A very UN-glossy look at popular culture... and whatever else takes my fancy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I just checked the TV guide for tonight, and am pretty gutted to be reminded that Big Brother is no more.... or at least, not until next summer. I don't actually watch television much, in fact I despise most of it, but I am ashamed to say that every year I get hopelessly addicted to BB. I can easily see the problems that many have with it - for one, I thought it was absolutely shameful that the producers put Shebaz in the house, a man who was clearly unwell, and let the situation descend into the mess that it did. I am also thoroughly disturbed at the vitriol dished out to some contestants, especially when their flaws seem to only amount to immaturity and lack of self-awareness. And who hasn't been guilty of those at some point in their lives? But the thing that turns my stomach the most violently is the sick glorification of celebrity for celebrity's sake that the show permeates. All the contestants are there to become famous just for the sake of being famous - they don't care how they get there. Whatever happened to celebrating people with real goals and ambitions, people who have really achieved things?

But despite all its gross aspects, BB does have some redeeming features. For starters, it tends to be the people who are genuinely nice that win, not the ones that acted the most extreme or flashed the most flesh. This gives me at least a little faith in the public. It has also been noted by many that the programme may be making us more accepting as a nation - a transexual has previously won it, and there has always been a homosexual contestant in the final. I think that the best example of how BB can challenge people's perceptions from this year's show isn't Pete, the winner, who suffers from tourettes, but the 'ghetto princess' Aisleyne. When she first went in the house the usual sexist and snobby remarks were made and she was expected to be out within a few weeks. But Aisleyne showed sensitivity, intelligence and depth, hopefully forcing viwers who'd judged her to realise something about themselves and the way they view others. She may not have won but she came third, which is pretty good going considering some of the strong characters she was up against.

But who am I kidding? The reason I love Big Brother is probably because it DOES provide me with mindless, brain-numbing entertainment that feeds my base instincts. It has great moments in it, but overall is complete trash. It's a nasty, exploitative human zoo. But every year I still fall for it, and despite my attempts at some analysis, I know I'm really no better than the heat-reading masses.


Post a Comment

<< Home