Big Brother 11
I’ve spoken about my love of Big Brother many times before on here, even naming it as my 6th top program of the decade, so I should probably comment on the final season. This year seems to be the right mix of leaving the housemates be, as far as not screwing with the nomination process and twist after twist that stops you caring about anything, and short, fun tasks, like the puppets, which gave us the best close-ups since the famous box task.
One reason it particularly sucks that this is the last season is that over the last three, the producers have finally found that perfect leave-them-be groove, got over the whole wannabe Z-Lister casting, and produced three seasons that have been absolute crackers. BB11 has felt looser and more devil may care since the opening night, when it was clear they’d ditched the chaperoned secrecy of the prospective housemates, and in general there’s an end of term feel running through the whole thing, which is presumably why Shabby turned up in fancy dress, as the baby that came out when Russell Brand fucked Charlie Chaplin.
Pretension over, let’s get to the sub-Brooker look at some of the individual housemates, now we’re a few weeks in.
With her filthy laugh, and an accent that makes you feel as though a straw-covered man with a shotgun is going to come blundering out of your TV telling you to “keep your eyes orf moi daughter!” Josie is a Carry On character made flesh. At any given moment, she’s barely a single Bristolian giggle shy of rolling around in a barn, breasts spilling out of a dairy farmer outfit, and asking Sid James if he’s done the milking yet.
The abrasive desk is the perfect example of the new tongue-in-cheek, knowing BB. With the best use of “piss off!” since the last time you asked your drunken mum if she loved you, ToT gives me the urge to hack into the audio feed and give Caoimhe a task where she’s forced to admit that she’s actually Gozer the Gozerian from Ghostbusters but with an even stupider name, or face THE WRATH OF THE TREE.
Ah, lovely Sunshine. Back in the days before I had a dirty old brick for a heart, Sunshine’s just the sort of pretty hippy swaying-in-the-summer-sun-in-a-floaty-dress kinda girl I’d have become completely obsessed with, and who I’d have thoroughly creeped out with my unwanted affections. Sunshine’s eviction was the worst case of producer vote pandering ever. 14-1 to leave on Friday morning, they were so desperate to keep their tiresome lesbian fauxmance going, we got a highlight show filled with Sunshine, which only ever means one thing – votes. Well, now Shabby’s walked, so they’ve lost on both counts. Somewhere in an alternative Lost-style flash-sideways life, I’m a cool, popular guy with lots of friends, and most of them are just like Sunshine. We have picnics in the park and play Guitar Hero until 4am, and we put little action figures on the backs of our dogs and laugh as they ran around like alien horses with little cowboys. Although in the real world, I’ll be lucky to exchange more than an awkward glance with someone like that guy from BB3 who did a wee in the bin then hopped the back fence.
An obnoxiously good looking guy who seems to carry the sort of untrusting paranoia towards women usually reserved for mockingly bum-faced men like myself, who’ve got good reason to never think that females are being anything but sneeringly cruel or sarcastic every time they open their scornful mouths. You can’t have a foot in both camps, JJ. Either smash your face in with a pipe and join the rest of us bitter, lonely, unattractive types, or accept your status as a 10 and become the aloof heartbreaker you were born to be.
Neanderthal. He’s got that swaggering monkey walk that’s trademark of the kind of shirtless prick that casually says “hold this, mate” while passing you a warm pint glass of his own frothing urine through a crowded pub doorway during a football game.
The worst kind of crackhead-turned-Christian, forever arrogantly bragging about having the back-up of his hard mate, God, and with an added sheen of that kind of bollocks mysticism people who say they’re “not religious, but do believe in something…” use, by harping on about auras and guardian angels. His pitiful pretending to be drunk – on the love of the Lord, no less – is as believable as a bandy-legged schoolgirl supping on a school disco can of shandy. I refuse to believe that this kind of overcompensating and transparently fake happiness can end in anything other than a news report that closes on the line “before turning the gun on himself.”
Steve has the wounded soldier vote, a powerful thing, particularly in this current period of fetishising the military, but really, he’s the dullest contestant since BB4’s snoozing chef, Gos. Maybe if he plopped a glowing red light into his eye-socket and smashed his way out of the diary room while saying “I’m looking for Sarah Conner,” he’d be justifying his inclusion, because so far, he’s just not.
He seemed quite likeable during the whole mole business, but I went right off him when he started blubbing about how hard he’d fought to get in the house when he went up for nomination. Just like being cool, the only way to be a likeable Big Brother housemate is to just not care about winning, unless you’re looking at it in a predatory manner, like the gameshow it is, like BB5’s mighty, mighty Victor. Desperation is never an attractive quality. Mario’s alluded to some big secret, which, like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, is infinitely more exciting fuzzily half-formed in our imaginations than it’ll ever be when it’s revealed. He’d love you to think that his nob spouts little helicopter blades and lifts him out of his seat whenever he becomes aroused, but it’s much less interesting than that. Top picture, guy on the right.
Booed on opening night through that fundamental British hatred of anyone who speaks as though they’ve read a book, he’s the clear winner for me. Big Brother always had a thing for having socially notable ‘issues’ winners; gay winner, black winner, transsexual winner, Tourettes winner, winner who did fuck all (Rachel); but as the first BB under a Tory government, is the nation finally ready for their first winner who actually pronounces his H’s?