Advantages The voyeuristic pleasures of a life lived vicariously
Disadvantages The shame, oh the shame
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|How good are the presenters?||Ordinary|
|How does it compare to similar programmes?||Good|
|Is it funny?||Regularly|
So lets get you up to speed…In a nutshell the Channel 4 show ‘Big Brother’ takes a group of twelve strangers and places them together in a house for ten weeks. The house is full of cameras allowing us (by us I mean the general public, not you and me specifically – but if you want to come round to mine that’s fine, I’ve got Doritos) to watch their every move. Each week the housemates nominate their two least favourite fame hungry wannabes and then we vote off least appealing nominee. At the end of ten weeks of drinking, shouting and ‘no sex please we’re British’ the winner gets a big cash prize and fifteen minutes of uncertain fame followed by a lifetime of dubious notoriety.
After the lukewarm reception to last year’s uneventful Big Brother (entertaining if only for Matt Damon lookalike Scott) BB5 is taking no chances. A few weeks ago as millions of gormless viewers feared the impending end of their beloved ‘Friends’ (the television equivalent of a lobotomy) Channel Four started trailing their new ‘Evil’ Big Brother. On ‘Black Friday’, they proclaimed, we would see not only the bittersweet farewell of Jennifer ‘big chin’ Aniston, Matthew ‘painkiller addiction’ Perry and Courtney ‘I’m not pregnant honest’ Cox but also the joyful arrival of the all new sadistic Big Brother.So we waited, minds whirling with possibilities.
- Would they recreate Zimbardo’s 1973 prison experiment, except run it for ten weeks?- Are they replacing the Diary Room with a giant man-eating spider?
- Would the ten week incarceration be skipped and instead the cameras follow the post BB humiliation roller coaster of public appearances, cheap premieres and a nation's ambivalence?- Or, will they not give someone their suitcase?
Unfortunately we now know the evilness only stretched as far as the suitcase confiscation, which is less ‘evil’ and more everyday trip to the airport annoyance.Perhaps they shouldn’t have raised our expectations so high, maybe ‘Naughty BB’ or ‘Annoying BB’ or ‘I’m going to sing a song that’ll get on the housemates’ nerves BB’ would have been a more reasonable goal. So far Big Brother’s ‘evilness’ has extended to:
- Kitten not having her suitcase for one whole week- Threatening to evict one of the other housemates for Kitten’s rule breaking and then evicting…Kitten.
- Feeding the housemates jelly and ice cream all day disguised (in an ingenious ruse) as a children’s party, then spending the evening forcefully spinning them round on a merry-go-round – OK that one was pretty funny.- Emma and Michelle being ‘evicted’ only to be relocated to the secret onsite ‘BB Bedsit’ where they will spend the next week, working for Big Brother and watching their former housemates 24 hours a day (like most slack jawed E4 viewers) before returning next week to face their back stabbers. (Granted this is quite a good plan, if Davina’s mic hadn’t stayed open last night allowing the housemates to hear the word ‘bedsit’ and Dan completely accurately guessing what was going on – whoops methinks a Sound Engineer is getting his P45 round about now)
Nothing so far seems to be as evil or emotionally manipulative as BB3’s rich/poor divide…but we’re only two weeks in and time will tell.
