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Reviews & Ratings for
"Big Brother: UK" More at IMDbPro »"Big Brother" (original title)

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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

an idea that's limped past its sell-by date

Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
6 January 2005

'Big Brother' has now run for five seasons with 'real' people (i.e. ordinary Joes and Janes who were not celebrities) and has just begun a third season 'celebrity' version.

The trouble is that what was originally an idea of some originality and promise - shut a few contrasting personalities in a house with no contact with the outside world, intrusive cameras, and unusual tasks, for a few weeks and see what happens - after season 1 had passed future house-mates knew what to expect.

Subsequent seasons have seen the house-mates exploit their new-found 'fame' (for doing what, exactly?) not only after leaving the house, but while they are in there. So the challenges get ever more tedious, the tabloid and gossip mag column inches get longer, and the nation for some reason continues to watch.

Another nail in the coffin of British TV, an indication that poor taste and high ratings go hand in hand (that or the TV-viewing public at large really will watch anything and they get what they deserve).

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21 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

There is no god...

Author: DanRaccoon from United Kingdom
10 June 2007

What the hell is going on here? Is this someone's response for the demand of better programmes on the TV? Is this the revolution of the morons? Am I gonna run out of sentences here? NO I WON'T!!! I could go on forever pondering why this pile of utter crud has made it onto TV but it's a sure sign that England is surely losing brain cells and humanity. Being someone who was born here it makes me sad and furious that England could create something so foul, so unwatchable that it makes people want to die. The only thing that doesn't surprise me about this program is the fact that it is on Channel 4, I mean it seems to be the one where it shows all the idiotic, talentless celebs who couldn't tell a pile of sand from a glass window. What's ironic about this is that channel 4 once hosted a programme about the death of celebrity, and this is the same channel that hosts Big Brother which gives these morons the attention they do not deserve. GROW A BRAIN CHANNEL 4!!

What makes this programme so bad? Well first it's absolutely boring. I mean in the words of Billy Connely "People are sitting in a house, watching people sit in a house!". I mean tell me if I've missed something but what is the attraction of watching a bunch of people with the I.Q. of a sandwich sit in a house? The sex? GROW UP!! I mean it is better to stare out of a window than watch this, that's reality TV too, and far more interesting.

If you ask me this is what is causing the death of celebrity. It's just proof that the standards of British TV is going down the drain. And the fact that it has gone on for now a 8th series just backs up the fact that TV is rotting.

The word to describe this hasn't been invented yet in my opinion.

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22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

The detritus of television

Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
26 July 2005

If there was ever any iron-clad proof that Britain is the most uncultured and TV-addicted society in the world then the dredge that is Big Brother is it. The basic idea of this show tanked in other countries where the people are more intelligent but somehow, five years after the rank original, the people of Britain still buy into this crap. They still fall for the same old, same old rubbish that was boring first time around. It boggles the mind. Are we really all that stupid? I blame the Sun newspaper.

Big Brother is a wasteland of coma-inducing boredom consistently starring a deliberately PC and multi-ethnic group of people (with an absolute MAX of 1 token Scottish person) with no personality outside of the stereotyped image they were 'cast' to present. There MUST be one (if not many) gay person. One arguer. One sexist. One extrovert party animal. Etc, etc. They are caricatures of real people. Thus nullifying any genuine sense of 'reality' TV.

And, 'at the end of the day', 'no offence to anyone', 'I don't mean to be funny but', 'correct me if I am wrong', 'you know what I'm saying', they NEVER ever speak outside of clichés. And whenever they DO say something interesting it's edited out for 'legal' reasons. Whatever happened to free speech. I don't believe it really exists my good fellow. I know I'm not unveiling a sacrilegious revelation when I say this trash is edited and directed to the Nth degree. Thus nullifying any genuine sense of 'reality' TV. It's a saga of nothingness. And when something DOES actually happen (they call it 'Fight Night' as there is THE such night every year) the screens go black and we don't get to REALLY see what happened until Channel 4 okays it and edits their way around the truth. Thus nullifying any genuine sense of 'reality' TV.

