Big Brother Goes Dead Scary
There was an interview in the papers the other day with a Big Brother psychologist, who likened the show to hardcore porn! She was explaining how the more addicted people get to porn the more extreme it has to be in order for them to get the same high. Similarly (she says), people are now so addicted to reality TV that producers have to make it more extreme for audiences to be as entertained as they initially were years ago.
Back in 2000, we had Craig Phillips win the first series of Big Brother after spending a measly nine weeks in the house doing nothing in particular. Fast-forward eight years and you have housemates staying in the house for a three-month stretch, being starved, punished and tortured all in the name of entertainment. The characters are more out there, the arguments are more intense and the consequences are more extreme too. Producers have gone so far now that you have cases like Shahbaz Chauhdry in series seven, who was a bit of a nut anyway, but was driven to such an extreme in the house that he more or less had a breakdown during the show. It’s all getting a bit much isn’t it? When are we going to stop and realise how far we’ve taken it?
Anyway, that’s all a bit too serious for me. On a lighter note, E4 is going take Big Brother to another extreme by giving it the horror treatment, in a new series called Dead Set. The comedy drama sees Britain being taken over by zombies as the BB housemates remain locked inside, oblivious to what is happening on the outside. Now that’s what I call extreme reality TV! It stars Jamie Winstone (of Kidulthood and Donkey Punch fame) and is written by journalist Charlie Brooker. Looks like it could be something different, although it seems like there are definite similarities to Ben Elton’s book Dead Famous to me. Regardless, it’ll be nice to have a fictional take on the programme for a change!