Why I Can't Help Myself Watching Big Brother

Love it or loathe it, you may struggle to avoid Big Brother for the next few months. The Channel 5 reality TV show is back tonight for a sixteenth series and the show's decision to reveal this years housemates before the launch night for the first time ever has already got people talking. As for me, I promise myself faithfully every year that I won't get sucked in. 'I'll just watch the opening show,' I lie to myself 'just to see who's going in'. Then before I know it my summer has vanished in a blur of bitching, backstabbing, live evictions and naked jacuzzi-ness. Yeah, it's trash TV. Yeah, it's a bunch of wannabes trying to find a platform for undeserved fame. But I can't help myself. Here's why.

There are dramatic disclaimers
In recent years, channel 5 have taken to preceding episodes of Big Brother with thrill inducing viewer warnings. Things like: CAUTION, THIS PROGRAMME CONTAINS VERY STRONG LANGUAGE, ADULT THEMES, VIOLENT CONFRONTATION AND SCENES WHICH SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND DISTRESSING' - or in other words: 'SHIT HITS THE FAN TONIGHT AND YOU'RE GOING TO BE WILDLY ENTERTAINED DURING THE NEXT HOUR'. Call me a basic bitch, but as a lifelong fan of car crash TV (oh haiii Jezza) this entices me.

It's an interesting insight into human nature
This isn't a pisstake. I actually believe that. OK, Big Brother will never be classed as intelligent TV and some will argue that it's become far too contrived since its humble beginnings as a 'social experiment'. But I still think that it reveals a lot about human nature and the way in which individuals react in unusual situations. In series 3 the producers got mean with the rich/poor divide in the house and since then they have outdone themselves when it comes to dreaming up creative ways to challenge the housemates, mess with their heads and observe the fallout. For me, those twists and turns make it more interesting, credible viewing that other reality TV like TOWIE and the like.

Emma Willis *swooooooooooon*
Davina McCall, shrill and annoying as she is, was the original Big Mother and hers were always going to be hard shoes to fill. But I think Emma Willis has done a sterling job. This is the woman who managed to get an almost coherent interview out of Gary Busey fgs! She isn't afraid to ask the awkward questions that we're all thinking at home which makes for good TV. I particularly enjoyed her interview with 'Homewrecker Hazel' in 2013 after the Daley Scandal - 'You knew he had a girlfriend. Couldn't you have just, you know, left him alone?' YES EMMA!

And she's also stunningly beautiful and wears nice dresses which always makes for good viewing.

It's real
Are modern housemates a true representation of society? Probably not. Glamour models, socialites and millionaires have gradually replaced the bricklayers, hairdressers and dental nurses from the first few series. But I would argue that regardless of their job, their lifestyle and their celebrity connections outside of the house, nobody can consistently hide their true personality when they are being filmed 24/7. So in that respect it is very real. I've found this particularly interesting in the celebrity series where the likes of Liz Jones and Samantha Brick who are renowned for being outspoken and controversial have revealed themselves as being meek, mild and quite mumsy. It's definitely worth watching just to see how much the over-the-top-PICK-ME-PICK-ME characters on the launch night VT's differ from the actual personalities you eventually see in the house.

It's consistently bad
Failing all that, it's always good fun to play the Big Brother drinking game. Take a shot every time one of the following things happen and you'll probably be comatose before the first ad break:
A female is evicted first.
Someone says 'they're playing a game.'
Showmance.
Someone cries because they've been nominated.
The hair straighteners get confiscated.
Someone says something deliberately stupid.
Someone says something deliberately controversial.
Someone says 'I don't want to win it.'
Someone says 'It's not about the prize money.'
Someone is offered a portion of the prize money and immediately takes it.
A full blown row over the shopping list.
Secret mission.
Conspiracies about secret mission.
Someone gets too drunk and makes a show of themselves.
Surprise eviction.

I'd love to know what you think about Big Brother. Will you be watching or avoiding at all costs?


Wicked Wednesdays #5 - Tantrumtastic Mr Fox

It's hard to take a tantrum seriously when he's wearing a smiley fox bobble hat during meltdown.


brummymummyof2