Every Friday night is 'eviction night' in which the people of this once mighty and powerful land spend money phoning in who they want evicted from the house (and trust me, Channel 4 REALLY likes it when you phone many times in one night 'just to make sure'). That fame-grabbing, wannabe, desperate individual then begins their definite, inevitable, inexorable descent into well deserved obscurity. Davina McCall, who apparently has nothing better to do with her life as she's 'hosted' this mince since the very beginning, interviews that person with eyes and attitude that loudly suggest 'Who the hell are you and why are you taking up so much airtime?' before showing them the mandatory and expected 'best of' their bits scene. Watching this pointlessness is how most people in Britain prefer to spend their summer weekends.

Even the narrator has THE worst accent one can possibly imagine. To make matters worse he basically repeats the same lines on every show. 'Dee 486. De ooder 'ouzmaits r een de gah-den'. I presume the producers of this show are deaf and thought this guy wasn't unintelligible.

For the past few years I keep thinking that 'THIS has got to be the last one' as BB constantly goes from bad to worse to even worse then to absolute hell. It's cheap, brain-dead tripe that only appeals to the lowest common denominator who are vegetablely unaware that Channel 4 are laughing at them. They spend nothing, yet YOU make them millions.

Be a real human-being. Turn this long, long, so incredibly long past it's 'prime' rubbish off and go get a life!

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19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Utter freak-show that should have been stopped after series 3

Author: Mis Behavin from United Kingdom
17 October 2006

I'll confess - I loved the first series of Big Brother. It was a new concept, an interesting experiment and I was glued to it.

Fast forward six years. BB has spawned a generation of low-brow reality TV shows which are putting genuine actors out of work and are responsible for stupid, empty headed people leaving school with no other aspiration but to 'be on tele'.

The contestants on Big Brother are now all-to-aware that when they leave the house the spotlight will be on them. However, what they fail to realise (because they are so vain and self-obsessed) is that once the media have chewed them up and spat them out, they will be consigned to the scrapheap forever, because lets face it - who would employ some freak who is foolish enough to have shown every bad aspect of their personality on national television.

Endemol and Channel 4 should be ashamed of themselves for persisting with BB - which is nothing but a money spinner. They couldn't care less about the welfare of the contestants, a point proved by the fact that this year we have had the worst bunch of idiots yet to grace our screens, including a former anorexic with pretty obvious self-esteem and mental issues. Sick. That poor girls life is going to be destroyed forever and just to Channel 4 could make an easy buck over the quiet Summer period.

BB highlights everything which is bad about society and shows what a tacky, celebrity obsessed place Britain has become.

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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

It's a long way down to the bottom,but UK TV(and society) has finally arrived there

Author: BJJManchester from United Kingdom
10 June 2007

Tony Hancock,Dennis Potter,Monty Python,Upstairs Downstairs,The Saint,Callan,Richard Dimbleby,Fawlty Towers,Morecambe and Wise,The Two Ronnies,Dad's Army,Only Fools and Horses,The Prisoner,Ronnie Barker,Steptoe and Son,John Cleese,Porridge,David Frost,Rising Damp,One Foot In The Grave..........yes,just some of the programmes and names that have been associated with British TV over the last fifty years or so which has given the country a justified reputation for the best TV in the world.But it was perhaps sadly inevitable with the natural demise of all and more of similar above individuals and TV shows that new replacements would have to be found in future generations.At the beginning of the 21st Century,some bright spark thought that a new and exciting concept called "Reality TV" was the answer to all these problems;it would be cheap to produce,featuring members of the public with secretly placed cameras around a specially built set,picking up all the various interactions and conversations,with the added bonus of assigned tasks and games,plus a public phone vote to evict various people until the last one left,who would be deemed the "winner".

