I have been a fan of “Big Brother” since the beginning of the hit CBS summer reality TV series 22 seasons ago. The drama and the game play are fun to watch. I find myself rooting for the underdogs. I guess I’m that way in life, too.

“Big Brother” is also a compelling social experiment. People often wonder as to how these “houseguests” can become so close so soon. I think it’s easy to understand if you look at this way: They’re confined to a small proximity with no outside intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those who are fortunate enough can last for weeks, if not months in the BB house. You only have each other, so relationships can blossom quickly. You may end up talking to a stranger more than you have your own friends or family members. I can see lifelong bonds created by this type of interaction.

First impressions can say a lot. They can be completely different for viewers compared with those who live in the “BB” house. Bonds, alliances and friendships are caught by a plethora of cameras. After a while you may even tend to forget that the cameras are rolling.

If you watched season 22, you may have seen things differently. It all depends on how you perceive it. I think it’s one of the most explosive seasons to date. Game play went to new levels, some even bringing houseguests’ behavior into question.

Finale nights are always exciting, but for winner Jackson Michie, it was anything but exciting. Michie was completely caught off guard by fellow houseguests and the shows fans toward him. He was not in a celebratory mood after host Julie Chen told him of accusations of racism. It didn’t help that a few evicted houseguests backed those accusations up.

I’ve never seen a finale like this. Then again, this season wasn’t the norm either. I wasn’t a fan of Michie at any point this season because of his early game play. I don’t care that he dominated in the competitions. His actions, or strategies, felt more real than just game play.

A show like this can be said to prove just what some people would do to win money. Yes, it’s a game, but we live in a different world now. Impact is everything (both for a network and for a reality show contestant). Social media and instant news are also game-changers.

I thought Michie’s face said it all, until he said to Chen, “I did it for my mom, and I did it for my dad. And at the end of the day, what matters more to me than the half million is that they’re proud of me. I just hope everything’s alright.”

I was more thrilled for Nicole Anthony. She was my favorite throughout the season, mainly because she and Cliff Hoag were the underdogs. Nicole steadily gained confidence and the game as the summer played out. Unfortunately, she peaked at No. 3, as Michie chose Holly Allen to be with him at the end. America chose Nicole as their favorite houseguest and awarded her $25,000.

I think this group of “Big Brother” houseguests showed viewers a reality other than that of a TV show. It’s time we come together and learn to celebrate and appreciate our differences instead of continuing to use them to further divide us. See you next summer, “Big Brother.”
David T. Farr can be reached at farrboy@hotmail.com.