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
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