To be fair,this was a mildly interesting idea at it's inception,and would've been just about acceptable for one series.But such has been the dumbing down of UK TV,and indeed seemingly British society as a whole in the new millennium,that the powers that be at CHANNEL FOUR have elongated this woefully thin concept to at the time of writing,an eighth series.What is disturbing is that this has led on to other tawdry reality shows springing up on other UK TV channels (I'M A CELEBRITY GET ME OUT OF HERE,LOVE ISLAND,THE FARM,CELEBRITY WRESTLING,even CELEBRITY DETOX,CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER,etc,etc,etc...)like unplanned illegitimate sprogs,with the British viewing public acting as unprepared,unwilling parents.The aforementioned programmes are virtually as tedious,dreary,lazy,banal and pointless as this one,but BIG BROTHER is wholly deserving of the lowest possible vote because it is possibly the main cause of the shallow brainlessness pervading most of UK popular culture in contemporary Britain.For example,the only so-called "celebrity magazines" at the turn of the century were the highly resistible OK and HELLO!,whose sickly,ghastly and vomit-inducing sycophancy to various public figures (most with very minor talents) was initially mocked by comedians,satirists and journalists,but even this mickey-taking soon became passé as it didn't seem funny to mock something which was already too unintentionally amusing to begin with anyway.

Since then,there has been an explosion of similar publications,perhaps not quite as cringingly oily to the so-called famous as the aforementioned terrible twins,but if anything even less intelligent and brainless,with similarly garishly coloured photos thrown in for good measure.I am sure there are still plenty of talented writers,actors,singers,comedians,dancers,etc. that are still out there in Britain,but the TV executives today do not seem to agree,or they are not bothered at finding and encouraging new talent.They are happy now to let talent-free non-entities appear on this show,and others,to create,Frankenstein-like "celebrities",which is rapidly becoming the dirtiest,most foul word for disgruntled UK citizens like myself in this day and age.This word "celebrity" has almost taken on a new meaning from previous generations;it was usually tagged on in the past to famous people,but those who had mostly obtained their fame through talent,sheer hard work and years of struggle."Celebrity" now is synonymous in describing those who have no talent at anything accept appearing on shows like BIG BROTHER.The amount of people who have earned a career,and a lucrative one at that,from this programme since it's debut has been astonishing.Brian Dowling and Kate Lawler are just two examples,but the most remarkable was that of Jade Goody,who didn't even win the series she appeared in.She came a cropper in 2007's CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER after her misguided behaviour towards Shilpa Shetty.Now having sadly passed away after a battle against cancer,it is arguable that unscrupulous media types exploited her naivety and inarticulacy (which was in no way particularly her fault) when she was not especially conscious of such events.

It seems not to matter,however,as others will take her equally dismal place as long as the top brass in British TV keep providing money to produce BIG BROTHER and it's various imitations.The house guests this year,if it really matters,consist mainly of young attractive women,with a few assorted males (apparently mostly homosexuals) added for the ride.But they seem as uninteresting,inarticulate,stupid,dull,self centered,unpleasant,egotistical and hopelessly fame seeking as most other house guests have been in previous years.It is the ultimate indictment that the most interesting parts of the programme are when we see everybody asleep in the house's bedroom!

BIG BROTHER has been the main reason why the UK has gone downhill in it's popular and artistic culture in the 21st Century;there have been other factors,but those seem themselves to have been inspired by this odious,interminable,offensive,shallow and exploitative programme. If this and other programmes of it's ilk are allowed to continue,then we can well and truly say that the great days of British TV will be gone forever,and that if you have no talent whatsoever,rather than vice versa,you'll become famous thanks to the brain free writings in UK tabloid newspapers and magazines,describing the numbingly unexciting events in these "reality TV shows",the most unwelcome media development in history.A disturbing trend that has to stop sooner rather than later.

Rating:1 out of 10.(Lower than that really.0 if it was allowed!)

