It’s been a few days since Christopher Maloney was evicted from Big Brother and I decided to go cold turkey and quit watching the show.

Because let’s be honest, there is something addictive about it. I decided that watching til the end was like a smoker waiting for New Years Day to give up, but then still having half a pack left and carrying on. So I ripped off the band aid and stopped as soon as I no longer had a work reason to pay attention…

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I was gutted Chris got evicted. He showed people that he’s a nice guy. Not the person they thought he was. The sort of person you’d be content to share a house with. And it seems the housemates were… But not Big Brother. Because they’re making an entertainment show. So what if they have a week with no nominations? There’s a good chance the quiet ones will be up for eviction. And who goes? The one whose leaving won’t disrupt the chaos that has been carefully created. But to be certain, we’ll give immunity to the most dramatic housemates.

The Big Brother house is like a microcosm of society, that the public can legitimately spy on and gossip about behind closed doors.
And realistically, we don’t twitch the curtains for the nice thoughtful neighbour who cleans up after himself. But hear a blazing row or the sound of glass smashing and we’re muting the TV and leaping towards the window to see what’s going on.

Reality TV is a quick route to celebrity – but fame has to be earned. So tasks are designed to push housemates to breaking point. And isn’t it more fun when you make celebrities do embarrassing, uncomfortable things? To bring them back down to the same level as the rest of us?

Housemates vomited after eating a century egg as part of a shopping task.

Housemates vomited after eating a century egg as part of a shopping task.

Why did Big Brother make housemates choose who to evict first? Was it because they had received complaints about Winston and wanted to get him out? Why on earth would they choose to share his statement about gay couples adopting, if it wasn’t to make the housemates turn on him. And given the potential for arguments over this sensitive issue, wouldn’t the public want to keep him in to see the tension develop? It’s easy to believe then, that Nancy – who I suspect would have a fairly limited UK fan base – got the least votes so making the housemates choose would mean they didn’t have to boot out the person the public decided to evict

I just don’t believe it’s not orchestrated.

Hollyoaks actress, Stephanie Davies – regularly in the press with numerous reports of her drunken antics and interest in the boys – wants to show people she’s not the girl they think she is after cutting down on the booze and enjoying a year long romance with her tattoo laden, male model boyfriend… So she’s put into the house with a tattoo covered model and a heap of alcohol. They immediately gravitate towards each other forgetting that this world is temporary and everyone can see what they’re doing.

It’s like the house is an alternative reality. The world in a teacup. Relationships develop, small factions grow, rivalries emerge and chaos ensues. And we all tune in to see what happens next.

I hate it. And I think it’s a massive shame that this is what passes for entertainment on a mass scale.
The tasks could be entertaining enough without instigating the kind of dramatic turmoil that is created by the producers.

Sure, it wouldn’t get the viewers if there was no promises of watching someone have a complete mental breakdown on TV. And it’s got to be a hell of a lot cheaper to make a show like Big Brother, than something like Doctor Who. But isn’t it sad that we’re content to be fed cheap shows rather than art?

What is wrong with us?

For three weeks I got it. It was like a soap, I tuned in every night, I got annoyed by Gemma’s snide remarks, I rolled my eyes at Steph calling everyone a bully and I laughed at Chris trying to work the coffee machine. But then I hated myself for caring what happened. For having an opinion and for tweeting mean things about some housemates while leaping to the defence of others.

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So as soon as Chris was evicted I stopped. I’m still thinking about it though. I contemplated watching to the final because I’d already invested time in it. But I don’t want to be someone who watches reality TV because someone needs to demand more from our TV providers and continue to fly the flag for well written, beautifully filmed television programmes.

And because I don’t want to be someone that delights in watching people mentally unravel because that’s not entertainment, that’s torture.

But for the record, I hope Darren wins now that Chris has gone. What’s so wrong with being nice? Why do we reward people for being rude, nasty and argumentative? We elevate the worst types of people to stardom giving them an actual reason to be arrogant and self absorbed… Is it so we can then enjoy tearing them down?

Shame on us.

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