Big Brother Season 23 Review


Elizabeth Ippolito, Beat Reporter: TV

Hosted by Julie Chen Moonves

Airing on CBS, full season out now

Rating: 4/5

Everyone’s favorite summer drama-fest, Big Brother, hit CBS on July 7th, and I for sure spent the summer binge-watching. The reality-TV series has captivated viewers for 23 seasons in the United States and has even made its way internationally.

 Big Brother is a reality show where eighteen players enter a house for the summer and lose all contact with the outside world. They compete for the title “Head of Household” each week through winning physical and mental competitions. The “Head of Household” gets to nominate two people to potentially be evicted by the other players. However, they have the chance to save themselves or one of their housemates by winning the Power of Veto which they also compete for. If they win, they can revoke their nomination and someone new will be nominated. At the end of each week, the house votes on who they would like to evict. The game is physical, mental, and emotional, and extremely strategic.

This season was the most historic one yet. The gameplay was completely different from previous seasons and it was fresh and new for the long-term fans. Usually, the show sticks to a similar cast of clichés, but this season included a wide variety of diversity of age, race, and sexuality. . The ability for people of all kinds to see themselves represented in the game is truly something special and was long overdue. In particular, Xavier Prather is now the first-ever African-American player to win first place, earning $750,000, the most money ever given to a first-place winner. And it doesn’t stop there. Second place was given to Derek Frasier and America’s favorite player was given to Tiffany Mitchell. All three were members of “The Cookout” alliance, proving the dominant grasp they had over the game.

This season also had a large twist to disrupt everything you thought you knew from the previous twenty-two seasons. In the beginning, players were split into 4 teams that competed together in challenges for the first few weeks, making alliances easy to start but as always, hard to keep. The gameplay was ruled by “The Cookout” Alliance which was comprised of all six Black players in the house. They were able to trust each other enough to keep their alliance completely secret from all of the other players. Their alliance held out until the very end of the game and definitely assisted Prather in his ultimate win. They all had a goal in mind and something to prove, raising the emotional and financial stakes for viewers.

“The Cookout” alliance was beyond entertaining to watch because of the way they played the game differently from how it has ever been played before. It was riveting for new and returning fans alike. However, there was little strategy involved with the rest of the gameplay featured in the show and those parts became difficult to keep watching. It’s hard to love a show where only one set of characters are actually interesting.

While this season was definitely one for the history books, the representation and switch-up in strategy are long overdue. We can only hope they’ll continue on this positive trend upwards for season twenty-four.