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Incredibly Boring

Author: p-gammie from england
1 January 2007

To be honest I would much rather be having my teeth pulled out at the dentist than watching this rubbish. There seems to be no entertainment value at all, it's a load of people sat in a house for 24 hours doing nothing but argue and bitch about everything all day long. I would find it much more interesting if they actually did something interesting Even making them kill each other in horrific death matches would be more interesting. The only people I feel sorry for are the ordinary people who occasionally show up they get treated like escaped asylum patients. Finally there's the diary room the perfect chance for the contestants to bitch and moan what a bunch of assholes.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Cheap, lazy and evil television

Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
27 May 2008

Big Brother should not be allow on televisions and be boycotted by the viewing public. Unfortunately they are morons out there who enjoys this rubbish and because its cheap and easy to make Channel Four will not stop until there is no one left watching. This is a show based on hatred, conflict and humiliation. It degrades people in the most horrible ways possible. It looks for people who are desperate for fame and looks for the biggest freaks possible. The producers also looks for people who would end up fighting with each other, for example a homophobic and the most camp homosexual alive. Some of the people who end up on the show are really in need of psychiatric help. Big Brother is based on causing controversy and gives us a lot of z-list celebrates like the horrible Jane Goody who under normal circumstances would never been given any fame. It also looks for ways to get break the 9 o'clock watershed. I just can't watch Big Brother for more then a minute and always tries to avoid watching it. This is a show that needs to die and people should boycott watching this programme and force Channel Four to use the timeslot in a more productive manner!

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A disgusting indictment of the 21st Century, it's TV & it's Public.

Author: Gubby-Allen from England
27 January 2008

We are talking about a show which was once introduced with the words "Day 21 - Derek is eating a sandwich". What sort of person carries on watching anything after that.

You'll see the phrase "like watching paint dry" through thousands of user comments across this website, on despised shows & films.

Never a truer word spoken here though & FOR TWO REASONS.

One because it is that dull - although that maybe a tad unfair on paint.

But secondly - the day British TV fell to it's knees (and went largely unnoticed). A few years back the housemates (there's better names for them than that - but wouldn't make it through the firewall) had to each paint a bench in a colour that reflected themselves. (I expected 12 grey benches). Anyway - after they finished painting them & went inside the camera remained outside, for several minutes - while the viewer did indeed "watch paint dry".

And still the public watched.

There is possibly one thing worse than Big Brother. The host. I won't give her the satisfaction of publicising her name (+or benal facial expressions) but we're talking about a woman who once introduced 3 OF THE 6 FEMALE ENTRANTS one year by their name & breast size. Never mind, name & job title, name & achievements, name and ambitions maybe. Nope, name & size of Charlies are all that counts nowadays.

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Has lost perspective of what it was all originally about

Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
11 June 2005

STAR RATING: ***** Unmissable **** Very Good *** Okay ** You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead * Avoid At All Costs

Every summer, 13 members of the public, who's personalities stand out the best in the eyes of the producers, are selected from a selection of video entries to compete in a live reality TV show in a specially built house, equipped with video cameras and trendy Ikea furnishings, to see who is the last person to be voted out by the public and win the prize money.

When BB was first introduced to the world in the summer of 2000, it seemed like a fresh, original, fun concept in my eyes. A good social experiment, shall we say. I was 16 at the time, on holiday in Cornwall with my family and there was something that was at least partially engaging about watching the antics of 'nasty' Nick the banker and warm-hearted scally Craig the builder (who'd only entered so he could win the money to pay for a heart operation for the little girl of a friend or something!), even if I didn't think it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and I could ultimately give-or-take it. And, looking back on it now, I could see that the house was occupied by 'real' people, genuine, real people who were believable and you could buy were really like that probably if you met them in the street. Which is certainly not what it's come to now.

In my mind, in one way or the other, things rapidly went downhill from there. The first show was so successful that there had to be a follow-up. The emphasis on voyeurism and adult content began around here, and everyone could see this as a really see-through attempt to pander to people's baser instincts and win ratings. But I just found a lot of the contestants on the second series to be really annoying and up their own arses and that put me off. I suppose the same could be said for the third series, even though Jade Goody was entertaining in as much as she was genuinely thick, thinking Cambridge was in London and such, and I don't think she was putting on an act but just genuinely, un-self-consciously that much of a show-boat. I think series four pretty much just came and went (that was the big Asian guy, wasn't it? And Jon Tickle?) but by series five everything had, as I said, just lost perspective. That's not to mention the assault of spin-off shows we've had from it like Celebrity Big Brother or even Teen Big Brother (and we all know what went on there.)

