Saturday, 31 December 2005

Is Big Brother Past It's Sell-By Date?

In the year 2000, Channel 4 introduced a revolutionary form of entertainment on an unsuspecting nation in the form of the reality game show, Big Brother.

Having been a great success in it's native Holland, Big Brother was like a breath of fresh air. It gave us the apparently normal man (and woman) on the street their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame, and made for compelling viewing.

Now in it's fifth series, I'm left scratching my had and wondering why this show is still going.

In year one, we had the devious Nasty Nick playing everybody for a fool until he was finally found out. In year two we had the gay icon Brian, and the blossoming romance between two of Britain's dopiest people, Helen & Paul. In year three we had the house divide which cause a great deal of tension, the show's first female winner in the form of sexy Kate Lawler, and, of course, Jade with those great quotes of hers.

And last year we boredom, a dull show win by a dull Scottish virgin, and a house full of banality, so interesting that it made you want to go and paint your wall so you could watch it dry.

And now Big Brother UK is into it's fifth series. With the selection process being far less stringent this year we've been promised tension, arguments, and outrageous characters. This year we've got a radical former prostitute, a former asylum seeker, a couple of gays, a closet transsexual, and a male stripper who entered the house wearing little more than a smile. I'm surprised then didn't add a one-handed radical Muslim cleric for good measure.

Along with a mishmash of controversial characters, we've been promised more tension, including one housemate not getting their suitcase in the first week.

Am I the only one thinking that BB5 is perhaps one BB too many? Just what can they do to get people to watch the show this year? Gay sex? Cannibalism? The housemates being pitted against each other in a duel to the death in a three day battle royale? Stealing an idea from one of my all-time favourite films may be the only way to grab my attention.

In years gone by, when I had nothing better to do, I would quite often switch over to E4 to watch the live feed. This year, I won't bother.

Big Brother was an excellent idea, possibly one of the greatest and most important in the history of world-wide television. But like many good things, it must come to an end. There isn't anything the show can offer that can appeal to the masses anymore. It's time to put this puppy out of it's misery, and time for the television bosses of Great Britain to dip into their think-tank and come up with something new. However, a little voice at the back of my mind tells me that this isn't going to happen.