Friday, June 01, 2007

There's nowt so queer as folk

Love it or hate it, Big Brother is back, unleashing another bizarre mix of strangers on society at large.

It's always uncomfortable viewing watching all those individuals enter a fabricated environment where they have to make small-talk, whilst weighing themselves up against their fellow inmates (sorry housemates) and protecting their egos. Happily, I had more interesting things to do this year than occupy myself with the launch of BB8, (but I suppose that was more coincidence than planning)

Since Big Brother arrived at the start of the 21st Century, one thing I have never understood is why otherwise normal individuals get involved? Their desire for fame (or infamy), personal journey, or resolving of personal issues forces them into the limelight which could lead to the life they really want, but it also could lead to their downfall. Surely it's a big risk to take.

But who am I to wonder, after-all, what are my motives for publishing my comments and providing a snapshot of local and family life on the Internet?

Whatever the BB contestants' motives, this is not the most important aspect of Big Brother. After all, there is an old saying which goes something like "do not judge others until you've walked a mile in their shoes".

What perhaps matters more, is the motivation of the production company that creates the format and that of the broadcasting company that pushes it into our living rooms. Whatever the prize money that they award to the winning contestant (and the production costs in making it all happen), this is probably a drop in the ocean compared to the licensing income, merchandising and advertising opportunities that will come from it.

Funny really, we might be in the 21st Century with all our innovations to boast, but in the entertainment business
certain things haven't changed since the 19th Century, as this article on reveals.

At the end of the day, whatever the motivation behind those who enter the house and those who broadcast the show, there will always be a place for Big Brother if we, the public, are motivated to watch and dare I say, comment. I suppose it's back to the age old economic principles of supply meets demand.


Ruby in Bury said...

The last Big Brother was the pits, and ended up with Jade Goody being totally victimised IMO. Built up as a bit of a freak show by Big Brother and and then suddenly the whole world turned against her.

I haven't seen any of the new one - the last one put me off. And the amount of attention it got sort of made me realise that while community life has gone to pot a bit in the 21st C, we are getting our fill of the goss and the ups and downs of community life by spectating other people on TV ...!!

grumpyoldwoman said...

If I had to list my hobbies 'People Watching' would probably be top of the list. It is totally fascinating. However, the whole point is that the people in question are just doing ordinary things and are not aware of my harmless scrutiny.

I am not at all comfortable with the concept of people placing themselves under my scrutiny for entertainment value and therefore never watch the shows. However, it is almost impossible to avoid - ads between other programmes with previews, mentions in the press, overhearing other people discuss it in a queue or pub and so on. I ended up knowing way too much about the contestants last time and am hoping to avoid the same this time.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Ruby - I agree that Jade Goody was victimised in the last series. It was a horrible representation of mankind. There is too much emphasis on the value of celebrity and I firmly believe that anonymity can be the greatest gift by comparison.

Grumpyoldwoman - thanks for passing by. People Watching is one of my favourites as well and I really love Ruby's innocent "overheards". Even though I have been sucked into the odd BB series on occasion, it is not nice TV and these days I would rather blog.