The people entering aren't genuine, honest and 'real' anymore. They're just making as big an exhibition of themselves as they can in order to get on there in the first place and to make a big enough impression on the public that they will come out as the winners. No-one that shallow and super-ficial really deserves any of our time or attention, but it's likely that our 'baser instincts' may take us over again and we'll tune in just to pander to them. I could never have been a contestant myself, but by now it's unlikely I'd even know how to make a big enough show-boat of myself to have come out the winner on there anyway. Besides that, all objectivity in the game has been lost. The winner of the show who gets all the money is superfluous in the eyes of all the other contestants as they know that if they make a big enough impression on the public, they will be famous enough to attend a film premiere or two for a while afterwards and no doubt get paid a fair bit to endorse certain products or services (hence why Jade Goody's name still garners recognition three years after losing!) This show has come out, more than anything, as a huge testament to Andy Warhol's unforgettably famous claim that "in the future, everyone will enjoy their 15 minutes of fame", irrespective of how untalented, vulgar or desperate they are.

Aside from the contestants, there's the presenter, Davina McCall. A no doubt very pleasant, in her day, very attractive lady who just suffers from that very irritating habit of feeling the need to bellow out everything she says. She's served the show well, but she's a woman in her 30s who's a mother to at least one child who's having to try to keep up with the pace of 'youth TV', the majority of which are in their late teens or early 20s and there's been coverage in the media lately of how it may all be taking it's toll on her. I've heard rumours she's planning to retire and become a mid-wife (imagine an already delirious woman about to give birth being calmed by Davina McCall!) and, if that's true, I'm sure, as my mother said, she'll give it her 100% and no doubt be very good at it, because everyone has their day and everyone has to move on in life. But I wonder how much shelf-life the actual show has left and, if it's a lot, just where it'll go to from here. It's not a show showing 'real' people anymore who's personalities you can relate to, it's just a show showing people eager for instant fame and gratification who are prepared to make as much of an exhibition of themselves and even degrade themselves as it takes to get their names and faces in tabloid rags like The News of the World for their outrageous, degrading behaviour. No truly decent person can relate to people like that and, if they're the only type of people who are going to stand a chance of winning from here, one can only wonder what lies ahead for the show and, the future of humanity for that matter. **

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23 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

I accept that it is addictive and easy to watch but it is a worrying sort of entertainment and is now just a manufactured collection of forced talking points and events

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
21 June 2004

Each summer in the UK a group of people (6 men & 6 women) are removed from normal society and placed in a house, cut off from outside communication. They are given a shopping budget to buy food and complete weekly challenges to win more money or other treats. On a weekly basis the housemates (as they are called) must pick tow of their number to nominate to be removed from the house. When the nominations are tallied up, those with the most nominations face a public vote to remove them. Each Friday one is removed until only one is left to claim the cash prize.

Too many people are very snobbish about this programme and simply dismiss it as rubbish and attack those who watch it as simple minded, fools and idiots.

That is snobbery in my mind and it is unfair to assume that the millions who make this programme successful are just muppets – you know what? maybe they just find it entertaining? I have watched Big Brother each series it has been on in the UK – however I will dip into it occasionally over it's weeks rather than watch religiously, I reckon I watch about a quarter at most. I don't read the tabloids (Times man I'm afraid) and I don't gossip at work about 'did you see what such and such did' etc but I do easily get addicted to this show – and that's its power. It may be inane but it is real people and you keep watching because everybody loves to judge and gossip and this show gives us all the power to judge and to have people to shake our heads about and gossip about. It is easy to watch because the 30 minutes shows will be eventful (after all, they summarise 24 hours of 'action') and, of course, it is very easy television to watch – it is simple and allows viewers to veg. I have no problem with this because not all TV or films should be high art or make you think – sometimes we all need to just chill out and not think!

