Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Big Brothering

I am not ashamed to admit my fascination with Big Brother. Our household always has had a "thing" for the rats in the lab reality TV phenomenon. It brings us together. A ritual of people-watching over dinner - and onwards since one or other of us usually has it streaming on the computer.
The Aussie BB is vastly different from the American version which I find very hard to watch and even harder to care about. The American production pits the housemates against each other and encourages factions and power games. A great deal of energy is expended on expressions of hatred, one housemate for another. It is all very bitter, backstabbing and ambitious, the eye always on the money at the end.
The Aussies, on the other hand, seem to bond in the house. The big problem they have is finding reasons to nominate each other for eviction and quite often their nominations are accompanied by apology. They weep buckets whenever one of their number is evicted. They put up affectionate little memorials to them. There may be disputes in the house, but mainly it turns into an almost filial love fest.
And thus are our cultures different. Just as we can't produce the sort of characters who populate the Jerry Springer Show, we can't produce a BB house of nastiness. Does this mean we are a nicer culture? Perhaps. Certainly a less uptight one.

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