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Big Brother

I really don't like Big Brother. It stems, I suppose, from the first season, when I watched an episode with C, and we spent half an hour watching the contestants paint a room. I was literally watching paint dry. After that, you couldn't convince me of its worth.

Some of my friends like it: it's the combination of cultural train wreck, shallowness, and voyeurism, or at least that's how it sounds when it's explained to me. I suppose I can see the attraction, but it's just not wild enough for me. It just doesn't fuck with them enough. See, every time Big Brother starts up, I think, that given the real world deprivation of the house, they could, when they drop new people in there, drop them in with the specific goal to tell everyone that the Prime Minister has died. Just ordinarily. A blood clot in his brain. Prime Ministers are not young men (and one day in Australia, women) and so the thought that one--say John Howard--might just die one night, quietly, without any dramatic sense of place within the grand narrative of life, is a possibility. Inside the house, with no way to be sure, the contestants will have to take it as truth, and react the way that they would normally. But the real trick is in what follows. See, a week or so after that, you could hire military jets and fly the planes two or three times a day over the Big Brother house and employ explosive experts to begin setting off explosions in the distance. Just a day. Maybe a night. Let the suggestion of a violent conflict exist, then take it away. Then, you explain it to the contestants, and send them phony newspapers, and news clips, and you build up, over how many weeks the show goes for, this belief that the world outside has fallen into a violent, civil war which culminates, in the final days, of the house going silent. No announcements. No lights. Nothing. Just an eerie, eerie silence, to see which of the final contestants will break and leave the house. Perhaps if you were incredibly lucky, the contestants would start drawing straws in a suicide pact.

Comments

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cassiphone
May. 2nd, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
See, now I'd watch that.

My main objection to Big Brother is similar to that I have to most shows with 'Footy' in the title - it's allowed to go overtime on an ad hoc basis, which screws up the rest of the evening's viewing, especially if you have set to record a particular show.

benpeek
May. 2nd, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
at least footy show is about something.

still, the really shocking admission is that you tape things off tv. how illegal! illegal copying! heh.
(no subject) - cassiphone - May. 2nd, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 3rd, 2007 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - porphyre - May. 3rd, 2007 07:43 am (UTC) - Expand
catsparx
May. 2nd, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
Ben, I love your version of Big Brother. Big Brother Cannibal Survivor Apocalypse -- now there's a show I'd watch. It could turn out like that end of the world scenario episode of Spooks. Extremely gripping television.
benpeek
May. 2nd, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
it is genius, is it not? i deserve piles of money.
(no subject) - catsparx - May. 2nd, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 2nd, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsparx - May. 2nd, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 2nd, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
kaolinfire
May. 2nd, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
I might even watch your version.
benpeek
May. 2nd, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
i so need to be sent bags of money.
(no subject) - kaolinfire - May. 2nd, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 3rd, 2007 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaolinfire - May. 3rd, 2007 12:18 am (UTC) - Expand
underdogautopsy
May. 2nd, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
Ahh! I want to see your version of Big Brother desperately!
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
i should be a TV producer.
chrisbarnes
May. 3rd, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
Big Brother: The End Times.

Awesome. I'd definitely watch it.
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
send me your millions!
nballingrud
May. 3rd, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
All this Big Brother I keep reading about on Aussie & UK message boards and blogs ... we're deprived of it here. I think they tried a version of it for a year or two and it fizzled out. Our delicate American sensibilities wouoldn't allow the show the latitude it apparently has over there. Instead we are in thrall to American Idol, which actually makes THE GODDAMN NEWS.
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
we have australian idol, here. i'd like to tell you it doesn't make the news, but it does. in fact, so does big brother.

the thing that never took off here was survivor.
(no subject) - lucius_t - May. 3rd, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) - Expand
woosang
May. 3rd, 2007 06:48 am (UTC)
I loath this show. It is a waste fo money resource and electricity
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
i also dislike it's cheap, nothing special road to five minutes of fame.
porphyre
May. 3rd, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
THat reminds of those psych experiemnts that used to happen where glass bottomed elevators would get "stuck" or the captains of airplanes would "die" to see what people would do.

I like yours a hell of a lot better.
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
i totally need to get into TV and the bags of money there. who do i talk to to pitch this stuff?

;)
(no subject) - ex_chrisbil - May. 3rd, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 4th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC) - Expand
stevenagy
May. 3rd, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
Wasn't that done already with 28 Days Later? ;-)
benpeek
May. 4th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
no.
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