Dumpster Dive: 5 Reasons You'll Want to Hurl Stones at ABC's The Glass House

The Glass House TV ShowThe Glass House is that rare exception to the widely held belief that TV networks give up on their shows too quickly.

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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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76 Comments
  1. Scott says:

    It was so bad, that in a way it was good. You just couldn’t take your eyes off of it. I’m a bit fascinated, LOL

    • Eli says:

      But that’s the problem. It’s exactly because of people like you using this excuse on a number of really crappy shows that more and more of these awful horrible reality shows get made. So please, just don’t frickin watch it. Ignore it and it will go away.

    • Gregr says:

      Oh please. There’s no way that it was so bad that it was good. You’re just trying to convince yourself of that, or you work for the network or know somebody on the show. I knew it was a stinker last week I watched a part of the live streaming.

  2. Zac Childers says:

    I agree. Also, I’ve always thought that without a memorable host, a reality show would be totally lost; this is no exception. The constant computer-esque voice made me cringe, and the much too frequent voting–especially assuming that what we saw wasn’t the half of it–was overboard at putting the “power in the people’s hands”. The only clever vote was the contestant’s question to the public but even that was lackluster. ABC deserves to be put in “limbo” for opening the show by billing it as, “the show they didn’t want you to see.”

    • CJ says:

      If they keep up with the constant voting, they’re also likely to learn once again that if you give the audience too much control over a show, it gets extremely boring and predictable. This kind of show only works if it’s exciting (in any way) and unpredictable–and audience votes ensure that won’t happen. We think we want to control what we see, but it never works.

    • davej says:

      Yes, this show sucked big time, BUT about halfway through fast forwarding through it, I found the robot voice to be soothing and a not-too-subtle slap in the face of The Chen-bot. That was the funniest part of the show for me.

      I actually preferred the robot voice to Julie Chen’s attempts to create fake drama.

  3. jake says:

    I don’t get what everyone finds funny about APT 23..I find it ridiculously stupid. The writing is miserable and the one liners/jokes just are not that funny. I cannot believe that they axed GCB and kept Apt. 23..but again this is ABC so it’s not that surprising. oh well..However, the save GCB project has had the biggest support of any save a TV show campaign..Hey Michael, maybe you should do an article on it….would be interesting to get your take.

  4. I despise “reality TV”, and this show seems to embody the very worst aspects of all other reality shows. Let’s hope for a quick cancellation! If this show succeeds…..well. I weep for what America has become.

  5. Prospero says:

    Just another reason to be glad that I don’t watch this kind of show (none of which have anything at all to do with reality).

  6. Elaine Liner says:

    “Glass House” was so bad, it made me miss Julie Chen.

  7. Tim Wilson says:

    My favorite moment was that brunette bimbo insisting “I’m real” as she pushed up her fake boobs for maximim impact.

  8. Shani says:

    Wow, this show SUCKED!! We thought we would give it a chance while waiting for our most favourite show Big Brother to start, but now we figure it’s only 2 more weeks..we can wait.

  9. Ann says:

    Oh, Michael, they probably made it for less than the cost of the Stetsons on GCB.

  10. The thing that made me cringe about Alex is that he isn’t clever or witty enough or even shady enough to be a reality house villain. It’s all too translucent (for lack of a better word). Resorting to remarks about house contestants being strippers and hookers isn’t exactly extremely villainous behavious unless you’re in the 6th grade, i suppose.

  11. tony says:

    Agree..one of the worst shows i have ever seen…i also was hoping to find a show to hold me over till bb,but thats not gonna happen with this crap!

  12. wrstlgirl says:

    I laughed my butt off it was so ridic. But I have to say that I haven’t laughed like that when trying to watch Apt 23 or anything else on ABC for that matter.

  13. MLO says:

    I had the good sense to keep scrolling after hitting the ‘Info’ button on this one. I’m sure anyone who watched is minus a few brain cells this morning.

  14. Elyse says:

    it was pretty terrible… Kevin is the ONLY cast member i actually liked. but unfortunately he isn’t enough to keep me watching.

  15. Sg.Grant says:

    Here is the thing. It’s summertime, 9pm, on a Monday… What the hell else am I going to watch?

  16. Ann VerWiebe says:

    I just thought it was off. So manufactured, it was surprising that people even cared when Alex took off. There’s no way he would have a response if anyone stood up to him. Why was he walking around in women’s underware? Yuck. I turned over to American Ninja Warrior (while I did dishes – it’s not like I was really watching). At least those guys look nice for the most part (even though they are equally crazy). On another note, I was tweeting a little about Glass House at the top of the episode and realized that they weren’t tweeting at all. For a show that’s all about “audience response,” that seems weird.

