If there’s one thing I hate, then I’ve stopped hating a lot of things. One of them being reality television. Yes I know, reality TV is hardly a difficult target is it? Normal people don’t even really watch it anymore, unless their parents or their worst friend has it on (by normal people I mean people who read this blog and a couple of my friends). And it’s so broad now that it must surely have its own subgenres. Reality shows prefixed with the phrase ‘Great British’ are too numerous at more than one, and having not been invented by Brits, there is nothing British about cakes or sewing. Nor are they great, being unnecessary and just about necessary respectively. Any more of these shows will likely culminate in the Great British Switch Off, which cannot happen too soon.
But it goes to show how far reality TV has come. From showing a group of people in a house doing nothing, to a group of people not in house doing something.
We can all say that Big Brother started as a good idea, and that it was a social experiment, showing ordinary people in a unique situation. But if a real experiment is conducted, the scientist usually has a specific hypothesis they are trying to prove or disprove, above just saying ‘we wanted to see what would happen’. What was the hypothesis for Big Brother? Will there ever be a contestant in the Big Brother house that doesn’t say: “I just speak my mind, if I don’t like someone, I tell them to their face”? Will anyone ever be able to say “day three in the Big Brother house” in anything other than a Geordie accent? Is the show now at a point where more people have been inside the house than actually still watch it?
Yes of course there’s also the constant irony of ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother, every year met with cries of bemusement at not recognising a single housemate. Although this is true, this observation is now so trite it is only still said by people who think it’s clever to use the words ‘Primani’ or ‘tinternet’.
What really got me thinking about this topic, was the death of David Bowie, and then finding out his ex-wife Angie was a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother at the time. There was of course the question of whether they should tell her, whether she should leave etc. But never was there the question of, if Angie tells one of the other housemates, will they automatically assume she is referring to fellow housemate David Gest, and run around screaming because there’s a dead body in the house?
It’s interesting to note that Angie and Gest are now only in the house for being linked to famous dead musicians. Perhaps Yoko Ono should be in there next time? ‘But she’s an artist!’ you cry. Do I have to take her seriously because she always wears black clothes and sunglasses? Quite the opposite.
A better way to make yourself famous rather than marrying a musician, might be to film yourself sucking cock, and then marry a famous musician, à la Kim Kardashian. Her reality show is essentially an extended advert for her brand. Does anyone remember a few years ago when everyone thought it was crazy that a car company made an advert that was like a movie trailer? Well now MTV are making half hour long adverts for impressionable people who think sucking cock on video and marrying well is a good route to getting a half hour long advert on MTV. And they’re right. But good luck to her, I couldn’t do it. I’ve lost the charger for my camera.
Next time on the Bandwagon, I look at why war is bad, but does the poetry make it worth it?