"Alone, even doing nothing, you do not waste your time. You do, almost always, in company. No encounter with yourself can be altogether sterile: Something necessarily emerges, even if only the hope of some day meeting yourself again." (E.M. Cioran)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Please Cancel Big Brother

Please cancel 'Big Brother'.
Aside from its vague appeal as tv junk food, such idle viewing can become unexpectedly and annoyingly compelling, even just to have on in the background. It's too easy to be drawn in (especially on these winter evenings), but I resent it. After watching a few episodes, the housemates, who initially come across as the usual disappointing stereotypes (despite being hyped as reflecting "all walks of life"), start appearing to be more complex - even interesting. And before I know it, it's as if they are characters in the background of my own domestic life. I even hear their voices in my dreams.
But let's face it. The makers of the show are the people having the fun here. They are the ones who have the outrageous privilege of getting to devise a scenario to fit specifically chosen people into and to psychologically profile the entrants in order to then pick the people we can watch and (well, supposedly) be entertained by. They get to create an experimental human zoo of photogenic people with contrasting personalities and devise activities for and play a part in manipulating situations between them that they hope will result in maximum entertainment value.
Another problem is the way the public votes to evict nominated housemates. Now that we are into our seventh season of the show, viewers have become very set in their ways in regard to how they vote. It's almost a guarantee that the more interesting/intense/confrontational/annoying/outrageous (or female, unless they're exceptionally vacuous) characters leave first and the winner is the most low-key, easy-going, innocuous bloke. Yet we keep watching and keep hoping that the one we end up sympathising with the most will triumph.
Frustrating and ultimately pointless.


ATM said...

There's obviously an art to watching BB . You have to do it strategically (to use one of the BB terms) - ie you can minimise your involvement by just watching the key episodes and otherwise use it for wallpaper while doing other things like painting your room or constructing a five course dinner for your loved ones.

The whole thing is so caught up in old traditions now - under the radar, noms, Grettle - it's almost a closed universe. So long as you are "in" on it, you can structure how you watch it any old how and still know what is going on.

Maybe this is just a very contemporary form of TV?

TyrannaFoe said...

Yep, ATM, I agree that it works best as background wallpaper for other around-the-house activities, but these people still ending up getting to me somehow. If you're gonna be sucked in though, it's definitely a wise move to minimise viewing. Also, your comment about it being a closed universe now is so true. A most predictable one to boot.