  17. april-ann says:

    Totally agree. It is a travesty that GCB was cancelled yet ABC spends money on THIS, sad. It’s just like if ABC did the unthinkable and cancelled one of its beloved daytime soaps like say, All My Children and replaced it with a talk show of five “hosts”, none talented, all yelling over each other about themselves, threw in some food and had them all high-pitch cackle nonstop over it. Can you imagine how awful that would be? Oh, wait….

  18. xwiseguyx says:

    I have no issues with rip offs, but they took the worst things from Big Brother, like the bad stereotype casting of actor wannabes for this show. And yet another flaming gay guy? You know America and Reality TV casters – there are gay cops out there that are interesting too…

  19. xwiseguyx says:

    Oh – one thing I forgot to say. I kept thinking this was a fake reality show that I was watching on a procedural show like Castle or The Mentalist where someone gets murdered. 2 bad it wasn’t.

  20. holly says:

    Was horrid. But then I did not make it as far into the sewage as you. I made it about 9 minutes and was dumbfounded as to the crap that was my TV. How can this be?

  21. BTM says:

    Next vote: fill the house with cyanide gas or mustard gas?

  22. Joe says:

    I wouldn’t watch this crap if you paid me.

  23. tim says:

    And GCB is being compared to this because WHY? This is a summer show, it did not replace GCB but to add my two cents, I for one am happy that the disappointing GCB was cancelled.

  24. big cheddar says:

    “Villain” must mean “vile” in Alex’s Douche-anese

    • Angela says:

      Apparently so. But hey, if someone has a name as mind-numbingly stupid as his, you don’t need to hear him speak to know the chances of him being a complete and total douchebag are pretty high.
      Seriously, what is the point of shows like this? Why would I want to see people this obnoxious (I don’t care if it’s staged or real, it’s still insulting either way) on TV?
      No, I didn’t watch this, and this review summed up precisely why. It’s a waste of people’s time.

  25. Renaak says:

    “Come here, feminism, and let me rock you gently while you weep.”

    Yes, because all women are required to fit a certain mold and only be butch.

  26. Jackie says:

    I can’t believe GCB was canceled and THIS poor excuse for TV airtime was allowed to go on-a total waste of my time last night.

  27. Laura says:

    HILARIOUS! This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time.
    Thanks Michael :)

  28. YowzaPowza says:

    I was done after the first segment. Bring on Big Brother.

  29. The WB Frog says:

    Hahahahahaha! Glass House is the worst thing on TV!

  30. Lil Jo says:

    ”I’m not gonna lie: I’m an idiot when it comes to, like, smarts.”

    I’m SOOOOO going to use this comment at least once a day at work now!

    Oh not about me but what everyone else does that is dumb

  31. lisa says:

    CBS has spent a lot of money trying to keep a show off the air and they shouldn’t have wasted their time and cash. Glass House is really, really bad and is no threat to any show. There are a couple of people, like the handsome cop Kevin, that I’d like to have seen on Big Brother this season. Also, while I enjoy (mostly) watching the Big Brother feeds, I have found the small amount of Glass House live streaming to be extremely boring. For example, today there was a spelling bee (one round) and then a discussion from ‘today’s news.’ And, then the streaming viewers voted to let the cast know the baseball game scores from last night. No more live streaming for me. ABC….this is supposed to be entertainment???

  32. Jase says:

    I liked it. Sorry.

  33. Mark says:

    I didn’t hate Alex thattttt much. He was super annoying but I really had a problem with the guy that freaked out over Alex wearing the woman’s underwear. That dude needed to lighten up. His comments also borderlined on homophobic with him being so offended that a guy would possibly wear a woman’s underwear. He’s a jerk.

  34. kavyn says:

    Jeffrey is clearly the star of the show. Every comment he made in private was hilarious.

    I also like Steph a lot. The rest were just terrible to be honest.

  35. Lilith says:

    GCB got cancelled and yet ABC spent money on this? ahahah soooooooooo truee! I want GCB back on my tv :(

  36. Big brother fan says:

    That was HORRIBLE! Everything about this show sucks! And how they vote….even more ridiculous. Yet another epic fail on ABC’s part.

  37. Allison says:

    My husband gave up half way through. I made it to the end but did fall asleep for about 15 minutes. As soon as it ended, I took it off my schedule. Big Brother has been my guilty pleasure for years. I’ll continue to stick to that. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was cancelled by next week.

  38. I may be the lone dissenting opinion but I loved it. To me it had everything Big Brother lacks, and remember, people: IT’S THE FIRST SEASON, AND THE FIRST EPISODE. This format needs a chance to find its footing. I think one of the reasons it’s hard to warm up to this show is that its only shown once a week. It’s hard to care about a reality show that you have to wait an entire week to catch up on.
    I liked the cast of characters – loving Mike and Kevin – Kevin is probably gonna be america’s favorite, unless he turns into Jeff BB11/BB13 at some point. Alex shocked me to the core, I cant believe he got away with insulting the women like that. UGH.
    Am upset that Jacob quit.
    I, for one, am hooked. Sorry guys :(

  39. Rafi says:

    SF, I can only think that you are a network shill.