So that’s the concept Big Brother gone ‘evil’, about time we met the housemates.- Ahmed Aghil
At 44 Ahmed is the oldest of the housemates, tellingly he’s been in bed first every night since his arrival. He fled his home country of Somalia due to the bloody civil war and sought Asylum in Britain. Not happy with the level violent conflict he’s already seen in his life Ahmed foolishly decided to enter the Big Brother house. Ahmed is a Muslim who disagrees with homosexuality. Unfortunately for him last week he claimed looking at housemate Nadia made him think about sex, read on to discover why this might cause a conflict when he gets out of the house.- Daniel Bryan
If you looked up ‘superior’ in the dictionary there may well be a picture of 30-year-old hairdresser Dan printed proudly beside it. Dan is probably the most intelligent of the housemates (don’t tell Stu I said that). His disapproving demeanour is certain to stop a food fight at ten paces and he claims to have the ability to convert straight men for a bit of bum fun. I can guarantee he is much much much more mature than you are.- Emma Greenwood
When god was handing out brains [insert punchline here]. Legal admin and 21 year old moron Emma has enormous teeth and a protruding tongue (the technical term is BTS – Big Tongue Syndrome – and it’s a condition she shares with Lord Will Young and performing ape Jamie Oliver). Since she has been in the house she has shown us her inability to read or understand any word over one syllable. She, like Jade Goody before her, will probably be labelled by the press as having a ‘heart of gold’, unfortunately a precious metal vital organ does not outweigh having s**t for brains.- Jason Cowen
Burly 31 year old Glaswegian ‘J’ is so proud of his perma-tanned over inflated body that he entered the house wearing a bow tie, a leopard skin thong and flip flops. The comedy soon dissipated as his embarrassed housemates refused to make eye contact and wondered exactly why the Scot chose Chippendales circa 1990 as his style statement in front of an audience of millions. Jason seems to have a game plan involving tight white t-shirts and arse flashing, but at the moment it remains abstract.- Kitten Pinder
24 year old Jarvis Cocker look alike and rebel without a clue, Kitten is the walking, talking, real world version of Rik from ‘The Young Ones’. Her militancy is only matched by her lack of political awareness. She represents three steps backwards in the media’s representation of lesbians (though BB can’t be entirely blamed for this, they didn’t create her, just gave her the oxygen of publicity). In her post eviction interview she proclaimed to hate “War, starvation and the aristocracy”, it must be difficult for her when the rest of us love starvation so much and as for the aristocracy, well perhaps she grew up in 18th century France. Her writing on the mirrors was what finally got her booted painting shockingly astute statements like “Equality not Poverty” then refusing to clean them as the cameras will have to look through the two way mirrors projecting the image across our TV screens, it was only when Shell pointed out the writing would be backwards that she relented.- Marco Sabber
Marco is camp personified, his shrill cries of “Oh Darling!” emanate throughout the house day and night. He joins Emma in the sweet and stupid 21-year-old brigade and enjoys dares, food fights and avoiding controversy. His favourite film is ‘Legally Blonde’ and his favourite brain cell is very lonely.- Michelle Bass
23-year-old Geordie and cradle snatcher Michelle was fat until six months ago. On dropping four dress sizes she now enters the BB house as a woman on a mission. Keen to leave her Mortgage Advisor days behind her Michelle will get her baps out at every opportunity in a bid to enter the upmarket world of glamour modelling. Her chat up lines include:“What are you thinking about?”
and “Would you like to rub my tits?”She calls everyone “Chicken” which goes some way to making up for the lack of chickens in this year’s BB house.
- Nadia AlmadaNadia used to be called Carlos…
- Shell JubinThe human equivalent of sunshine, rainbows and gumdrops that’s sickly sweet 22 year old Shell. She’s the epitome of female History of Art students; blonde, posh and fond of a pashmina. She could be described as ‘Sloney’ but combines her blonde and vacuous poshness with a sort of ruddy, countryside wholesomeness. The complete package is hard to take and you may have to cover your eyes if you stare directly at her crooked halo for too long. She also loves wandering around in her pants.
- Stuart WilsonStuart is the illegitimate love child of Ashton Kutcher and Darren from ‘Hollyoaks’. HE GOT FOUR AS AT A-LEVEL (as he’ll no doubt tell you) but then strangely chose to do the pseudo-degree Psychology. As the object of Michelle’s affection the 20-year-old has been hunted with impressive cunning by his sexual predator and has allowed his toenails to be painted on more than one occasion. He owns several bandannas, enjoys girls plaiting his hair and his favourite band is Busted.
- Vanessa Nimmo25-year-old ice cold blonde Vanessa is from South Africa, which automatically makes her sound far more evil than Big Brother. The theory that Vanessa is evil is only enhanced by the fact she is a former South African Archery champion. Like Dan she has no time for shenanigans, particularly of the food fight variety and will mercilessly shoot participants with a poison tipped arrow.