Of course it is trash and the fact that it is often just a bunch of students getting drunk for a few months means that it can easily become dull (as series 3 in the UK showed). Thus we have come to see the reason why BB was a worrying trend at the start; it has started to become more and more of a worry and has made me wonder what the makers are willing to do in the name of entertainment. Of course they pick people who will rub each other the wrong way but generally people are polite and channel 4 has been forced to continually spice it up to try and make it more eventful than last year. And that's the problem for me is that it is no longer 'real', it is full of people looking for tabloid deals, who have been selected because they are extremes of personalities. The most recent series in the UK shows this – it doesn't have gay people it has flaming queens; it doesn't have lesbian characters it has angry, left wing feminist lesbians; it doesn't have strippers it has bi-sexual strippers; it doesn't have black characters it has angry alpha-male black men and so forth – this series is the worst for it (they all are extreme stereotypes) but generally they are. At times it is funny (look at Kitten thinking she's some sort of individual when really she's a walking cliché) but generally it is just to try and manufacture fights and tension the best they can.

Now that we (the viewers) have gotten used to that it has been forced to continually up the ante. In the US they put people in with their ex's but in the UK the current series was billed as being 'evil'. They made the house smaller, put them all in one bedroom, make the tasks harder etc. In one regard it has made it more interesting and made these people work for their 15 minutes but in another it is very worrying and quite off putting. One task was funny – BB threw the housemates a kids party and fed them all cake and jelly, then hours later made them all sit on a roundabout until a task was completed – needless to say they all went green and some puked! However recently we had a situation where tow people were placed in another part of the house and allowed to spy on the others, who thought they had been evicted for good. After a week of these two seeing the others backstab them, BB reintroduced them back into the house and gave everyone lots and lots of booze. Needless to say they all got drunk and a fight ensued which security staff had to come and stop because men were about to start hitting the women (not good – even if the girls in question were inviting it something rotten). This is my problem with this show now – it is no longer just veg and gossip TV: it needs to shock and create talking points to keep it's audience and the tabloid headlines. With the UK's problems of binge drinking and after hours, drunken violence, is it right to basically stage a fight – which by the setup and the alcohol, the makers of BB essentially did. They are pushing people as far as they can all in the name of winning ratings.

I watched Battle Royale once and thought it was exaggerated, but now I have a point of reference to see what it is spoofing. How much more violent and cruel will TV get in order to win ratings? This series is not even a third gone and already the makers have been very cruel all in the name of breaking people and creating things for us to gossip about – as the contestants become more savvy and eager for fame, it is all they can do to keep it interesting. I didn't watch this series but I tuned in to see it all 'kick off' a few weeks ago, only to be disturbed by what I saw. I saw people put in a situation where tension would be high and then I saw them fed large amounts of alcohol. Can it be morally right to do this to people simply to 'entertain' others? I know many of us will say these people deserve what they get but it is a worrying thing to have on TV and will only serve to further erode our national morals – ie we don't see others as 'people' on the same level as us.

I am not snobby and I know how easy it is to watch this show: calling it rubbish and insulting those that enjoy it is childish and smacks of superiority that is not there. However even fans will acknowledge that it is rubbish – but it can be entertaining rubbish if all you want to do is have something to gossip about and distract you without taxing your brain – something we all want in some way (nobody watches arty foreign films all the time!). However the format of this (and other reality shows) is becoming increasingly cruel to win ratings – and how far are they willing to go. Things like Fear Factor and eating bugs in 'I'm a Celebrity…' are bad and so is the most recent BB. I accept people will watch these things and I understand why they do but for me I have tuning out as I cannot allow myself to be part of it anymore. BB is the only reality show I have ever bothered with but now it has gone where we feared it would – into the usual ratings-chasing spectacle where it is all very forced, manufactured and cruel. I will not watch people be made to fight and suffer for my enjoyment and I can only hold my head in fear about what we will be watching in 5 years time once our sense have become further hardened to drunken fights and flirting.

Overall this is an awful show but one that I can watch easily as it doesn't require me to think and it can be quite enjoyable and addictive. However the road it (and others) have led us down is a worrying one and even BB supporters are beginning to wonder what on earth is going on. Everything is manufactured to create talking points and the contestants are very aware of what they are doing (playing for the camera, thinking of the newspaper deals etc) – it is no longer 'real' and the novelty has worn off. There are much better things on TV and I think I shall watch them as few of them turn my stomach in quite the same way as this show has started to do.

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