Why do we watch reality TV so much? My theory: we hate the contestants. Face it, having a valid reason to despise is just the rarest of experiences. There is nothing quite like the vibe guilt-free hatred. So a show like Big Brother, full of prepped, prim, and obnoxiously self-absorbed narcissists is a boon for the malcontent among us.
Big Brother fans will argue that the show is a contest of intellectual skill. Indeed! Hauling garbage cans full of gummy worms, using a little sex to butter up your competitors, stabbing each other in the back… all the hallmarks of a game of human chess if I’ve ever seen it. It’s not that Big Brother contestants are stupid (quite a few of them are), nor is it a matter that Big Brother fans are stupid (judging from the numbers, I’d say it must be a factor though. ) Big Brother is merely an excuse for a large number of people, fed up with the daily wage-earner grind, to feel good about hating some pompous punk on TV.
Now how does this explain Chicken George, and other ‘older’ Big Brother contestants you ask? Easy, it gives the upper half of the target demographic (18-49 year olds) somebody to root for or, if you’re staying true to my theory, jeer. Don’t buy my snake oil? (Guaranteed to make you wise up!) Just read an interview with any Big Brother contestant and you’ll understand it a little better. They themselves, the sane ones at least, don’t think of it as a game and perhaps Big Brother’s most legendary player, Dr. Will, actually used a strategy of not wanting to play to stay in the fray. Heck, Big Brother all-star winner Mike Boogie won with admittedly having no strategy at all. Tell me we’re supposed to root for these people.
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