Big Brother needs more live double-eviction episodes

Big Brother burned through two more houseguests last night during another live double-eviction episode, and it proved that this format works extremely well for the show–so much that I think they need to increase them.

The show works so much by formula by now (even super-fan and super journalist Joe Adalian called the show out for being among those “that recycle the same tired production techniques each year”) that I’d be naive to think they’d ever do something like surprising the houseguests with double-eviction episodes on, say, a Sunday.

But add more. It’d mean having more cast members and/or a shorter schedule (unlikely, because again, it has a formula they stick to), but that’s doable–and worthwhile. I’d suggest that every Thursday episode should be double-eviction, but part of what works is that it throws everyone off a little, so if the houseguests expected it, that’d be less interesting.

More speed, less time for “strategy,” and more opportunities for rapid power shifts all make Big Brother better.

Last night, the production was pretty strong, minus constant dropped audio because of swearing and/or their inability to cut out swearing elegantly. The HOH competition rewarded them for actually listening to their fellow houseguests. The veto competition borrowed from Survivor, and that’s not a bad thing (at least it’s not a styrofoam alien).

Julie Chen was lively and quick as she wrangled the houseguests, telling them at one point, “Don’t make me come in there!”, though she is still not great at asking questions (“What exactly is that on your chin?” she asked Joe, instead of the real burning question: WHY DO YOU SHOUT EVERY WORD?) or going off-script (Frank explained how he felt and then she asked how he felt, because that’s what her next question was: “Other than ‘bummed,’ how are you feeling right now?”).

Even the pre-taped stuff was interesting, especially Dan accidentally revealing to Frank that Joe would still be in the house Thursday, and, in a moment that justifies Joe’s presence in the house all summer, Joe whispering in the dark, thinking he was talking to Shane and revealing things Dan told him, even though he was actually talking to Dan. OH JOE.

And there was entertainment in the live chaos: Dan winning HOH and then running around lost in the maze of dividers searching for Ian and then denying Danielle a hug, Jenn opening the door and hitting Ian as they tried to strategize, the audience moaning in horror when Dan nominated his strategic punching bag Danielle as a replacement nominee to make sure Joe exited.

So yes, more, please.

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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.