- Victor EbuwaVictor is Emma’s nemesis. The 23-year-old graduate is extremely intelligent and along with Dan and Stu provides the brains of the house. He is also a ‘gangsta’ (not an actual Godfather style gangster but, what is I believe technically known as, a ‘playa’). He’s got an eye for the ladies and hates people walking in on him in the toilet.
There you have it a volatile blend of miscreants if ever I’ve seen one and so on to the action. If you have enough of a social life to have managed to avoid the last three weeks action here’s a handy update:
Day 1 in the Big Brother House) The housemates enter one by one, and we slowly realise that this year the production team is so keen to avoid another snoozefest that they’ve hunted high and low for a group of people who can do nothing but rub each other up the wrong way. In their audition tapes we hear Ahmed proclaim he doesn’t agree with homosexuals followed by Marco stating he hates asylum seekers.The entrances are noteworthy if only for Kitten’s dubious honour of being the first housemate ever to be booed on the way in for her dramatic outburst at not being able to find her girlfriend in the crowd. She also revives the very eighties fashion for ‘flicking the Vs’.
After a couple of hours in the house we realise that like most Brits the housemates aren’t willing to get in a fight or offend anyone and are all getting on swimmingly – “Oh dear” say the producers.Day 2 in the Big Brother House) ‘Evil’ BB makes the housemates decide who won’t get their suitcases for the entire duration of their stay. Kitten is almost unanimously nominated and the nation breaths a sigh of relief safe in the knowledge she won’t last more than a week anyway. Despite her anti-materialism front, she still looks like she’s going to cry. The housemates are elated at the arrival of their luggage, Kitten doesn’t care because she’s like such a rebel man. They engage in the first of many bouts of mud wrestling (if BB is so evil why has he provided a spa?)
Day 3 in the Big Brother House) Jay gets his arse out (it becomes a recurring theme). Kitten climbs on the roof because breaching health and safety regulations is well anarchic innit?Day 4 in the Big Brother House) Kitten randomly nominates two fictitious housemates – wow! Way to mess with the system man! Michelle reveals her longings for Stuart. Ahmed becomes increasingly isolated and likely to go on a killing spree.
Day 5 in the Big Brother House) Shell gets her arse out. Michelle gets frustrated that Stuart isn’t responding to her oh so subtle advances. Kitten puts the garden statue in the diary room and receives her second official warning for being a complete and utter idiot. The nation starts to lose interest.Day 6 in the Big Brother House) Kitten preaches tolerance and then tells the housemates they’re all ignorant. She then proves she doesn’t care what people think by starting crying. Emma starts to get nasty as her impatience with Kittens idiocy wanes. The housemates get some paints as part of their occupational therapy and Kitten writes a load of non-conformist, conformist nonsense on the walls leading to her final warning. Evil BB decides ‘someone’ will go on Friday, Kitten refuses to take any responsibility as it’s obviously a conspiracy to turn the house against her and they were probably going to boot someone on Friday anyway (she is wrong).
Day 7 in the Big Brother House) It finally happens, after only a week two of the housemates get it on. Michelle’s persistence finally pays off and she and Stu spend a hot and heavy night under the duvet. Cue lots of sloppy lip sounds and speculation. A nation rejoices while Dan looks on in disgust.
Week TwoDay 8 in the Big Brother House) Michelle tells Marco her and team handsome did ‘everything but’, Marco looks shocked at the concept of ‘rudies’. Stuart asks Michelle out on a date, which though a sweet sentiment is somewhat of a hollow gesture as they’re locked up until August. Kitten climbs on the roof again. At 10:00 Davina announces Kitten has a minute to get out of the house, Kitten refuses to leave, evil BB starts taking money off the prize fund for every minute Kitten stays in the house, the other housemates throw Kitten through the door. Kitten comes across really rather well in her post eviction interview, the nation is confused. Bi-curious Emma and Michelle engage in what they believe will be an erotic girl on girl snog in front of the housemates. Stuart is physically sickened.
