'The Glass House' premiere review: 'The show they didn't want you to see' was the show you didn't need to watch

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Image Credit: Nicole Wilder/ABC

The announcer for The Glass House, which premiered on ABC Monday night after The Bachelorette, said this was “the show they didn’t want you to see!” That was intended to be a reference to CBS’ attempts to prevent ABC from airing what it views as a Big Brother rip-off, but after watching the show, I think “they” might actually have been “all humans with brains and a conscience.”

The contestants were introduced by rising up in tubes apparently located beneath the Earth — they were ascending from Hell, I presume. One could not help but immediately notice bail bondsman Alex, who yelped, “I got no shame and I got no fear!” and who smiles with such demented intensity that he looks like Matthew Broderick as a tweaker stoked on Breaking Bad-quality meth.

In the manner of all such reality-TV shows, there was the proud bimbo-who’s-not-really-a-bimbo (Joy, who’s posed for Playboy but is also a nurse), the designated old guy (“bar mitzvah DJ” Mike, who said, “I’m 48, I’m gonna be dead in a couple of years, this is my last hurrah!”), and the wide-eyed gay man who says things like “I’m holding down the hot fat gay guy thing,” whatever that meant… Oh, and of course there was a poet. A poet named Apollo. Please, ABC, God, and Glass House female-voice order-giver: Do not have Apollo recite any of his poetry.

The Glass House has taken one of the most irritating elements of Big Brother — any time viewers decide what the contestants should do — and have made it the guiding principle of this new show. So the home audience asked everyone to get into bathing suits and have a pool party. Oooh, bikinis!

The show ticked off all the usual reality-show cliches. Trumped-up false fights (“You have said some crazy inappropriate things to a mother with three kids!”). Promises confided to the camera, unknown to the other contestants (“Should I turn into the most epic villain in the history of reality TV?” Alex asked America, and America said, “Yes”).

At the end of the first hour, Jacob — the cook from Oregon who had, in the opening moments of the show, revealed that he didn’t know that Oregon was in the western part of the country — and Alex were consigned to limbo, where they would have to compete to stay in the game. But the announcer said in a hasty afterword that shortly after entering limbo Jacob left the game. (Personally, I think he just thought “limbo” was the name of a new town in Oregon, and he wanted to go gawk at it and got lost.) It seems unlikely that The Glass House is going to go Alex-less for long; he’s the show’s showiest creep.

If you like, you can let me know what happens in the next installment, because I sure as hell won’t be watching. I await the reveal that the entire show is a hoax stuffed with actors. Or “actors.”

What did you think of The Glass House?

Twitter: @kentucker

For more: CBS argues similarities between Glass House and Big Brother


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