Yes, this is about Big Brother. I approach it with a sort of fatigue, 'the tedious inevitability of an unloved season', as Drax told Bond. Seeing as it's coming to an end, of course, that's no longer true; strange to think how once we - I say we, but you may well be one of those bemused people who hates every think about, in which case, I know I know, but bear with me - stayed up late to watch slightly fuzzy green images of people farting under blankets.
It's run its course, in so many ways. People are so savvy about the reality show format, so keen to be a reality TV star, that you see the same old faces popping up everywhere now. One minute they're in Coach Trip, the next in Four Weddings; where once you had fame-hungry wannabes who were a little bit amateurish and extrovert, now they're rock-hard careerists playing the long game - Big Brother is just a step to another reality show, from another reality show, with a whole lifetime of bit-parts and being outrageous on cue to come.
There was a time when I did enjoy it. But it seems the novelty has well and truly worn off. There are only so many times, I'm afraid, when Davina has said THIS IS SO EXCITING when nothing exciting has happened; there are only so many times when you've seen the manufactured outrage, arguments and spats magnified into "Pizzagate" or "Spitgate" or whatever. It was all fresh once, but now it isn't really. It's hard to create fresh excitement, fresh tasks, fresh fun. Perhaps it has run out of steam, jumped the shark, cliche cliche cliche. Perhaps it's all over.
I can't bring myself to get excited about it. Normally, there's a flicker of something when it's the Big Brother Launch Night. Now I'm more intrigued by Junior Apprentice, which is on at the same time - even if it is a bit Minipops, it's still got the essential ingredients that haven't yet been flogged to death: grumpy old Lord Sugar; Nick raising his eyebrows; the annoying spoilt ones that you hope are going to get kicked out fighting it out among each other.
I think it's finally sinking into the water, never to be seen again, and now is about the right time to bid farewell. I don't really know where it can go now. We've seen all the 'twists'; we've seen all the secret houses, secret housemates, secret rooms, secret evictions, secret fake evictions, fake housemates, secret missions, secret divides, secret tasks, secret fake tasks, and so on, and so on. Maybe just playing it straight for a bit, rather than constantly striving for innovation to avoid the 'boring' heckles, might have made the shelf-life a bit longer; maybe that was what made it last as long as it did.
Now tonight there are 80 of the poor fuckers trying to get into the house, and quite a lot of them are going to end up disappointed. That's no bad thing, I suppose, and perfect for our times - you could say that it's an excellent analogy for Austerity Coalition Britain, where the dole queues are going to get longer and longer, and lots more people are going to be applying for jobs they don't even get a sniff at. (Similarly, Davina McCall's other recent Channel 4 vehicle, The Million Pound Drop, can be seen as a sly dig at the banking crisis - idiots in charge of all that money, making wrong decisions... then it all starts again. Not that I think that was what it was really about, but still.) It's still an awful lot of disappointment, and maybe that's the way our gameshows and television is going - the emphasis firmly on failure rather than success. That's largely the point about elimination shows, but even so; maybe this isn't what's going to lift the spirits of Broken Britain, seeing others fail. Or maybe it will; what do I know?
I think it's time, though, to say goodbye to BB and everything it stands for. It's given gainful employment to people like Dermot O'Leary, who always to me sounds like he's in a room with a sleeping tiger and doesn't want to wake it up, Davina, Russell Brandy Wand, and George Lamb. It's been fun while it's lasted, but it's only just about lasted. I don't think I'll be watching a lot of it any more, and maybe that's not such a bad thing. The World Cup's on after all, and I'm much more interested in the simple beauty of Cameroon v Denmark. Maybe it'll fizzle out with a whimper rather than go out with a bang. And maybe that's not such a bad thing. Bye bye BB.
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