More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dissecting Big Brother 06 - An Examination

This post is not about criticising Big Brother, its just a discussion on a show that interest me at the moment. You may be suprised to hear that I actually watch it. That doesn't necessarily mean I like it, but I do watch it.

When Big Brother first started 6 years ago, it was a worldwide phenomenon. It was riding on the crest of reality TV started by Survivor. I must admit, initially it was a different idea and I thought there was great potential for it. I, like a lot of other people, followed that first series quite closely and got to love and hate the characters inside the house. Scientists and Psychologists were touting the show as a sociologyical study. That wasn't entirely far from the truth in that first season. The contestants did not know what to expect and neither did the public. This allowed for as natural an interaction between the housemates as possible in a very artificial environment. However, when you think about it more, it wasn't a true sociological experiment. Everything was so controlled, and the fact that Big Brother told the housemates what to do and when, meant it was just a drama. It's a drama with a loosely written script that allowed for improvisation on the part of the "actors". For it to be a true sociological experiment, something along the lines of the Truman show needs to be implemented. The characters have to know nothing about the situation they're in and react to situations naturally.

Following series of Big Brother were just reality TV shows. Any claims of sociological experimentation was dropped. It was just trash TV at its best. The contestants going in knew what they were up for. They all wanted their 15 minutes of fame and any money and prizes they could get out of it. Most contestants are totally fake. None will admit to just entering the House for the money as the public will view that in a negative ways. Those who are honest and admit to that get punished by the public and evicted. Hence, housemates learn to play the game, since Big Brother is just a game after all, and say they're going into the house to look for "love" and to have "an experience". If I could get a dollar for every time someone said "I'm going into the house for the experience", I might be able to buy Apple shares hehehehe. Exactly what "experience" are the housemates trying to look for inside the house. You can meet the same types of people in your normal life and interact with them exactly the same. The fact that you have to nominate your housemates for eviction is just a bonus I guess. I wonder how many would be up for the "experience" if there were no cameras or money involved. I think you will find that people up for that challenge will be a lot more eccentric and different to the current contestants.

So far, it may sound that I'm against the show. That isn't exactly the case. Many people may call it rubbish and at times I would tend to agree. However I would say to the critics, if you hate it so much, just turn off your TV. You do have that power. I choose to occasionally watch it. The show always hooks me in at the start of every season with all their claims of world first this and that or some new "twist". Most of the twist are so pathetic its not even worth the paper the idea was written on. So usually I watch the first few episodes and the last few just to see who wins. Despite not watching religously, I might catch a bit here and there and still get to know the people. Usually I have a favourite who I do want to win. However, I'm not fanatical to the point that I start fighting with other people because they criticise that housemate. That's just taking it too far. How can you possibly feel that much emotion for someone you don't even know and who will never know or care about you. Those fanatical fans need to look at things in perspective. Your own friends and family around you are the important ones, not fictional characters on a TV show.

So what exactly does Big Brother provide you're asking. Well in my opinion, Big Brother provides viewers a chance to feel superior. The contestants that are chosen are generally obnoxious and not exactly model citizens. Big Brother also gives us a chance to be able to judge people and get away with it. In fact, you are encouraged to judge people and "vote out the ones you hate or annoy you". It gives mild mannered viewers a chance to explore their alter egos and be totally critical in most cases and judgemental. There will be many conversations at the work water cooler along the lines of "Did you see how stupid....was on Big Brother" or "How arrogant was....last night".

This year, the contestants that have been chosen have been the youngest ever. Their ages show through in how immature they are. I'm not saying I'm an old wise man, but the House just amplifies every unintelligent act or word they produce. The conversations this year have been as complex as Paris Hilton's mind. Discussions have just been about "who's hooking up with who" and a LOT of talking behind other people's back. There haven't been many discussions on world issues, politics or new emerging technologies. Its just been a good old backstabbing session, mixed in with a serving of arrogance, a dollop of ignorance, a pinch of sarcasm and a drop of fakeness.

I dislike every housemate so far. I have not warmed to any of them as in past series. But yet, this year has been when I have watched it more than any other year. Its because of what I said earlier, watching this year's Big Brother has given me the opportunity to feel superior to these housemates who I regard as totally shallow and arrogant. I am judging them without really knowing them, but thats what the show is encouraging us all to do. We can vote out who we hate. There are forums to express your views. The show is probably edited in such a way to make them all look fairly stupid. Having said that, there aren't exactly many doctors, lawyers, engineers or nuclear physicists in the house. There are many forms of intelligence, but a pre-requiste for it is to be able to listen and absorb what others have to say. From what I've seen, this year's group is all about I. There's an I in WINNER but no I in LOSER. The group is so self obsessed and that is a very digusting trait. The best example was yesterday night, Danielle was stroking the Dino's ego so much that she must have got blisters on her mind. However he just kept saying "tell me more about me" (in a half joking manner) and then went on to say that "To be honest, I hardly know anything about you. I've been so busy watching everything in the House and thinking about myself because of my ego". Classic! So egotistical that he couldn't see past his own nose.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the part called AO in BB06!

5/30/2006 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Big Brother said...

You be careful what you say. Remember, I'm watching you!

5/31/2006 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Oblivion said...


It's true what you say. If it offends you don't watch it.

But my biggest issue here is that it's on TV every single night for hours and hours. I would much rather watch reruns of Seinfeld or Law and Order than to spending another second watching our next generation getting dumb and dumber.

I don't mind Reality TV but this is the most boring piece of live television man has ever invented.

5/31/2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Oh no Big Brother, don't punish me, I was just being smart.

Oblivion, you make a good point that I didn't think of. I guess if Big Brother is on, other shows such as Seinfeld don't get shown in that timeslot.

It is mindless television and I've nearly had enough. This season they've been able to keep me hooked much longer (about 6 weeks instead of the usual 2 weeks) but all these "twists" are getting boring and I am losing interest.

5/31/2006 6:44 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

Hows it going Thanh? It's just my opinion but I really can't stand Big Brother. I hate the whole concept and it really drives me mad all the media attention over here in the U.K. for these people who are just trying to shock and have absolutely no talent whatsoever.

They are just adding to the rapidly growing list of Z-List Celebrities that we have over here stinking up our television sets and our tabloids. Im sorry mate but it just annoys me. I could go on forever.


6/01/2006 7:34 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I'm going pretty good James. I really want to go on a holiday since everyone else at works seems to be. Its nearly snow time up in the mountains so may try to organise a skiing trip soon for a day or two.

A lot of people do hate Big Brother. You should write a blog post pointing out all the negatives of Big Brother. Thats the great thing about blogs, you have to power to write what you want and deliver it to an audience hopefully.

6/01/2006 10:16 PM  

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