Sunday, June 29, 2008

Not Bothering With Big Brother

Regular readers will know that my summer months are normally pre-occupied with the goings-on in Big Brother and I confess to occassionally getting obsessed. Occassionally. But this year after just a week or so in, I've totally given up on this.

When Big Brother was launched it was innovative and socially interesting. The idea was putting ordinary people together and seeing how they interacted 24-7; seeing emotions run high and seeing human frailty in all of its glory. So where did it all go wrong?

Firstly, the social meddling. The idea that we should watching people in a human zoo, but to remove those who are aggressive, racist, bullying is to suggest that those traits do not exist in society. They do; and we should watch this and see the best and worst of society. To meddle is to create some sanitised version of society.

But, secondly, why has it got this bad? What has led the social experiment to be social engineering? Well in the past the housemates were largely made up of ordinary people; people we could empathise with; people who live next door. And we would watch how these ordinary people got on.

But then something changes - either a desire to make it more interesting, a desire to watch something altogether more bizarre or a ratings gambit by C4. Instead of the ordinary people we get a bizarre sideshow of people. If I thought for a moment the contents of the BB House were representative of society, I'd move to Canada. These poor souls are dragged in, lured by a moment of celebrity - not a desire to engage in a social experiment. Each one of them stranger than the last. I don't know anybody remotely similar to these people - beit the vile bullying of Alex or the drama queen nastiness of Denis. They are pawns, dragged into something which I no longer want to watch.

Just think about how the characters have changed from series to series; from Craig Phillips (series one) to Kate Lawler (series three) to Cameron Stout (series four) to Nadia Almada (series five) to Pete Bennett (series seven) and now who?

By changing the contestants they've changed the social interaction and it has become pointless. Apparently the ratings go down and down; and each time C4 react with more and more bizarre stereotypes. Rather like Labour believed it lost elections for not being left wing enough, apparently BB is losing viewers because it isn't bizarre enough.



Anonymous said...

I refused to watch it after series one, programme one, as I could see this happening.

Its a viewer pyramid scheme and human zoo/circus promoting mediocrity and claustraphobed behaviour, wrapped up as plastic celebrity.

Its more fun watching livestock at the Royal Agricultural show!

Anonymous said...

No, I make a mistake; "meercat manor" is more interesting than BB, any day.