We were sitting at the table in the garden eating lunch when Andy remarked about the recent goings on in what has been titled Celebrity Big Brother 2016 (albeit they aren’t real celebrities). Like many, last night we watched Chloe Khan get evicted from the house. Now I didn’t think she was a particularly nice person to watch with her exposing herself and being intimate with Stephen Bear. I find that on TV a little crass to say the least, but as I explained to Andy, TV reality shows have evolved over the last 20 years to the point where if you are given a scenario to follow and you act it out as long as it’s filmed then you can call yourself a celebrity. These scenes are not there for your pleasure, they are there to just make TV. Just to make magazine deals. Just to ultimately make money. It’s a form of Bricolage and is used to blur the lines between reality and fiction but all under the guise of a family “reality” show.
See the problem between the Big Brother how it was when it started and the Big Brother now is the cross over. Now I’m not a big fan at all of “Scripted Reality” or “Structured Reality” which is basically this. You take normal people, living in their normal environment and give them scenarios to act out while you film them. Now this isn’t real life because it’s scripted by a writer to give you drama and romance. It’s like a soap opera but without actors. It’s NOT real. The people are real but the situations are made up. Each of these programmes should have a warning on them just like you would see on Crimewatch but more along the lines of “the people in this programme are real, the scenarios however are not”. Then people would realise that it’s not real. Have a read of this article by a “scripted reality” WRITER “Alex Worrall on ‘The Secrets of Scripted Reality’“. The very last paragraph gives it all away if you ask me.
Now, you have 3 people in Big Brother (Lewis, Marnie and Stephen) who come from these scripted reality shows. They are told to create drama by the production team in their programmes, so scenes (and they are scenes from these people I’m afraid) where “Bear” dropped the eggs was created purely for drama purposes, bit like a poorly executed ad-lib. The whole scene was a set up by him simply because he is so used to doing stuff like that due to his “job” as a “real person” character in his particular scripted reality that when you put them in somewhere to be themselves they just can’t do it. It’s another reason that he has been all over Chloe Khan, purely to make TV. In reality and by reality I mean REAL life that you and me live, they would never have met nor would they ever have got into that situation.
It’s a bit like “Heavy D” – his real name is Colin Newell and he’s an actor. One of this characters is Heavy D and he is part of the “Storage Hunters” cast. His character of Heavy D isn’t him it’s an exaggerated character made and put in there to bring you drama, to give you a sensationalised interaction with the other cast members (pretty much like Bear all the way through the programme). Taken from Colin’s Casting Call Pro information:
I am a versatile actor who specialises in playing the hardnut/gangster role. I take direction very easily and I am great to work with.
Which is what he has been told to “play” in Big Brother. The guy himself is apparently nothing like this character at all, so why are we watching a character when we’re told it’s Reality TV?? This is not what the public “signed up to” watch.
So now let me explain why we have so many of these “scripted reality” cast members in Big Brother this year. The link is MTV.
When Big Brother was bought by Channel 5, all was well originally. We had “normal” celebrities in it, but in September 2014 Viacom bought Channel 5. Viacom also own MTV. But to save money (well they bought Channel 5 for £450 million) they decided to “recruit” some of their other cast members from other shows that they ran into the mix. MTV own Geordie Shore, TOWIE, Storage Hunters, Love Island, Ex on the Beach and many, many more “reality” shows that I can’t be arsed to mention, or in fact arsed to watch as they’re so mind numbingly tedious. So, they sign up these people who can’t act for toffee (I mean, come on, it’s like asking a club DJ to manage a wedding disco – it shouldn’t happen because it’d be a travesty) because they are contracted to be “used” by the production teams like T Group (check out what they produce). It’s all in their contracts as actors/actresses. This is why a show which at the beginning was genuinely interesting as it had real celebrities (people who have either trained in their art, or worked their way up the ranks) in them and now we’re stuck with these 15 minutes of fame arseholes who are just puppets for a large media corporation.
So we have totally crossed over. These 2 genres (of acting and the “new” scripted reality genre) don’t work together because they don’t mix well. You have people like Ricky Norwood in there – Actor. A proper actor. Trained. But he’s not playing his character of Fatboy is he? Nope. He’s being himself. Obviously it’s going to get up the nose of proper actors when they are thrown into a house with other cast members who don’t know what the real art entails. Yes I know he’s a TV soap actor but he’s still trained and that’s where they differ. It’s like putting fresh water fish in a marine tank for heaven sake. Yes they are the “same” but there are differences which cause friction. Yet MTV are expecting the public to accept these clowns such as Heavy D, Marnie and the like as “reality” when they’re clearly not. Do not be fooled into thinking that programmes like this in this new genre form with cast members is real. It’s not. It’s manufactured to draw you in. Sad but true.