Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Bye Bye Big Brother.

Today, Channel 4 confirmed that Big brother will not be returning for another year. Now I'm pretty sure someone related to it had already said this. Now I am not a BB fan, or hater really but this made me really happy when I first heard it, disproportionately so in fact. A lot of people on the comment boards on the guardian article have been saying one of two things, either that Big Brother is responsible for the terrible TV we seem to have at the moment and that now finally T can get good again, or that Big Brother is responsible for the terrible TV we seem to have at the moment, but the fact that it has been on for ten years means that the damage has already been done.
Now obviously the guardian readership is not BB's target audience, but it has always surprised me how much negative feeling this show stirs up in people. When it first debuted onto our screens, I seem to remember it being heralded as ground breaking television, A psychological experiment that would be explained weekly by a top psychologist, explaining what being trapped in a house was doing to these people, and why it was happening. Eventually down the road the producers decided that it would be much more exciting if they filled the house with idiots that could be more easily manipulated, this I believe was probably their down fall, because people don't like to be irritated.
Along the way though, there were some truly great TV moments, we had Nasty Nick, the bizarre roller-coaster that was Jade Goody's celebrity life, we had a transgendered woman finally feeling like she had been accepted by the public, and the kind of romantic drama that you would expect from putting a bunch of young adults in a confined space.
Of course when a show receives massive viewing figures, it will be emulated and it did play a massive part in the reality TV that litters our screens today, some of which is terrible, some of which is fantastic (I'm looking at you dog the bounty hunter). At it's very core though, Big brother was just the next logical step from game shows (which is essentially what it is) and chat shows. People like to watch people, and you rarely get to see so much of anyone's life than you did in BB. People who look down their noses at people who enjoy this kind of television are snobs, and in this world of the internet, where viewing figures are plummeting, you will not be catered for, because there are not enough of you turning on the telly.
It was fascinating, entertaining, real, depressing, and a great dirty pleasure. It was the show that you had to watch to not be left out of your friend's conversations at school. It was pretty ground breaking TV that has been dragged through the mud for short term viewing figures and it should have stopped long ago.
But all the same, goodbye BB, thanks and good riddance.

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