Brother’s in qualms, but in hosts is hope

It has cast women who see the show as a ticket to the cover of a blokes’ mag

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Ker­rie Mur­phy

Big Brother 7pm, Ten

EV­ERY year, the pre- pub­lic­ity for Big Brother ex­horts us to for­get what we think we know be­cause this year the show will be dif­fer­ent.

And ev­ery year Big Brother is the same. There’s a clique of va­pid boob jobs and pecs, the own­ers of which alien­ate any­one dif­fer­ent and jus­tify this by pout­ing that be­ing civil to ev­ery­one in the house would make them a phony in­stead of, you know, well- man­nered. The nas­tier ones will be picked off by view­ers, but one of th­ese black holes will win the show and be forgotten al­most im­me­di­ately.

Cast­ing is key in any re­al­ity show and for too many sea­sons Big Brother has cast women who see the show as a ticket to the cover of a blokes’ mag or men who view sex­ual ha­rass­ment as a hi­lar­i­ous jape.

That may get me­dia cov­er­age, but it doesn’t make for some­thing you’d tune into six nights a week. You need fun char­ac­ters you can get be­hind and, frankly, peo­ple whose deck con­sists en­tirely of the ‘‘ other peo­ple hate me be­cause I’m beau­ti­ful’’ card are not it.

Maybe it’s be­cause that Kelis song in the promo is so damn catchy, but in light of de­clin­ing rat­ings, there’s a rea­son to hope that in its eighth sea­son ‘‘ new at­ti­tude’’ doesn’t just mean more point­less twists.

For one thing, for­mer host Gre­tel Killeen is gone. I never thought I’d be glad to see Kyle Sandi­lands and Jackie O in any­thing, but Killeen’s de­par­ture was over­due. Re­al­ity show hosts are rarely that im­par­tial but Killeen was overly ag­gres­sive when in­ter­view­ing some con­tes­tants and was an apol­o­gist for oth­ers.

Sandi­lands also can be a bully, but he demon­strated on Aus­tralian Idol that he can con­struc­tively stir the pot, so there is hope. Al­though you do have to won­der about how much he can call con­tes­tants on any­thing, when last year he en­tered the house, had a fight with Big Brother over cof­fee, then left early with a mi­graine.

More promis­ing is Big Mouth, a spin- off panel show hosted by Tony Squires and Re­becca Wil­son. Many fans of the show watch it to poke fun at it, and while Mike Gold­man, Bree Amer and Ryan Fitzger­ald at­tempt to do that on Fri­day Night Live, it is pretty ju­ve­nile. Squires and Wil­son may do bet­ter with Big Mouth .

Oth­er­wise, lit­tle else is known. At least three of the con­tes­tants were voted into the house af­ter an in­ter­net au­di­tion was held. The one we’ve met through Ten’s pro­mo­tion sug­gests con­tes­tants may be older, but no less an­noy­ing. The Big Brother Up- Late live feed is gone, which hope­fully sig­ni­fies a tighter show. Be­hindBig Brother. com, which has a great track record with ru­mours, claims the pun­ish­ment room has gone and this year Big Brother will be less in­tru­sive.

Which makes the cal­i­bre of con­tes­tants more im­por­tant than ever.

New: The Big Brother crew with Jackie O, cen­tre, and Kyle Sandi­lands, right

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