Glass House goes live, and it’s like Siri invaded a cleaned-up Big Brother house

The Glass House just concluded its first hour of live streaming on ABC.com, and it’s too early to make judgments about the show. But why should that stop me?

Let’s start with the house: It’s gorgeous and spacious and full of mirrors, which makes it look like the Big Brother house if someone spent some money on it and filmed it in HD. But the glass walls and modern architecture makes it look a lot better than what we’re used to from our summer live streaming shitshow.

Speaking of, Faux Siri, the name I’ve given to the narrator, is reminiscent of a robot (Julie Chen!) and Unan1mous‘s disembodied head host. At least in this context, the narrator is more along the lines of the “big brother” imagined by the series originally, rather than the CBS version. However, she calls viewers “fans,” which is just a tiny bit presumptuous, just as it’s ridiculous how the cast members kept referring to “America,” as if even one percent of the country was bothering to watch.

A significant part of the hour was spent asking the houseguests (?) and us questions, and having them answer by going to a certain room. I did like the live polling, as it was fascinating for us to answer a question and five seconds later, see them answer. It was also interesting to hear them mock the questions or predict possible responses from the audience to questions, such as whether it’s okay to date someone outside of your race.

What exactly was the point, though? Clearly, the “fans” were annoyed by this so they voted to switch to the players talking about their competition. But this wasn’t too interesting, either, because we’ve seen no interaction. So it was a wasted hour in terms of content.

I think this format has a lot of potential, but since live streaming is just for a limited amount of time, hopefully they’ll use it well. Live streaming continues Wednesday and Thursday for an hour at 3 p.m. ET; the show debuts Monday.

After hour one, it seems clear that The Glass House is definitely an evolved version of Big Brother; heck, nothing ejaculated on any of the cast members during the entire hour. But we won’t really know how it really works until the game starts to play out on TV, unless court action stops that.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.