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Isn't Sex With Your Big Brother Illegal?
February 19

Brace yourself. Your boy has incest on his mind. 

Wait, don't close your browser yet. I'm building up to a point here.

Last Tuesday was the first ever winter premiere of "Big Brother", the voyeuristic guilty pleasure usually reserved for the summer days, when there's either nothing better on or nothing better to do. This season, the twist is in the title: "'Til Death Do You Part". The houseguests are playing as teams (sorry... "Soulmates"), with players competing together, getting evicted together, and sleeping together in the same bed. The Chenbot-9000, like the Terminator before her, won't let us forget that bit. But more on that later.

CBS seems intent on playing this season up to the hilt, noting that it's the first season in the winter and that it's the first season to allow teams (at least out in the open). Being the skeptic that I am, I can't really dismiss the aching feeling that one can't build up this much hype without something really stinking in the bellows beneath.

A bit of a disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, that keen on "Big Brother". I think the game itself is hollow, the cast save for a couple of "normies" thrown in for good measure isn't that appealing, and that watching the combination of the two is about as painful as running into a wall that turns out to conceal a hidden room to be won in a Head of Household challenge.

Or the set of "The Price Is Right".

But this particular edition seems to be born out of sheer desperation. Consider the following...

- This has been in the works under the file marked "strike programming". CBS silent put the wheels in motion to get the house all gussied up, get occupants for said house, and get it all on the air in time for February sweeps. Now, one week into this particular run, and the strike is all settled, but it seems like CBS mucked itself too deep into the briny deep to pull themselves out now, so hey, let's throw it on the air and see what happens!

- While we're on that subject, let's go to scheduling. "Big Brother" tends to occupy more real estate that a show of its magnitude should. This time around, it's keeping its Sunday and Tuesday spots (normally occupied by "The Amazing Race" and "The Unit" respectively), but it's trading its Thursday spot (which is currently reserved for Probst and his thirty-nine-day tour of duty in the South Pacific) for a Wednesday war zone... 8p ET. Hmm... What's on on the other networks at that time? Three little shows involving 26 cash-lined briefcases, an overhyped model that somehow makes the pursuit of a select few lovelies all about herself, and a catty British judge that, tart as he is, is usually dead on about stuff. Usually, "Big Brother" is ready to pounce on any show that comes in its way. Not during the regular season, where it NARROWLY beat whatever the hell was on ABC at the time.

You have to give props to CBS, though. This game could end anywhere from five or six weeks to three months given its flexibility. I'm guessing CBS was thinking of the then-uncertain length of the WGA's 100 days of solidarity.

- Finally, the subject that gives this column its main focus... With couples made up of all single people, references of love gained, love lost & love stoned, and too many uses of the catchword "showmance" (sorry, but one per season is about all I can take), it's clear what Big Brother wants.

Boot-knockin', bed-rockin', make-your-mama-cry, hurt-me-daddy relations.

Single people? Check.

Single people under 30? Check.

Hot single people under 30? Check.

Hot single people under 30 who like the attention of being watched 24 hours a day? Duh. Why else are we here?

And of course, we have, as evidenced by season 2, when Amanda and Dave popped network reality TV's cherry, the ultimate reality of doing ANYTHING to win.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no prude. But it seems that in a world where one out of every 18 relationships made for television (we checked) results in a long-term relationship, the LAST thought in mind should be "Hey, you're hot. I'm hot. Let's screw." Yet, here we are, forced into a situation where this year's hamsters are one step shy of forced copulation, just to see what a Big Brother baby looks like.

In short, sex with Big Brother in the winter time is kinda like sex with your big brother in the winter time. Sure it'll keep you warm for a moment, but if you make a habit of it, then you have a serious problem.

And judging by how the show did against behemoths "Deal or No Deal" and "American Idol"... CBS has a BIG problem.

Game Show Alphabet AND Day 10

“Y” ask “Y”? Because it’s next.

This week, instead of highlighting the best game show that begins with Y, we’re going for the game show that, way back in 1961, set the benchmark for failure in the game show world. It was Jackie Gleason’s first (and only) foray into the game show world. “You’re in the Picture” had contestants behind carnival displays trying to guess what it is they were, such as “The Thin Man” and “The Bearded Lady”.

According to Gleason, a combined 300 years’ worth of showbiz experience came together to create what he billed as “the biggest bomb in history.”

You’re in the Picture:

In fact, you could say that the week after, the game show world was pretty much rocked. That said…

January 27, 1961 - Jackie Gleason Says “Sorry”

At least one can say that this failure gave rise to his much more successful talk vehicle.

Chico Alexander thanks you guys that he hasn’t been cancelled after one column. E-mail him at