I was really looking forward to Celebrity Big Brother starting in July. I thoroughly enjoyed the series earlier this year and had high hopes for the Summer series. While I didn’t know a lot of the ‘celebs’ who were lined up to take part, that didn’t really matter too much to me.
We’re currently just over a week into the series and I’ve already had enough. I’m finding this series particularly difficult to watch and something that’s billed as an entertainment show feels far from entertaining.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of drama, I love the fall outs and the explosiveness that comes with a load of Celebs stuck in a house fighting for air time but this time around it’s too much even for me.
I was discussing Celebrity Big Brother with my best friend this morning. We’re both huge fans of Reality TV and I mentioned to her how I feel Reality TV isn’t actually that real anymore.
We’re 16 years into the Big Brother franchise. When it first burst onto our screens back in the year 2000 it felt fresh. It was described as a social experiment. Something that had never been done before. No one, including the housemates knew what to expect.
As the years have passed each housemate be it a celebrity or a mere mortal know how to engineer it so the spotlight is on them. They know OK Magazine front covers await them upon their exit, they know they’ll be guaranteed Personal Appearances in nightclubs up and down the country. And of course, with all this in rolls the ££££.
The housemates know the perfect recipe for Big Brother success is a showmance. Thus, it’s of no great surprise that I learnt last week that both Marnie and Lewis have the same management team. You can almost imagine the meetings that would’ve taken place prior to them entering the house. Cynical? Me? Well, yes, I am.
I’ve watched year after year as the same old shit goes down in the house and it all feels a bit stale. I don’t think either Marnie or Lewis have genuine feelings for each other. The only thing they’re eyeing up are the lucrative interviews they’ll be offered when the show is over.
Prior to this series of Celebrity Big Brother beginning, Bear, who first found fame on Shipwrecked and later Ex On The Beach (both reality TV shows) took part in an OK magazine interview. This was alongside his girlfriend (also a Reality TV star), Bear explained how he wouldn’t cheat on his girlfriend whilst in the house because a kiss just isn’t worth losing what he has on the outside.
Well, it didn’t take him long to indulge in some tonsil tennis with Chloe did it? A matter of days in fact.
He knows what the audience want. He knows what will gain column inches and what will get him talked about on the outside. Bear is a dab hand at this Reality TV lark, the more he kicks off, the more appearances he makes in the magazines and the more times we see his name trending on Twitter. Even if it’s for all the wrong reasons. It’s still notoriety to him. I watched as Grant Bovey said as much in his exit interview on Friday.
Following Christopher Biggins removal from the house for what we’re informed were offensive comments made (the producers have decided not to show what Biggins said), I’ve seen how viewers have declared other housemates should receive similar treatment. We watched as Aubrey spat in Bear’s food (vile) and only received a warning. We also saw Bear throw something against a mirror which smashed. You could argue his actions were criminal damage and could’ve ended up injuring someone. I can understand why viewers think both Bear and Aubrey should’ve been thrown out because of their behaviour.
Of course, the producers know the housemates actions mean once again the show is creating a lot of controversy and I’m sure they’re pleased about this. However, what’s the cost?
I’m no prude, it takes a lot to offend or even shock me when it comes to television, however, as a lifelong fan of Celebrity Big Brother and a Reality TV obsessive, I’m finding this series uncomfortable to watch. CBB appears to have lost its fun, its light-heartedness and above all the entertainment factor.
I miss the innocent days where housemates didn’t have an ulterior motive. When it was the taking part that counted. They were in it for the experience and fame and potentially fortune was an added bonus. Back in the day Big Brother didn’t feel contrived and right now, if I’m honest Reality TV feels anything but real.