The first night introduces us to exactly 50 percent of the cast, but will seven key metrics tip the premiere off dead center?
Chenbot Personality Setting
Julie must be pretty stoked about the new twists this season, because her knob is cranked up two notches higher than usual.
Hating Everyone On Sight
From the new houseguests' "discovery" of their keys to the Big Brother house, to the packing montage which supposedly sets up conflicts between characters before they even meet (but which never, ever does), the first new feature we want to see in the BB16 house is a large trap door. Standouts include "YouTube personality"-slash-Ariana Grande's brother Frankie; self-impressed DJ Paola a.k.a. "Pow-Pow;" and Devin, the guy who thinks he looks like The Rock but better. And that's just the first group of eight. Early least-unfavorite: small-town groundskeeper Donny, whose speaking voice makes Ned Flanders sound like Flavor Flav.
The first eight people decide to form an early-bird alliance against the latecomers before they even show up, then The Pebble makes an alliance with babe-in-the-woods Donny, while the first four women decide to form an all-girl alliance led by Paola to prove that women can work together. And people who go on Big Brother are just the ones to do that.
Getting It Twisted
For the first time ever, the Head of Household will not have immunity from eviction. After Frankie wins the first HoH competition, they learn that there will soon be another HoH selected when the second group arrives, which is terrible because it messes up everyone's plans and because now I'm going to have to figure out what the plural of "HoH" is.
There's also a "Team America" thing that allows viewers to call in and vote for the player they'd like to be in an alliance with, which apparently will actually be binding on the players. Viewers will also get to send their secret allies in the house on secret missions. So it's probably not a good year to be popular.
Paola and ex-soccer pro Cody are a real meeting of the minds. Somehow they remain attracted to each other even after speaking.
The first group of eight competes for HoH in a weak endurance/balance challenge. Makeup artist Amber makes it to the final two before throwing it to Frankie. The challenge might have lasted longer and been harder-fought had anyone known what HoH means now.
Thursday night's show will introduce the remaining eight players and determine Frankie's co-HoH. Great, more people to hate and one of them to start hating even more.