It’s been a hard slog for Big Brother. After being cancelled and sailing into the Eldorado-esque sunset, giving everyone a break for a few years and allowing Davina McCall to do Million Pound Drop, it was resurrected from the dead on the newly revamped, more pornier, Channel 5. Obviously everyone got on their high horse about how it wouldn’t be the same, and that it would retroactively ruin the chequered Big Brother history. But, two series on, these people are not only wrong, but also total bell ends, because Big Brother has never been so good.
This year Big Brother hasn’t pretended to be a high brow and intellectual look at human behaviour, like how Big Brother initially set out to do. It focuses on what people actually want to watch in grand Summer Reality TV events; salacious gossip and reprehensible characters.
It’s the Reality TV litmus test. There needs to be characters who divide the nation, otherwise it won’t translate to real life, and that’s where Reality TV thrives; knowing that bored office workers will talk about how disgusting that girl/boy were last night. There’s nothing worse than a Reality TV show that doesn’t get people talking. Even Channel 5’s The Farm had people talking about how Rebecca Loos knocked one out for a pig and how big Jeff Brazier’s willy was.
It also does this brilliantly. Plying the contestants with alcohol and getting them to perform tasks that will split groups makes for incredibly good TV. Just this week we’ve had a task where the knowledge of secret nominations was used to tempt contestants into stabbing each other in the back, and cause splinters in already established groups.
Even the calibre of contestants is superior to previous years; vulnerable yet sometime strong willed Lauren is one undercooked meal of beans away from having a complete mental wipe-out. Conor, at the centre of a rush of complaints about his violent sexual threats to Eviction Nominee, Deana Uppal, is basically an Irish version of Jack from Tekken. Luke S, the house Alpha Dog, not only has the passive aggressive skills to sail through an interview with Jeremy Kyle and his stupid Jeremy Kyle opinions, but also has enough Lad credentials to seem partially likeable, hence his success with the house so far.
Even the Outsiders (of which Deana is part of) are such a rag tag band of misfits and malcontents that they would fit straight into the case of the League Of Gentlemen. Nuanced and completely disgraceful, the group is led by fellow Nominee, Lydia Louisa.
Lydia is the perfect candidate for Big Brother.
She is not only living on her heightened sense of reality (her fiancé is Andy Scott Lee, a man most known because his is part woman, part blight on pop music, Lisa Scott Lee), but she also wants to run the house to her rules. So far, Lydia’s outspoken manner has only succeeded in alienating almost every other housemate and make the nation wonder how Andy Scott Lee can manage to live with a woman so trapped in her own reality. She’s the Charlie Uchea of Big Brother 2012.
Every contestant has a purpose and the potential for good TV.
But it’s the clashes of headstrong personalities that really sets Big Brother 2012 above other years. There was the legendary Fight Night, and Shilpa-Gate, but this series looks down on these series as it takes a particularly massive dump on them, smiling. Every day is full of arguments and conflicts. There’s always someone moaning about eggs, or how someone had a wank in the shower. It’s entirely coerced by the production staff, but is that really a bad thing? In a World where Frankie Cocozza (another Big Brother alumnus) can manage to progress in the X Factor with no singing ability or talent, are we really going to complain about making a show even more interesting than it already is?
I’m not, because I’m too busy telling everyone who I come across that Lydia Louisa is one of my most hated Housemate of all time.