Monday, July 03, 2006

big bother

There is no shortage of news and blog posting on the incident. So much so, it seems hardly worth me also chiming in, but I would like to make one point about the incident that I, at least, have not read anywhere as yet.

Before I do, I need to make an admission. I was once hooked on the show. Yes, it's true - BB1, and to a lesser extent, BB2, both had me watching. In recent years, however, I have avoided the show almost completely. This was primarily due to my personal objection to the direction big brother had chosen to take regarding the choice of housemates. The early days of big brother, for some reason, seemed a little more legit. The people chosen seemed more real, and a little more mature (or at least, there were enough of the latter to keep things from going completely pear shaped). In recent times I have come to see the show as just a collection of ego-pumped, superficial air heads. It isn't all bad of course. For one, the girls are certainly attractive, and I suppose I do take some comfort in the knowledge that for at least 3 months of the year, some of Australia's stupidest people are off the streets. Perhaps a little harsh, but let's be honest, they're not exactly setting the world alight with their scintillating conversation now are they? This latest incident involving an apparent joke having gone horribly wrong (to the extent that it is alleged to have been sexual harassment) does seem to confirm the perception that while the BB light may be on, very few appear to be at home - which brings me to my point.

I am not about to jump on the band wagon and call for BB's axing. Quite frankly, if it is to be axed, it should be because Australians are not interested anymore (which given the shows high ratings, doesn't seem to be the case). I do believe, however, that BB needs to answer some very direct questions about the quality of housemates they are choosing. It has been clear for sometime now that the choice is primarily driven by two things: sex, and confrontation. They want people who are attractive and dare I say, up for a bit of action, as well as housemates who will provoke conflict in the house. This, of course, is aimed at providing hours of fun-filled reality television for all of us at home, and given the ratings, it seems to be doing the trick. The consequences of this, however, are seemingly being largely ignored. I would like to know just how much BB considers other aspects of their choices. You put a whole bunch of immature, mostly unintelligent and mentally unprepared people in a house for 3 months, and wadda ya know, an "incident" occurs - shock, horror!

While it would be unfair to say BB should have predicted such an incident, the fact is, their criteria for choosing housemates has everything to do with what occurs in the house. They have enough experts making these choices to know the risks. I am not suggesting they include the entire line-up of Nerds FC, but some balance in the house is clearly needed. At the very least, BB needs to acknowledge that they too are responsible for the actions of these housemates. They cannot just shrug their shoulders and say "we told them the rules". They have a duty of care, which starts with the people they actually choose to allow into the house. The contestants they choose must be up to the task of living in a confined space, away from friends and family, among other very strong (often influencing) personalities, for up to 3 months, and not just people who they think will make for good watching. If BB is to continue, the producers must give serious thought is to this issue.


Anonymous Derek said...

Very well written Chris! I couldnt agree with you more. Also, not that this has any bearing but one of the offenders of the joke actually lives in The Basin.

7/03/2006 08:19:00 PM

Anonymous Affrica said...

Hmmm - well, I am not really sure that putting people who are "smarter" in the house would solve any problems - there are many kinds of "intelligence" and the people in there (from the little I have seen) appear to be doing pretty well at staying upbeat and enjoying the experience. They even all seem to be rallying together a bit in the face of "the incident". But I definitely agree with you that BB producers have to take their share of responsibility for all that goes on in the house. They work so hard to orchestrate and manipulate controversial situations for "exciting" tv... one key tactic seeming to be to ply very bored housemates with huge amounts of alcohol. I also was keen on the first few episodes despite my better judgment - however I can't watch anymore because it just seems too much like an "animal farm" type scenario. Rules and humiliating punishments seem to be arbitrary and random and it is very autocratic. Probably always was, but it seems more blatant now and I can't watch it. Which means I am really not well placed to make this comment I suppose!

7/04/2006 10:23:00 AM

Anonymous affrica said...

oh - and regarding: "It isn't all bad of course. For one, the girls are certainly attractive"....

7/04/2006 11:46:00 AM

Anonymous affrica said...

that was meant to be a pulling face smily, which didn't work!
I would have thought you'd be too busy looking at your own attractive female housemate to notice! hrumph!

7/04/2006 11:48:00 AM

Blogger macca said...

three comments about a show you don't watch Aff ??

and what the hell is a "hrumph"?

7/04/2006 11:57:00 AM

Anonymous aff said...

ok, so I may be procrastinating... :)

7/04/2006 12:50:00 PM


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