As soon as I heard the concept behind ABC's new show The Glass House, which premieres tonight at 10 PM, I was completely obsessed. It's a show in which 14 strangers live in a house, but we all get to vote online and by text message to determine who stays, who goes, who gets to sleep where, who gets to wear what, and just what they do every damn day over the next 10 weeks. This is going to be so freaking awesome, guys, I promise.
Maybe the reason I'm so stoked is because of the ongoing legal battle surrounding the show and because we were almost denied tonight's debut. But it's going to happen and, boy, I haven't been this excited since I asked for a BB gun for Christmas. I'm here to answer your questions about my newest boob tube obsession.
How does this thing work?
Alright, it's sort of similar to Big Brother, hence the lawsuit (more on that in a minute): There are 14 people living in a house and every second of their lives is taped. Each week someone is kicked out of the house. The person left at the end is a big old winner.
Who are these yahoos?
Well, if you really want to meet them, they all have profiles on the show's website.
How do they get voted off?
So, each week, after the show, America votes who they want to stay in the house. You can vote for as many people as you'd like or as few people as you'd like. Or you can be a slacker and not vote, but that isn't very fun (and is also how we ended up with George W. Bush in office for two terms and you don't want another travesty like that to occur, do you?). The two people who get the lowest number of votes are the two team captains for the week.
Wait, why are they rewarding the people with the fewest votes?
Well, it's not really a reward. Yes, the captains get to pick their teams for a challenge, but the captain of the losing team is up for elimination.
Who else is up for elimination?
Another member of the losing team, but the members of the house get to decide which person.
So they do have some say in who gets kicked out.
Yes, but that is it. Then viewers vote on which of the two people to keep in the house and who gets sent packing.
That seems really complicated.
Yeah, but it also seems totally awesome! Finally, we get all the control. Well, most of the control, at least.
Is that all we get to vote on?
No! There are already polls on the website where we can influence the sort of awful tasks that the Glassers will have to go through. We get to pick if they should thread a 100 needles or blow up 100 balloons.
Well, the obvious choice is balloons!
Right. And that is why this is fun. The viewers at home are mean and sadistic and they are going to do everything they can to create drama in the house. It's sort of like giving Internet commenters free reign to do whatever they want. There are new polls to vote in every day.
Like Big Brother, can you watch live streaming video of the house all the time?
I don't think so. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but it seems like there is a period of "streaming and voting" where viewers can watch footage online, vote on what should happen, and see the outcome of their votes in real time. Those take place Mondays from 11 PM to 3 AM and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 PM to 4 PM.
Is that Eastern time?
So this is when you should be sleeping and working?
Yes, Glass House is trying to singlehandedly ruin American productivity. For that, we applaud it.
What the hell is going on with this lawsuit?
Well, CBS sued ABC for stealing their trade secrets because the show is so similar to Big Brother. Currently the lawsuit is ongoing, but a judge dealt CBS a blow on Friday when he denied an injuction to keep Glass House off the air. Guess we're going to have to wait for the outcome and have a blissful summer where we get both Glass House and Big Brother.
Oh, one more question. Is there a hot tub?
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan