Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Big Brother – The Bashers Within

The Guru has already sounded off against those Big Brother Bashers who wish to banish the show from our screens. But Big Brother also suffers at the hands of some of its own viewers.

The typical profile goes something like this: dips into the show, mainly when it’s made the news or there’s the prospect of a juicy noms/eviction ep; feels (or claims to feel) eminently superior to all of the HMs; talks almost exclusively of HMs’ negative, rather than positive, traits; typically backs the media when they vilify a HM or defame the show; pigeonholes their viewing as a guilty pleasure — something they hate themselves for doing; pronounces each season that the format has run its course... and proceeds to get right into the following season!

In Australia, this attitude has actually been greatly fuelled by the show’s producers, who are greedy for ratings, and have therefore been more than willing to cater to The Bashers Within. Last year it was sex — the producers working as diligently as the zookeepers at a Giant Panda enclosure to encourage some action. (This was another reason for John & Ash’s treatment being unfair. And inconsistent — BB05’s Michael faced no serious consequences for putting his penis up to Gianna’s face, despite her not consenting, and not liking it.)

This year it’s mind-games, physical pain and surprise twists. And this leaves Big Brother walking a moral tightrope.

The White Room
Sensory deprivation in The White Room

The line is crossed when a HM (or would-be HM) faces a form of potential harm they didn’t sign up for. The White Room ordeal crossed the line, because the HM hopefuls were exposed to a form of psychological trauma they probably wouldn’t have agreed to beforehand. “Can they take anything else away from us?” sobbed Harrison. And Hayley’s Temptation Island-type ordeal courtesy of ex, Billy, would also have been beyond the pale had it destroyed her long-term relationship with Andrew.

The Guru isn’t against shock surprises in the House — if rumours that Emma was born a man are on the money, some jaws may drop — but the BB producers need to maintain the moral high-ground, and let the dramas unfold naturally. In the long-term, that will win them ratings, and The Bashers Within will fall silent.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home