Ken Tucker
July 10, 2009 AT 05:54 AM EDT

How appropriate a way to start Big Brother 11: with an endurance competition in which the 12 new house-guests hung in the air in giant diapers, clinging onto toilet seats for as long as possible. This just about sums up the grotty appeal of the summer’s goofiest reality-game-show. Crudity is its own reward on this share-the-shower-mold series, and the season premiere did not disappoint.

As Craig Ferguson said to BB host Julie Chen on his own show Wednesday night, this is “a whole new batch of skanks and hos.” I’m not just talking about the bikini model who referred to herself as “this sweet bitch,” but also the neuroscientist who said she was “afraid that being smart would make me a target. In both cases, they proved that self-respect is the first thing that goes out the fogged-up window on Big Brother.

There’s nothing guilty about the pleasure I take in BB. This is junk-TV that always ends up revealing a lot about how people behave in groups, with cameras trained on them 24/7. And those revelations often surprise the players themselves as much as they do us.

One twist this season is to allow one contestant from an earlier season to re-enter the household. Last nnight, of four possible candidates, muscle-bound Jessie, from last season, was the one who lumbered back into the house, clutching his bag like a gorilla about to pounce. Since we know Jessie’s self-delusion is nearly limitless, I look forward to seeing him try to fit in with newbies like the mixed-martial-artist and the tae kwon do expert, both of whom will probably threaten his grinning superiority-complex.

Be sure to click over to the always-superlative Big Brother TV Watch recap written by my colleague, Jocular Josh Wolk. In the meantime, sound off below: Did you watch? Who are your early favorites, and the ones you want to see evicted as soon as possible?

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