Canada’s Big Brother debuts: good luck, Canadians

At long last, Canada gets its own Big Brother tonight. Having been forced to suffer through the U.S. version for the past 12 years, Canada finally gets a chance to loathe its own citizens and producers as Slice debuts its version that will consume hours and hours of breatheless viewing yet leave its viewers with a feeling of emptiness after it’s all over.

That the show will be a knock-off of the CBS version has been clear since it was first announced last May, which said it will follow “the U.S. format.” While the $100,000 prize is far less than CBS’ already-cheap award (though there are other prizes, such as a $25,000 gift card–really), they do get a cooler house.

But hope that Canada would still forge a path independent of its neighbors to the south–perhaps inspired by superior overseas versions–has been crushed by Slice’s promotion of its new series, with things like the slop truck and a celebration of the CBS version’s sexualized, ejaculating challenges.

This whole show may be one big pratical joke to screw with Americans, since we’ve screwed with Canadians for years by force-feeding them our shows and not allowing them to apply or even watch videos online. I tried to watch the house tour and houseguest introductions on Slice’s web site, and I was told, “Sorry :( Geographic Restriction. This content is not available in your location.”

The frowny face is a nice touch.

So, good luck, Canada. I still have no memory of 2008 as a result of watching two nearly back-to-back seasons of Big Brother, so there’s no way I will be watching, not that I have any idea how to watch Canadian television legally. Also I think the Internet and television only goes one direction, from the states north.

However, please alert me if any of the new Canadian houseguests have their racist and homophobic rants ignored so the producers can turn them into heroes, threaten to slit someone’s throat, smash their mic pacs, or show signs of mental instability by responding to universal loathing by calling themselves “The Friendship.”

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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.