How weird was "Big Brother" looking back?

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sombre

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Hey gang,

If you grew in the 00s at all, you'll surely be aware of the cultural phenomenon that was "Big Brother" the insane reality show putting a bunch of people in a house and letting them...live

When we look back...is Big Brother one of the most innovative and weird TV experiments of all time?

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rorie

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#2 rorie  Staff

I mean, it's still on CBS, America's Most-Watched Network™ like three days a week! So it's still around! Was never my cup of tea, though.

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petesix0

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Original UK BB was for a while interesting premise and because low-stakes and new, almost felt punk(ugh) by comparison to newer shows of same premise. Contestants either too desperate or didn't give a f. Not saying "good" because premise and promises made never panned out(Original language in press described it almost like moonbase prep or BioDome UK). Don't watch it much at all but seems now like tryouts for content presenter.

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Shindig

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@petesix0 Yeah, it was great first time around. Nick trying to game it and a nice Scouse builder giving his winnings to THE KIDS. And he still got a career out of it.

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petesix0

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#5  Edited By petesix0

@shindig: God that whole "Nick" thing. Seems such small change now but also so much more sinister. The nun was my pick.

(For those that do not know this code: Wikipedia)

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Onemanarmyy

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#6  Edited By Onemanarmyy
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I think i was just a bit too young to care about it back when John de Mol launched the original season in the netherlands in 1999. It was a huge hit for sure, but all i remember was this one guy Ruud that was known for his teddybear role. Anyone needed a hug? Ruud was there. He was quite a celeb for a few years afterwards eventhough he didn't win.

Wild to me that Big Brother is still going strong in the US though. After a few seasons and some offshoots (like 'De Bus', which was Big Brother inside a bus instead of a house..) the audience over here lost interest in the format and moved on to other reality TV ideas. Temptation Island, Love Island, Golden Cage (people having to bully eachother out the place), Utopia (people having to build their own place to live in, earn money and design their own rules and values)

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steveurkel

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@sombre: ah yes big brother the show from the 00s... did you just travel back in time or something? How do you think this is some vintage programming it's literally on right now.

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Ulfhedinn

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It was an interesting concept made either boring by boring people or way too extreme by people seeking attention.

I was guilty of watching just the opening show to see what manner of people are entering and stop there.

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YoThatLimp

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@sombre: ah yes big brother the show from the 00s... did you just travel back in time or something? How do you think this is some vintage programming it's literally on right now.

As someone who has never had a cable subscription in their entire adult life, I would have thought Big Brother was a long forgotten show. The only reason I know its still on was the odd Pandemic element to the big brother thing that happened relatively recently.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/arts/television/big-brother-germany-coronavirus.html

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Efesell

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#11 Efesell  Online

@steveurkel: Had you asked me before today when Big Brother was last on I probably would have guessed the fuckin' 90s.

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Kemuri07

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Keep in mind, The Real World started in the 90s. Though I guess Big Brother's claim to fame/shame is that it upped the antie on how trashy these types of shows could be.

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MezZa

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It was certainly an interesting show, and I say was not because it isn't still on but more because at this point I think the novelty has worn off.

I wouldn't really call it ground breaking concept though. I was only a kid but I always saw it as Survivor but instead of the wilderness they locked people in a house. So it didn't seem like some wild creative concept to me. It was just the show that they cycled in and out with survivor as the year went on and last I watched 4 years ago that's still what it was.

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TheRealTurk

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I remember being extremely bored watching Big Brother. It didn't have the competitiveness of something like Survivor or quite the level of attention-seeking douchiness of a Bachelorette.

Now, The Mole, there's a show I'd like to come back. The Mole was awesome. Unfortunately, it was also about 1000% too smart for the most of the knuckle-draggers in this country. A reality show apparently can't succeed unless there's some shirtless idiot saying "bro" every other word.

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sombre

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@sombre: ah yes big brother the show from the 00s... did you just travel back in time or something? How do you think this is some vintage programming it's literally on right now.

I haven't had live TV since 2005

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OurSin_360

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Never watched it, but how much different was it from the real world and road rules?

