the winner’s room there is a hidden room. If the guest takes the bribe it can have good and bad consequences. It is very entertaining.

The Viewpoints of the House Guests in The Glass House you don’t really get to hear many viewpoints from the house guests. Every now and then they show a clip from a house guest stating what they think, but you don’t know where they are saying it from. On Big Brother they have the Diary Room which is like an escape hatch for the house guest. If they need to get away from someone they go there. If they are upset or are thinking of forming a new alliance you get it the word from in there. It helps the viewer get closer to the game and know what is going on with the groups.

The Strategy The Glass House has just gotten started, so maybe that is why there seems to be very little strategy going on. The fact that America votes out the player probably makes it hard to know what the player should do to stay alive in the house. The first guy with a crazy strategy was Alex. He came on too strong among the other house guests and he was trying to be a super villain. The only trouble was he didn’t have the skill of the great villains of Big Brothers past like Evel Dick, Will or Mike Boogie. He was just mean and insulting. On Big Brother and in The Glass House alliances are important. If the group doesn’t like you or feels threatened by you your days in the house are numbered.

The Games so far the challenges in The Glass House aren’t as spectacular as those in Big Brother. Big Brother comes up with various themes and transports the backyard to something totally new and adventurous. The Glass House is still working on their show so time will tell what they can come up with.

Websites both websites of The Glass House and of Big Brother do a good job of providing information about the people there. You have photos, forums, and videos to catch up on if you missed any episodes.

The Glass House lacks the suspense of Big Brother mainly because you don’t really get to know the contestants very well. Maybe in time that will change, but for now Big Brother has the upper hand in that respect.

Is there room in television land for the both of them? I think so. We have various dramas and comedies on television that are similar, but a little different at the same time so we watch them. The Glass House is entertaining, but it lacks the warmth of Big Brother. The Glass House has a futuristic feel to it. This show is just beginning so it probably will be tweaking things in episodes to come. Big Brother to me spells summer fun. It has fun, silly games, it has people interacting and where you can judge what they are like. It has a great host in Julie Chen, it feels like a summer pool party. Both shows have enough going for them that they will lure in the viewers just to see what is going to happen next and who in the different shows will emerge victorious and claim the prize. The Glass House and Big Brother are both great summer escapes.

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