Big Brother

Huzzah! Big Brother is finally dead.

Although I loved the idea and watched avidly back when BB first began, over subsequent years the producers took the programme nowhere and it just became an annual excuse to round-up the most vacuous bunch of wannabes they could and stick them all in a house to be gawped at for weeks on end.

The ‘celebrity’ ones were just as bad – filled with people desperately trying to revive their flagging careers by sitting around and doing nothing.

The Big Brother idea had such huge potential as a social experiment. I would have liked to see a house full of pensioners; a house full of deaf people or a house where one of the contestants was a really lovely dog (whose nominations would have been selected by public vote).

A house full of people with uber-high IQ’s would have been interesting, or a group of people who couldn’t speak the same language, but no, all they gave us year after year were bitchy exhibitionists and there’s only so much screaming at plastic-titted numbnuts on Channel 4 you can do before you feel the need to switch over to BBC2 and scream at politicians on Newsnight instead.

The only contestant I ever really liked was John Tickle – a man who knew how to keep himself entertained without resorting to bitching and who seemed to have some grey matter between his ears. And I have to confess that I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of sympathy for Chantelle this past week or so. I know it was her decision to go in there again but it can’t have been easy living with her former husband who she obviously still has so much feeling for.

There were far too many over the years that I hated and besides, I wouldn’t want to give them any more googleability by sullying my site with their names. I’m sure you’ve got many of the same people on your list.

I wonder what Channel 4 has in mind to fill the enormous gap in the schedule left by Big Brother’s exit. Hopefully they’ll try to earn back their once great reputation and make more series on a par with Misfits (buy the DVD if you missed it – best drama series to come out of the UK for years).

publicity still from Misfits

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3 responses to “Big Brother

  1. I gave up on Big Brother pretty quickly too. I also liked the social experiment idea rather than the exhibitionist element.

    I was a huge fan of the series that seemed to predate the lot of these reality shows — the BBC’s Castaway 2000 where a proper cross-section of society was sent to a remote Hebridean island. It was a completely stupid idea to send them there on 1st January as they all ended up ill for the first three months and in local B&Bs. Would have been better to have given them the summer to settle in.

    Compared with C4’s BB there was remarkably little footage broadcast but I found it quite compelling — not just the odd drunken argument.

  2. I never saw that but I heard about it. I’ve watched the odd episode of some of those where people had to live in a different time and fend for themselves without all the modern stuff we take for granted. They’re much better.
    They make me wonder what the world would be like if things do go belly up and we have to start from scratch again. Assuming there was no technology or books, how long do you think it would take humans to get to the stage we’re at now? Most people these days don’t even have the most basic ‘making’ skills!

  3. “A house full of people with uber-high IQ’s would have been interesting, or a group of people who couldn’t speak the same language, but no, all they gave us year after year were bitchy exhibitionists and there’s only so much screaming at plastic-titted numbnuts on Channel 4 you can do before you feel the need to switch over to BBC2 and scream at politicians on Newsnight instead.”

    Yes at this. Yes.

    I felt a twinge of something else for Chantelle…

    I saw that Hebridean thing but can’t remember much from it; I have a vague impression of a lot of complaining.

    I was intrigued by Misfits from the trailers but never got round to it.

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