“Big Brother: Season 10 was the Best Season”
It seems that Big Brother is a very uneven show. It has failed more than enough times with bad casts or poorly thought out twists, but when Big Brother is good, it’s very good. Those seasons that strike gold aren’t just the best Big Brother seasons – they’re some of the best seasons of reality television as a whole. The show has landed near perfection notably with its third season and when it did all stars for its seventh, but the absolute closest its gotten is Big Brother 10.
Season 10 may be remembered mostly as Dan Gheesling’s season, but he’s not the only part of it that’s great. The season was set up as the perfect amount of Big Brother. 13 players in the cast, 71 days overall; the shortest season and not pushing the limits like a lot of modern seasons that keep lasting for 90 days or more. It’s the ideal amount of time for the game to breathe, and the decision to insert almost no twists at all only helps it more. Big Brother as a game is already perfectly designed to allow power shifts to always be possible, so the twists that have been used over the years tend to merely limit that possibility. Luckily the producers must’ve used up a lot of their weird ideas for the infamous ninth season that was ordered in the winter to make up for shows missing from the CBS schedule due to the writer’s strike in 2008. Big Brother 10 followed soon after in the summer.
Of course as well set up as the game can be, what makes or breaks a season is the cast, and nearly everybody in Big Brother 10 contributes to the season. Renny was constantly an unpredictable comedic force, Jerry is still a unique character to this day since the show will never cast someone near his age ever again, April was a great villain for the middle section of the season, Memphis’ subtly cutthroat yet sloppy gameplay is a compelling watch for the end stretch; the list goes on. Even with the first boot, Brian has such a fast rise and fall that’s fun to watch on its own while also acting as a foundation for the rest of Dan’s storyline.
Speaking of Dan, obviously as mentioned earlier, he’s the first thing people think of when this season comes up, and it is for good reason. Due to Big Brother filming as it airs week to week, it’s rare to witness many season-long stories that feel as well put together and satisfying narratively in the edited show as Dan’s. It can handle episode to episode just fine, but generally full season arcs don’t feel as well constructed as in something like Survivor because obviously the editors don’t know how it all ends when most episodes are being edited. With Dan though he’s such a dynamic narrator in the diary room and his game builds up so perfectly that the story almost tells itself.
He gets thrown to the bottom early when Brian is eliminated and quickly shifts himself into a safe position where he can bide his time until the main alliance implodes, which happened in the fourth week when bubbling conflicts finally erupted in the unforgettable arguments on Keesha’s birthday. From there it’s as if every week he becomes a more impressive player than he was before. He’s the swing that votes out Jessie, not much later he pulls off lying constantly to Ollie, eventually leading the famous replacement nominee roulette scene where he backdoors Michelle. His renegades alliance from there absolutely dominates and despite his partner Memphis being a strong player in many aspects, Dan is running circles around him those last few weeks, especially when they face the jury and Dan has a flawless performance that earns him the unanimous win.
He’s not only undeniably one of the best to ever play the game, he’s also one of the most entertaining. He’s such a showman, and that’s the core of what makes Big Brother 10 so great. Then what makes it the absolute best season is everything surrounding that. Finding a notable flaw anywhere, from day one to day seventy one, is about as tall an order as Big Brother can offer.
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