I don’t often talk about television programmes as I’m always worried I will ‘spoil’ someone else’s watching, but in this case if they watch they’ll watch daily because it’s on daily. What am I about to rant about? Big Brother. Yes, I know… Big Brother! I like ‘people watching’, so there! You can stop reading right here if you’re not a fan, but hopefully this post will be an insight into people, more than a post about a programme but I do have to give context.
So… when did Big Brother as a programme become spiteful?
Has it just been creeping towards nastiness since Big Brother UK changed channels?
I was so pleased when Channel 5 said they were bringing back BB after Channel 4 got rid of it, but increasingly it’s not a great watch. I may be in the minority, but I don’t want to see people upset all the time.
Surely the whole premise of BB is difficult enough for the housemates. You know a shed load of strangers are put into a strange house with little privacy and are made to carry out tasks. Tasks which it seems, decide whether you will eat half decent food, or live on basic rations that people in World War 2 perhaps would have complained about. Just in case you missed the beginning of my post, I’m talking about Big Brother, not I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of here.
Surely having to try and coexist with strangers, then nominate them for eviction and often to their faces, is challenge enough.
Surely asking the housemates to wash their clothes by hand in the bath, would be a challenge for a lot of the housemates as most people have moved into the 20th century and own a washing machine. Yes, I know we are in the 21st century, but washing machines are not new.
Surely asking the housemates to give up all devices, not providing books or TV is also difficult to handle, especially in this day and age when the majority of people have a symbiotic relationship with their phone.
Apparently all of these considerations are not enough for the producers of Big Brother UK though. They have to ramp up the nasty, the spiteful. And they are succeeding. This current series; BB2015 is uncomfortable to watch and there are many to blame. The first episode, a random housemate was ejected and others were given random rewards. I’m not comfy with someone thinking they are in the house then getting evicted an hour later, sorry.
So then we are given a while to get to know the housemates and much to most of the public’s delight I’m sure, the ‘meanie’ in the house was nominated for eviction. So the producers reverse nominations to put up everyone that hadn’t been nominated, ie. The housemates that pretty much got on. The ‘meanie’ (Jade) stays, then 4 housemates (nice ones) are evicted. These people thought they were safe an hour or so earlier, then they were gone. Not cool. Now there’s room for more people!! Bring back the guy (Simon) who was ejected first night who turns out to be an idiot. Picture the scene, Simon (46) reclining on his bed. Chloe (around 20) walks into bedroom, tries to be pleasant. Simon “I don’t like you.” Chloe is a sweet woman, she isn’t nasty, and after this incident she was upset, and I worried she may get picked on because people could think she’s an easy target.
Also… bring in the most disagreeable person so far. Makes the first ‘meanie’ look positively angelic. Marc. He walks around in his pants all day bullying people. He’s a sociopath. He says the first thing that comes into his head which is usually an insult. He doesn’t appear to do anything in the house, except be rude and obnoxious and harangue the others. No one’s safe, he invades people’s personal space (picking girls up and throwing them on to the bed, jumping on people of any gender and pretending to hump them are two examples) and he can get really personal. He said one female housemate had ‘a baggy fanny’. Out loud. On air. If anyone outside the UK is reading, fanny is a slang word for vagina. Whether he knew her ‘fanny’ to be baggy, or not, it’s not the sort of thing a woman likes to have hurled at her.
Two others came into the house that night. Sam and Harry. I didn’t have much of an opinion of Harry because she spent most of her time naked in the house, but she isn’t an unpleasant person, she seems very jovial, and Sam would be really fun if she stopped shouting “HASHTAG LOVIN’ LIFE!!” No one should ever verbalise #. EVER. Marc and Harry didn’t get along at all, which must have contributed to Harry feeling uncomfortable.
