The news last summer that Channel 4’s axe fell on the head of the nation’s beloved Big Bro initially made me smile, whoop and cheer as the whole thing gave me a headache. It still does. As I have said previously in this blog, who the hell wants to watch a bunch of self-obsessed wannabes get naked, shout at each other and roll around a confined space. It’s like watching paint dry, who the hell would want to sit and watch people wandering around a house picking their noses…oh wait a minute…
Picture the scene. It’s Sunday night and I’m sat in my living room on the sofa with the other half channel hopping. We have a zillion channels and despite the fact I’m not looking for something in particular – there is definitely a craving brewing.
Finally I land on Come Dine With Me and happily sit there for half an hour, filling the gap until Grand Designs is on followed by a dose of Don’t Tell the Bride – in ecstasy as I watch mindless rubbish to relax my brain before work starts again the next day. Imagine my euphoria when I then remembered I had last week’s episode of The Junior Apprentice on my Sky + waiting for me too… oh the joy.
Then – a panicked thought comes across my mind… am I a reality television nut?!
A guilty pleasure of mine appears to be voyeurism. No, I don’t sit at my window peering out with a pair of binoculars going “oooOOOoooh”… well not often, but I do sit on my sofa and happily go into someone’s kitchen, bedroom or even wedding ceremony scrutinising every comment or knee jerk and using my ‘expert’ knowledge take deep pleasure in going into the psyche of every person I come across. Occasionally feel like I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with other people.
Although I don’t ever want to admit it, it’s time for me to come out of the closet.
I, Lexi Rose, am a reality TV show addict.
It never occurred to me until just now. I am shocked. It has made me realise one thing. I quickly remind myself I’m not unhealthy – I am just like the other millions of people. It’s fine. Big Brother may be a dated format now and good riddance to it. But when it first hit our screens 10 years ago it opened a door. A door to next door or those people up the road with the crazy collection of exotic birds – it opened the door to the rest of the world. Not the fake world of celebrity, I’m not talking about The X-Factor or I’m a Celebrity… despite the fact Big Brother itself very quickly went to that dark side. It increased our appetite for another type of reality, the real world and the real people. Soon, the real people were inviting us into their house dinner, showing us an old wreck of a farm house they wanted to create into a stunning new home, even a bunch of old people going on a coach trip.
True reality TV is not about creating celebrities, it’s about getting to know more about the people around us. Yes, some argue that no one wants to watch the average Joe on TV thinking he’s the next Gordon Ramsey – but I do. Programmes like Master Chef have created a new form of communication and interest. These shows allow new inspirations and make you think you really can do anything. Even programmes like Dragon’s Den, The Secret Millionaire and The Apprentice are about more than just mindless entertainment, they give opportunities for others to learn about their fellow humans. The trend set by Big Brother cleared a pathway for a new kind of television.
Many have declared it the death of television.
I normally would have been right on this bandwagon – at the front calling shot gun but now I see this is something I whole heartedly disagree with. Big Brother may not be my exact cup of tea… It may be vulgar. It may be vacuous. It may not have revolutionised the world – but it has paved the way for some brilliant television!