Day 9 in the Big Brother House) The housemates are given a children’s party, but don’t appreciate the irony. Marco, Emma and Nadia have a food fight, Mum and Dad (whoops I mean Dan and Vanessa) are less than impressed and send them to their rooms without any tea. Evil BB spins the housemates on a roundabout until Marco vomits; evil BB pretends it’s a task when actually all they’re doing is taking six grand off the housemates and making them barf.Day 10 in the Big Brother House) Stuart becomes increasingly uncomfortable with Michelle and Big Brother, Michelle doesn’t understand the concept of giving someone space. The housemates are given a three day task to run a fast food restaurant, the nation wonders if it’s Channel 4’s way of getting them ready for their future career prospects. Emma walks in on Victor in the toilet, Victor is less than impressed. Emma won’t stand being sworn at and a half-hour slanging match begins. Eventually they make up and Emma trots off, immediately walking in on someone else in the toilet. The nation ponders the virtues of knocking.
Day 11 in the Big Brother House) Jason thinks Nadia used to be a man dubbing her ‘Desperate Dan’ but Victor thinks she has too much style (or possible too big tits). The housemates rejoice in their two minutes of slagging off other housemates during nominations and then come out and tell the others how hard it is and how much they hate it.Michelle, Emma and Ahmed are up for eviction.
The nation learns we will not have the chance to get rid of anyone this week (boo!) but instead put them into a secret bedsit where they’ll watch what the housemates say about them and then return in a week (we all try not to think about the fact no one has mentioned Kitten since her departure).Day 12 in the Big Brother House) The nominations are announced, Michelle cries. The nation starts to get increasingly bored with the fast food task, especially as they failed days ago.
Day 13 in the Big Brother House) Vanessa, Shell and Jason look increasingly likely to have a big, blonde threesome (or just disappear up each other’s arses). Emma and Ahmed have a ketchup fight, the nation worries it could trigger PTSD in a man who fled a civil war. The housemates find out just how badly they did at the most basic of menial tasks, their future careers in fast food go down the swanny. Michelle gets her baps out and Nadia has a naked piggyback ride on Jason, before finally the girls all engaging in a wholesome spot of topless mud wrestling.
Day 15 in the Big Brother House) The ‘tension’ rises as we wait for the ‘eviction’. For once the public does something right and sends the two girls into the bedsit together. The excitement of pot noodles and instant mash is almost too much for these easily pleased girls, but what’s that box on the wall with the moving pictures, why that’s right it’s a TV where you can watch the housemates 24 hours a day. The nation ponders the existential questions of watching housemates on television watching housemates on television.
Week ThreeDay 16 in the Big Brother House) The girls in the bedsit give Victor a cold shower because Emma reckons he’s a ‘knob’. After 24 hours in one room with no windows Emma starts behaving like Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’, the nation knew this would happen.
The second live task is a two parter, housemates have to collect time tokens in a junior school sports day style wheelbarrow race. They believe that the more time they accumulate the better it will be for them in part two. In a revolving leather armchair stroking a white cat and laughing, evil Big Brother announces that the time is actually how long the housemates will have to hang from a bar over stinging nettles. “Stinging nettles?” The nation asks, “not acid or piranhas”. "Ah" replies evil Big Brother "but these are eeevil stinging nettles". The nation begins to worry for Big Brother's sanity, the housemates lose £8000 and Stuart warns everyone twelve times that they should watch out for Trojan horses in the future. By the second time he says it Dan looks ready to lay him out.Day 17 in the Big Brother House) Big camp Marco tells evil BB that he’s sick of everyone being so false, particularly Vanessa (Satan in a wig), he then immediately leaves the diary room and tells Vanessa how much he loves her tattoo and how clever she was for designing it herself
* cough * HYPOCRITE *cough *Marco and Ahmed have a comedy bath tub fight where they call each other bastards. The other housemates look on laughing, the nation wonders whether evil BB has considered sending semi-automatic weapons into the house.
The housemates dress up as football mascots…well they put big animal heads on and wrap themselves in bits of net and tin foil. They then dance like morons at evil BB’s request – it’s still not as funny as making them puke though, especially as they seem to be enjoying it.Sweet, innocent, child of the land Shell has a whinge about Ahmed perving on her, the nation has a whinge about Shell mowing the lawn in the nude and now complaining that she’s being objectified.