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#17  Edited By petesix0

@oursin_360: Never watched U.S. BB, never seen Road Rules but I did watch most of the first...I wanna say 6 seasons of the Real World(I think I bailed after the Miz)? Basically both set with "contestants" in house, but in RW it was always your proto-reality tv show(In that as I understand it the production was a camera crew following people round and then saying "ok we need a filmable version of that now, so do it BIGGER"). In BB they're isolated in the house and unable to leave, apart from when the show decides it's time to leave. Sometimes live votes from audience decides the departer, sometimes it's just cruel. Sort of the difference between an obviously manipulative documentary and live coverage of a...idk waht to call it but the the competition where you win the truck if you're the last one touching it. Normally last show of BB tends to be big event where public votes are cast and the occupants of house are evicted in turn until the winner emerges last.

Is Road Rules like Real World but a scavenger hunt?

Also, can anyone tell me if everytime one of those truck things is won, does Stan Bush get paid?

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dudeglove

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Fun(?) fact about Endemol productions is that one of the main guys in the 2000s is Peter Bazalgette, who is maybe one of the worst people to ever exist, especially when contrasted against the fact that he's the great great grandson of Joseph Bazalgette. Joseph Bazalgette was the main architect involved in cleaning up the sewerage system of London and stopped the Thames from being utterly fetid. As such we have one man literally responsible for pumping shit out of London eventually being succeeded by a man whose entire job has been pumping shit back in via television screens.

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RobertForster

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Was?

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petesix0

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Fun(?) fact about Endemol productions is that one of the main guys in the 2000s is Peter Bazalgette, who is maybe one of the worst people to ever exist, especially when contrasted against the fact that he's the great great grandson of Joseph Bazalgette. Joseph Bazalgette was the main architect involved in cleaning up the sewerage system of London and stopped the Thames from being utterly fetid. As such we have one man literally responsible for pumping shit out of London eventually being succeeded by a man whose entire job has been pumping shit back in via television screens.

Hahahahaaa, this is news to me and it is gooood.

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wmoyer83

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#22  Edited By wmoyer83

I watched the first season when it came out (almost 20 years ago? I cant remember) and it was ok. Never watched it again. I also watched a random season of Survivor, it was ok. I think once I get the concept of how these shows work I like to see how it ends, but these shows were never enough to keep me interested. I do not care about the social elements of these shows. I am not interested in non-fictional drama, and the back stabbing nature of these reality competitions wears thin. I am much more into shows like Chopped, Iron Chef, or American Ninja. I prefer seeing competition without the nauseating interpersonal relationships, but I understand why people like it.

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petesix0

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#23  Edited By petesix0

Was thinking more specifically about the thread title. While I'm sure there are a lot of tasks/housemates isolated for funsies, the straight-up weirdest moment of any UK BB I watched was this.

No Caption Provided

First things first, this is the "Celebrity" Big Brother. Sometime in the middle(?) of that season of the show, a mystery housemate was announced, who would be joining the already tired and testy in the house. So after a major buildup about "who will it be?", the door swings open, and in strides Jackie Stallone, mother of Sylvester. And someone named Frank? Anyway, this is the gif of that moment because in that room, there was literally only one person who even knew who had walked through that door. Brigitte Nielsen, Jackie's ex daughter-in-law. I remember them getting along fine, but the weirdness of that play, of saying "here's a surprise celebrity to pour into the jug", a jug already feat. author Germaine Greer, Kenzie of the Blazin' Squad and an incredibly racist horse-racing commentator who(spoiler block for gross) loved to pick and eat his snots at alltimes. Weird show but the weirdness of aiming an attempted cruise missile at one of the contestants to upset them, then having it look like someone threw a badly-made paper plane into the garden is I think the weirdest.

(Nielsen finished 3rd, Stallone was the first evicted by public vote. Probably because almost no-one watching the show even knew Sylvester Stallone's mother was alive until the TV audience got to see her before she walked through above door(RIP Mrs. Stallone)

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Pezen

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A friend of mine and I watched the first season here in Sweden, part as a goof and part because it was sort of fun. Like a lot of other reality shows at the time, the contestants were pretty varied in terms of age and gender. So it became a fun dynamic. But it felt like a lot of those shows ended up being ”let’s just cast early 20s single folks and drown them in alcohol so they do it on camera”. Which was far less interesting.

Now that I think about it, I have probably only watched the first season of a lot of those shows only to never warch them again.