Halfway through this cheap, upsetting cauldron of carefully constructed contestant awfulness/sloppily assembled footage, I started hoping an ABC exec would interrupt the broadcast, announce its cancellation and cut to a rerun of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt 23. Heck, I’d have settled for Last Man Standing, or even the emergency broadcast signal — anything to put an end to the show CBS tried to squash for being too similar to its own summer staple Big Brother. (Fret not, Eye Network, The Glass House is to Big Brother what The Playboy Club was to Mad Men.)
Don’t get me wrong, the concept of The Glass House is a little dumb, but not particularly offensive: A group of fameosexuals move into “a stunning transparent living space with no secrets” (ABC’s words, not mine) and take directions from viewers as they attempt to win a cash prize by surviving a series of challenges and a series of votes by their fellow contestants and the audience. The urge to vomit, of course, is in the details.
To that end, here are five things from the series premiere that made me want to hurl huge stones at The Glass House:
NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME | A tremendously exhausting dude (pictured, left) who referred to himself as “Primetime 99 Alex Stein” and spoke entirely in Douche-anese. Even before the audience answered “yes” to his query — “Should I turn in to the most epic villain in the history of reality TV?” — I was praying for a fissure to open in the Earth’s surface and swallow up Alex, his awful pink sweatshirt, his oddly frozen facial features, his misogyny, his bullying tactics and his desperate need for fame and attention. Naturally, Alex’s “villain” strategy is to attack the women in the house by throwing them into one of three delightful categories: Fat, uptight, or prostitutes.
DUMB AND DUMBER | After contestants were asked to divide into two teams — East coast and West — Jacob, who hails from Oregon, put himself in the former group. (Maybe producers should’ve made it easier by asking the players to split into “left side of the map” and “right side of the map”?) Later, Jacob dropped this depressing gem: “I’m not gonna lie: I’m an idiot when it comes to, like, smarts.” Then again, dude was smart enough to quit the game after losing the week’s challenge and being put up against Alex in the public vote for elimination. (Actually, I’m betting ABC paid the guy a stipend to go home, ensuring its “villain” would live to spew another day.)
THE SHALLOW END | Joy (code name Short ‘N Busty) introduced herself as a multifaceted competitor and human being: “I’m a mom. I’m a nurse. I posed for Playboy.” Naturally, when she got word that the “audience” had voted for the Glass House residents to have a pool party and don skimpy swimwear, Joy squealed that this was her kind of place, and later begged her female cohorts to spank her “nympho” backside. Come here, feminism, and let me rock you gently while you weep.
ROCKIN’ THE VOTE | ABC repeatedly referenced how the “audience” had voted on a variety of Glass House matters — whether the residents would eat cold cuts or sushi, whether Alex should play the villain card, etc. — but never explained how or where these votes occurred prior to the show’s actual premiere. (I’m assuming the 11 people actually excited by the Glass House ad campaign logged on to ABC’s website over the last couple of weeks and made some decisions leading up to the premiere?)
DALLAS VS. DULL-ASS | GCB got cancelled and yet ABC spent money on this?
BONUS REASON | Shirtless sushi eating!
The only positive part of the show was handsome cop Kevin using the word “hoosegow,” which really deserves more exposure on primetime network TV.
Did you watch The Glass House? Did you loathe it as much as me? If so, hit the comments and add more reasons to rage against it. Or if you found yourself enjoying the latest summer reality entry, then do tell me what I missed, and why I should give the show a second chance. And for all my reality TV recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!