Jason and Vanessa try and trick the nation into thinking they’re the next Paul and Helen (except evil) by having a snog, we all feel cheap and used. The writhing mass of fake tan and highlights is enough to cause nausea.In the Bedsit:
Emma seems to be suffering under the delusion thata) Marco is her child
Evil Big Brother gives them the chance to make a cake and, wait for it…they can put chillies in it! Evil Big Brother is turning into shit practical joke Big Brother, what next garlic in their trainers?Day 18 in the Big Brother house) Conforming his position as the best housemate, Stuart dresses up as Tiagra (the nation wonders if he means Tygra from ‘Thundercats’ and just has sex on the brain now he’s got no one offering their tits for a rub).
Tiagra is a comedy creation of pure genius, he pounces into the diary room and is told by Big Brother to “Sit”.“Tiagra wishes to nominate Dan as Dan restricts Tiagra”
Big Brother soon tires of the joke “Stop purring Stuart” has to be one of the best lines of the series.There are some other less entertaining nominations, thankfully pure evil has been recognised and Dan and Van are up for eviction.
Blah blah blah, Shell has a strop…run out of fags…blah blah blah.In the Bedsit:
Michelle fends of cabin fever by starting the day with a genuinely funny joke."Do you know what I might do today Emma? Just stay in and watch telly all day." (Emma doesn’t get it)
The comedy is increasing as the girls have their headphones on 90% of the time and have almost stopped talking to each other entirely except to go “WHAT?” Emma talks to Nadia and Marco and shouts abuse at the others, doe eyed Michelle is doing a Glenn Close over her little chicken (worryingly Stuart was wearing a rabbit’s head last night, duh duh durrrgh).Evil Big Brother continues his quest to be the ‘Diet Coke of evil’ and gives Emma and Michelle the chance to egg someone’s bed. They pick Jay, no one finds the joke funny – including a nation of E4 watchers who are starting to think even they may be slightly more mature than this. The girls then prove they’ve completely lost it by making blue icing bikinis, the nation wonders who’s going to clean up the hundreds and thousands.
The housemates prove they can’t play football whilst taking part in another completely pointless task that no one cares about. Vanessa cries when nominations are announced (don’t be fooled they’re tears of eeeevil). The queen of arrogance wonders whether the only nominations the counted came from Michelle and Emma, and they probably picked her because she was too pretty or something. Nadia wants to leave because she hasn’t got any fags, but perks up considerably when like a pig hunting for truffles she sniffs out a half smoked fag butt under the bench (eeeuuuurrrgggghhh).
Day 19 in the Big Brother House) Nadia has run out of cigarettes! The entire house are waiting the impending killing spree. The nation enjoys the irony of Emma’s new nickname for the Portuguese transsexual (‘Nads’ – tee hee).
In the Bedsit:They’re actually going insane. The nation ponders the ethics of locking someone in a room for 5 days with nothing to do but what their former friends 24 hours a day. Emma and Michelle have now heard:
Jay and Vanessa call them loud and boring.
Victor call Emma stupid and racist.
Dan state (quite rightly) that Emma has no boundaries.
Stu wondering how appropriate it is for Emma to call a black man n****r 9 times on the first day of meeting him.
Stuart call Shell ‘Michelle’, prompting bedsit Michelle to believe that Shell is “stealing her identity” (possible the most serial killer-esque line of the series so far).
Jay, Victor and Dan essentially all agree to vote for Nadia and Marco
Day 20 in the Big Brother house (a day that will live in infamy):For the sake of time let’s start when Emma and Michelle re entered the BB house at 10:50pm last night.
In possibly the funniest moment of television since Les Dennis was last seen on ‘Family Fortunes’, Emma and Michelle are asked to hide their heads under silver serving platters on a buffet table. The housemates re enter, lift the lids and…the nation wonders whether the producers of this year’s Big Brother used to work on ‘Beadle’s About’.FOOD FIGHT!