Fast forward a while. Marc, as one would expect is nominated for eviction, by the people who have to live with him, or so everybody thinks. In actuality the public are voting for a housemate to go into ‘the bunker’ with some past housemates before going back into the house as a group. The public, in their wisdom voted for Marc to go into the bunker. Blame here, is pointed firmly at the public who voted for him. They have created a monster. He thinks he is loved and has become even more disagreeable, thanks in part to two of the past housemates he was bunkered up with. Nikki, & Helen. Now, Nikki is sometimes funny, but mostly very childish, whiny and narcissistic, she’s 33 going on 12. Helen on the other hand, is the most awful person I have ever had the misfortune to watch in the Big Brother house. Her behaviour is that of a nasty, spiteful bully. If she decides she doesn’t like you that’s it. You could say “the grass is green” and she would find a way to argue with you. Again, the public, in their
stupidity wisdom saw fit to vote her as the winner last year, but I’m at a loss as to why.
It seems that a culture of meanness is pervading. Some people like mean, they like the person who will shout others down. They think it is ‘funny’. The third past housemate was Brian Belo. Brian is probably one of the best human beings on the planet. Now, imagine these four holed up in the bunker for 48 hours, listening in on the housemates. Helen, Marc, and Nikki are like Macbeth’s witches. Cackling over the mean comments they make about the housemate they don’t like. Two of the three witches (Helen and Nikki) all take exception to Harry no doubt spurred on by Marc as he already hates her. So they just sit and bitch about her, and make fun.
Before going into the main house they are asked to nominate one person for eviction which the other housemates watch on a TV. Of course they choose Harry, and go into all of the reasons they want to nominate. Helen called Harry a liar, and a horrible person saying she was being mean about someone, but in actual fact Harry was not lying, and she didn’t get mean. Helen misheard Harry’s conversation, probably because she couldn’t hear through her own vitriol, then proceeded to say Harry was lying when her explanation differed.
Upon entering the main house Harry stood a little nervously as Marc & the other three were engulfed by the housemates which is understandable as she had just heard what Helen thought of her. The only person that made an effort to speak to Harry was Brian.
Intentionally or unintentionally Helen, Nikki, and Marc are managing to make Harry feel excluded. I could see her shrinking before my eyes. She has lost her confidence; she’s fully clothed and spends her time under the duvet pretending she has a headache. I never thought I would say this but I want Harry to wander around naked or nearly naked again. It will mean she’s comfortable.
Then, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. The three witches and Brian had, as a group chosen another housemate to be nominated. We know this is the job. They picked Chloe. This time Marc was the mouthpiece. He shouted all of the reasons they nominated her, ending with “we feel she is the least deserving.” Chloe then tried to justify her existence but wasn’t given the chance to speak because Helen kept interrupting. Brian got really upset that Chloe wasn’t being allowed to speak so Helen started on him. And nobody is “least deserving” of being in the Big Brother house, it’s the Big Brother house not the Nobel peace price, of which Big Brother, Helen and Marc would definitely be least deserving.
I just can’t believe that the producers of Big Brother want housemates to feel this way. Blame lies firmly at their feet for purposely creating a bad atmosphere, for wanting everybody to fight.
Blame lies firmly at Big Brother’s feet for allowing Helen back into the house when they know she is bad for the house, that she probably shouldn’t be around people. The people that enjoy ‘mean’ say “she speaks the truth”, but she doesn’t always, often she is wrong because at the end of the day it’s just her opinion anyway, and as grown ups we are supposed to practice diplomacy.
It also lies at Big Brother’s feet for not putting Marc in his place when he has bullied, invaded space, and walks around in his pants all day. He’s not entertaining for those of us that don’t enjoy ‘mean’.
It used to be that for the most part Big Brother was fun to watch. When Brian’s series was on it was great, the whole house had fun, and fun is a good thing. They had the challenge of just being there, but made the challenge as enjoyable as they could. The original housemates this year would have done the same I’m sure, given time. If things had played out the way they were heading, the first mean girl would have been evicted, leaving a generally good house that had the challenge of living together and doing tasks that mostly make them look ridiculous
I know it’s called ‘Time Warp’ but I hope the Big Brother producers realise that this series has been too warped and try not to orchestrate aggro in future series. If there is aggro naturally, so be it, but please leave the house dynamics to evolve naturally. Stop interfering.