Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's no panto.

Big Brother 6 UK is finally over, leaving a very nasty taste behind. The finale was the most predictable ever - the voters (mainly young women) chose an attractive, slightly dim, unthreatening lad as their winner. Upon looking back at previous seasons, I realise that I've never backed a Big Brother winner - all the people I would have preferred to win were either intelligent, sensible and a bit quiet (Anna, Elizabeth, Scott, Dan) or totally mad and over-the-top (Jade, Kinga). Big Brother winners tend to be affable "normal" lads and lasses (Craig, Anthony, Cameron, Kate) or camp icons (Brian, Nadia) - people who traditionally live up to society's expectations of what a gay/heterosexual/transsexual man/woman should be.
Last night was particularly disappointing because of the crowd's booing and chanting while Makosi received a rather cold interview from Davina. Why? Makosi was arrogant. Crime. She claimed she'd had sex in a jacuzzi and was pregnant (when she probably didn't). Crime! And she led people to think she was a mole/actress. Crime! Crime! Crime! The booing, which has been steadily getting worse since Series 4, reached a pinnacle of hatred with jeers of "Liar! Liar! Liar!" and "Off! Off! Off!"
There are plenty of people in Big Brother who I don't like. Derek, the gay Tory who supports fox hunting, thinks gay people shouldn't be allowed to adopt and made Orlaith and Sam miserable - he's a pretty despicable person. "Foul-mouthed Science" (real name Kieran), whose debating skills consisted of shouting and shouting until the other party gave up, exasperated. Lesley, who acted like a schoolyard bully. None of them were particularly pleasant people. But I don't think anyone should be booed upon being voted out of a gameshow after being televised live for weeks.The humiliation of losing a popularity vote and stress of having no privacy is punishment enough.
It is interesting that this year and last, a number of the contestants are not British born (Makosi, Roberto, Ahmed, Nadia). Possibly Endemol have realised that such contestants are probably not as in tune with unspoken British social conventions and are therefore more likely to act in ways which could be perceived as unlikeable or difficult.
Also, interestingly, I think ALL of the female contestants on Big Brother this year received boos when evicted. Davina's whispered "It's a pantomime" is supposed to calm the housemates, but let's face it. Big Brother is NOT a pantomime. It's a reality gameshow. A pantomime lasts 90 minutes and we boo because the actors are playing roles. In Big Brother, the contestants play themselves, for weeks on end. To come out to boos is one of the most strident messages you can receive about the way you are perceived as a person. At the rate the show is going, in a couple of years someone will throw something during the booing and seriously hurt a housemate. Or a housemate will attempt suicide, unable to cope with the amount of hatred they've received.

1 comment:

Trashbinder said...

You really have to question whether these BB contestants really understand just how much their lives will change from now on.

The anonymity that they take for granted is to be eroded for at least the next five years and no matter how eductated the British public likes to believe it is, people just can't help making judgments or telling 'celebrities' what they think of them when encountering them in public.

I really do anticipate that someone like Science or Lesley will end up being glassed in public, because someone decides that they deserve a good kicking.

There seems little benefit in appearing on BB. You get invited to ropey Z-list parties for the next three months and then you might get wheeled out again next year to appear on some cable chat show entitled 'Big Brother Ruined My Sex Life' etc.

I noted with interest that Craig's Mum felt that the programme had been unfairly edited and portrayed her son in a poor light. Even though I think on this occasion she is misguided and is merely protecting her stalking son, the contestants will never have control over how they are portrayed.

I note that one of Endemol's staff commented that there were four previous contestants that have been clinically depressed since appearing on national television. If only they knew what they were letting themselves in for. BB can seriously damage your mental health.