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Big Brother (TV Series)
Member Name: spacelamb
Big Brother (TV Series)
Date: 19/06/01, updated on 19/06/01 (183 review reads)
Advantages: it's pure entertainment
Disadvantages: oh down with you moral crusaders
I am losing friends like other people lose keys. It is not my fault. Every night at ten my flatmates retire to their rooms, apparently unable to bear my inane comments about a group of people I have never met. They fail to see how I can possibly find their antics interesting. Pah!
I am talking of course about Big Brother, which is in fact the *most* interesting thing terrestrial television has given us since ooh, Inspector Gadget at least. Why is it so fascinating? – I don’t know. (The honest answer of course is that I am shamelessly nosy, but this is not terribly flattering. So I have given myself the title of sociologist. Yes, that’s better).
I was completely sucked in to BB1 and was rather afraid that BB2 wouldn’t measure up – how wrong I was! Last year, the contestants did the decent thing and pretended to like each other; this year there are insults flying around like frisbees. Snippet of conversation from yesterday:
Brian: How’s your time in the house been?
Narinder: Horrendous – it’s hard living with people when you f*****g hate their guts.
(Ouch! Now this, surely, is quality televisual viewing?)
The producers have made very clever choices this year. Not only were these ten people completely unlikely to get along, but they were also unlikely to display any kind of tact (with the possible exceptions of Dean and Elizabeth). Actually before I proceed any further here is my guide to this year’s inmates, for what it’s worth:
·We like Penny because: she was so insane she was kind of entertaining
·We don’t like Penny because: she was overbearing and just plain weird – I mean she carried her shoulder bag around all the time like someone was going to snatch it and run off into the night (highly unlikely)
·We like Stuart because: he had those demon contact lenses
·We don’t like Stuart
because: he was very aggressive, generally like your boss and had stupid hair
·We like Helen because: um…help me out here…well she’s a straightforward kind of gal
·We don’t like Helen because: she ought to be forced to copiously repeat the mantra: “brain first, then mouth”
·We like Paul because: he’s completely inoffensive
·We don’t like Paul because: he’s completely inoffensive (although he has a habit of concocting elaborate stories about how he jumped from the top of a double-decker etc) (bus, not chocolate bar)
·We like Narinder because: she’s a former Bollywood actress, which is quite cool
·We don’t like Narinder because: she hasn’t stopped whinging since she arrived; for the first couple of weeks she was really cross that people were got her name wrong but she never corrected them
·We like Amma because: she’s outspoken, intelligent and easy on the eye
·We don’t like Amma because: she’s got a very bitchy side
·We like Bubble because: he’s the joker of the pack, and he got all upset when he was talking about what a bad father he used to be (aww)
·We don’t like Bubble because: he’s a bit much, and he has appalling dress sense
·We like Brian because: he’s a camp little darling
·We don’t like Brian because: he’s got a really strange sense of humour and he lists his favourite song as Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ – oh please
·We like Elizabeth because: she seems to have her head screwed on, and no evidence of back-stabbing yet
·We don’t like Elizabeth because: she’s a bit like the school swot
·We like Josh because: he’s eye candy and very easygoing
·We don’t like Josh because: he’s
a wee bit vain, and may well be an evil plant employed by Big Brother
·We like Dean because: he seems like a genuinely nice chap, and I hope he wins
·We don’t like Dean because: there must be some fatal flaw simmering beneath the surface
So there you have it.
The basic premise of Big Brother (maybe this paragraph should have been slightly higher up, but I don’t honestly believe that anyone reading this op is completely immune to the phenomenon) is to shove ten people in a house together and then film them. They have to do silly tasks to get more money for groceries each week, and then they blow it all on cider and throw up in the sink. Each week one housemate is evicted (two are nominated by the housemates themselves and it then goes to a public vote) until there’s only one left, who wins £70,000. Coverage is live on E4 all through the night and highlights are shown on channel 4 every day. There is also a live webcam, but my computer won’t let me use it. I am considering pouring a cup of Lilt onto the keyboard to teach it a lesson, but I think I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face, as they say.
A lot has been made about the ethics of Big Brother – should be we all be taking such delight in this voyeuristic activity? Are the producers completely immoral to make such a programme? (I don’t think they care frankly, as they have rocketed to the top of the channel 4 hierarchy so fast that they all have permanent nosebleeds). Last year perhaps I could understand the argument. But this year, the contestants went into that house with their eyes WIDE open. They knew exactly what to expect and they still entered. Stuart even resigned as Managing Director of a company to take part, so I don’t think they deserve any of my sympathy.
The big question is: how do you decide whether or not to waste most of your summer on this programme? Well the thing is, whether you love it
or hate it (and I don’t think there’s a middle ground), Big Brother is a landmark piece of television and you’ll want to be able to tell your grandkids that you remember it. It’s a social marker of our time. I don’t want to think about that too much.