Anyway they’re back. They plan not to tell anyone that they’ve been watching the live stream and instead have been in a hotel playing board games (to make this believable I think it would have to been Buckaroo). This plan lasts all of 35 seconds, Michelle caves first and tells Stu (who’s not really interested as he’s playing cowboys) Emma tells Marco and Nadia that they know eeeevvvvveeerrrryyytttthhhhiiiinnggg. The nation ponders that not much slagging off of Nadia or Marco has been going on (no more than they’ve been about doing about Vanessa) and no one’s said a bad word about Stuart (possibly in his life), but this doesn’t stop Emma from turning Marco and Nadia against Jay and Victor (‘The Jungle Cats’).Stuart tells Victor and Jay he’s still a ‘Jungle Cat’, they nation suspects he’s still thinking about Tiagra as he hasn’t told them anything about Michelle’s revelations
Michelle and Stuart snog (all together now – ahhhhhhhh).Jay, Vanessa, Dan and Shell are hiding in the pamper room (they HATE food fights cos they’re like sooo immature). Evil Vanessa proves that South African women really do say “No Offence” and then goes on to offend the entire nation by saying:
“In Africa, I did have a maid and I did have a gardener BUT I did have a massive respect for water and food because we went through some f**king hard times” HA!“I am better than this” (she says this about twelve times in many different ways)
Jay leaves the pamper room to find out who’s going to clean up all this mess, Marco does a little “I don’t care dance” IT ALL KICKS OFF…Jason throws the table over (towards Nadia) and tells Marco "I'll fucking take your head off" if he does a dance like that again. Marco doesn’t take the threats seriously, but quicky Emma, Nadia and Victor get involved (the nation rubs it’s hands with glee)
Emma takes the opportunity to air her grievances with Victor, she won’t get out of his face so he pushes and throws wine at her while asking “Do you know who I am?” (the nation thinks she probably does now)The camera starts showing footage of the garden, but shockingly the sound continues. It sound like a cat running over a sound effects board as we hear random smashing of plates and glasses and lots of f-ing and blinding from just about everyone. Victor is called to the diary room, but ‘surprisingly’ ignores BB.
The camera comes back as Victor is eventually going into the diary room, as he is Emma comes out with the world's strangest insult about him behaving like "some kind of black man". Victor kicks off again saying she's not "sh*t to him".We go back to the garden. More random profanities, then we hear Victor say he's going to spit in someone's face (it's not clear who this is directed at) then Nadia squeal.
When the camera comes back it looks like there's been some kind of physical contact between Nadia and Victor.Victor and Emma are still screaming at each other and are now being physically held apart by Stuart and Dan. Emma tells Victor she’ll f**king kill him, after a week in the bedsit the nation worries she’s not joking.
Emma is dragged to the bedroom where Dan calms her down. Stuart calms Victor down (whilst holding him in a headlock) by comically asking "Who are you? Who are you slick?"Jay, Victor and Vanessa are in the diary room whilst Shell has collapsed in the bathroom. She’s worried because “boys are bigger than girls” (she’s regressed to being an 8 year old) and that Jay and Victor might genuinely hurt Emma and Nadia. Though the nation can’t help wondering how real Shell’s panic attack is, suddenly the fight doesn’t seem so funny anymore especially as Shell is now vomiting.
TRANSMISSION IS CUT AND SECURITY ARE CALLED INTO THE HOUSEWhen transmission restarts the housemates are locked in different parts of the house and Emma has been put back in the bedsit.
The house in chaos, Michelle is in pieces as she realises having all this knowledge might not be a good thing, the ever valiant Stu comforts her. Victor tells Michelle that he and Jay were just playing a game – the nation wonders whether Emma was stable enough to put in the bedsit when clearly she has taken everything Victor and Jay said to heart and started a physical fight because of it. Nearly everyone is still shouting or crying in their small segregated groups.Eventually everyone is let out but Emma is still in the bedsit and the rest of the housemates are in contemplative mood as they survey the damage (to the house and their emotional wellbeing).
Channel Four says:"Each of the housemates will be called in to the Diary Room today to talk to Big Brother"
"At the end of the day, it is the health and welfare of the housemates that we are concerned about - the game show element is secondary.”"We want to talk to them individually and see how they are all feeling today. Then we will take a view on what to do next."
As entertaining as this series has been at this point I think we really have to start questioning the decision to send two young women into a tiny room for five days and have them watch their former housemates 24 hours a day.The nation waits to see what Channel Four does next…This review is continued here:
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