  40. Amy says:

    I had to turn it off after ten minutes. I was physically feeling my intelligence slip away.

  41. Mister Wonderful says:

    Queen of Jordan is a more realistic show than this trash. I watched 14 minutes of it and it was horrible without being even mildly interesting. Epic fail

  42. DDDPgh says:

    I don’t get why most of you are sooooo adamant the show be cancelled. If you don’t like it…guess what? You don’t have to watch it. No one is forcing you. And to bash anyone who says they like the show? Well, that’s just close-minded, childish and borders on bullying. Everyone has a right to watch – or not – what they want to. To the author of this article, you hated the show? Oh well. I was even rather amused at your reasons. But you lost me with your meaningless attempt at defending feminism. A woman embracing her sexuality and being, seemingly, quite comfortable doing so is the epitome of feminism. Your attempt at wit missed its mark and landed squarely on “condescending”. But you’re a guy, what do YOU know about being a female?

  43. Brian says:

    This show was so poorly produced. It didn’t make any sense. The same old “house guest” reality show type cast was chosen. If you have seen any season of Big Brother, then there you go. They were trying to pretend as if it was a live show with contestants entering into the house for the first time. Except by the 2nd commercial break everyone already knew in-depth information about each other and they had changed clothes at least 3 times. The shows new hook is that America is supposed to vote in and tell the house guest what to do. However by the time the first objective was read (which by the way was bikinis and hot tub) it was painfully obvious that the producers had already decided what the contestants objectives were going to be all while repeatedly telling viewers that we somehow voted on what they were doing in the house. Again the show had only been on for 5 min. Nothing was ever explained. The contestants walked out in jump suits to play a game based on who knows who best and America again was supposed to have already voted and given the contestants their task based on there personalities (Again all within 5min of the shows initial airing). By the end the show supposedly only 24hrs had passed although it was obvious by the way they were talking and the multiple wardrobe changes, they had been in the house about 4-5 days. One of the male contestants who for some reason was acting like a bad talk show host, started to just randomly berate and badger the women of the house because he said that America voted in ( Again when did we vote in?) and told him to start acting that way. 2 min later he was voted out the house and “this is the kicker” . The contestants for unexplained reasons had rocks in there hands that they then placed on a pedestal in front of a flat screen tv, LOL What? And one by one they all started miming shooting, throwing, punching, flicking and I think there was a sling shot in their… at the screen which then showed exploding glass with each vote. (I mean really…) are you guy’s sure you thought this show through… Or were you just trying to get this crap on the air before CBS’s Big Brother law suit takes affect and the show is halted mid season.

  44. peaceandlove says:

    well I thought the show was ok. Really guys it’s just the 1st episode give the show a chance

  45. peaceandlove says:

    on another note everyone seem to like the cop on here he’s a jerk as well typical cop

  46. rjcarr says:

    I’m a straight guy that likes seeing young girls in swimsuits and I watched this show for about 10 minutes and turned it off *while the girls were still in swimsuits*! That is basically unprecedented … that’s how terrible this show was.

  47. Timmy O'Tool says:

    Is it just me or were all these people the product of a corporate moron? The people in this show are clearly bad wanna b actors told to uphold the douche stereo type. None of these people truly are the personalities they portray, these people are clearly acting the way the producer wants people to see them as and the voting may be real in some way, bit their overhyped personalities and background stories are all clearly 100% fake. Anyone that buys anyone of these people are who they truly claim to be is retarded. This is tru tv fake, its so dumb that I can’t wait for this to get scrapped and send these terrible actors back to the “extra” casting graveyard they crowled out of.

  48. ryan says:

    Alex is an actor he was in the amazing spiderman look at his twitter account .. i am sure all these people are actually trying to be a big actor or actress and have been in plenty of movies and tv shows as extras. Erica was in a mtv show as an actress another example. I dont want to discover anything else cause I will turn into big brother and try to sue glass house to. Dont be pulling these reality shows with actual actors that is so sad.

  49. Sharon says:

    I must admit I’m watching it. I’m so sorry. My only defense is that I am a fan of those bogus reality shows and this one is so much like that. I loved Joe Schmo and the web series Burning Love. This is filling that gap for me until another great parody comes along. If these guys are all actors then I have lost a LOT of respect for the acting profession. But in a weird, embarrassing way this is entertaining.

  50. Jan says:

    I kept watching to give this show another chance, but after last night and I wanted to regurgitate, I was done ever watching it! The slutiess, most obnoxious, trashful woman (Erika) is just nauseating to watch, especially her constant chasing of a man that is not interested in her. She is totally obssessed and saying the most ridiculous things, as if they are in a relationship….yet she is popular! This show makes extremist the most popular ones and who fans are voting for. I don’t get it at all! Character and maturity is deemed “boring” by this show. Please never bring this show back!!

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