September 17, 2000
11:00 AM   Subscribe

UK Big Brother ends, and people actually care. (Hint to US producers: An ex-nun who converted to hedonistic lesbianism beats a guy with one leg and a roofer whose idea of individuality is dying his hair.) The thing I'm most interested in, though: Is it true that the UK's National Health Service refuses to do heart and lung transplants on the, um, genetically inferior?
posted by aaron (5 comments total)
Oh, people care about BB-USA; it's become America's "show you love to hate".
But of all the attempted explanations why it's gone so far askew from the other "Brothers", the one that makes the most sense to me is that CBS is letting it run too long - a full month longer than UK. (And remember, the contestants of "Survivor" were on the island for only 39 days) More time to develop cabin fever, plus more bonding between people who should be competing (especially with week-long lulls between "banishment" cycles). Also the producers have made it way too obvious that they thought it was going badly, building their own aura of failure (like some recent Presidential campaigns). Taken for what it is, even Chicken George and the Beauty Queen are usually more fun to watch than the cast of "King of Queens"...
posted by wendell at 1:34 PM on September 17, 2000

Wendell, I agree. I love to hate this show. Clearly Survivor and it's producers were in another league. I can't help but think that part of the reason this show sucks is the demographics it is aimed at. The 'white trash belt'. I also can't believe the 'House Guests' let $50 large lay open in the brief cases, and didn't bite. The 'aura of failure' is gripping more than the producers.
posted by daddyray at 4:12 PM on September 17, 2000

I just didn't get into the UK BB at all. It struck me from the start as a shity concept wrapped in an unprecdented (for C4) amount of glossy publicity. It's fairly well known that documentry film makers edit there stuff to make it more dramatic (at least in UK docusoaps) but even with the best editing it totally failed to engage me. So we didn't all give a shit. And some of us aren't that impressed with lesbian ex-nuns.
posted by davidgentle at 4:51 PM on September 17, 2000

Survivor and its producers were in a different league, but not necessarily a better league. There was a lot of non-reality on Survivor - i.e. put camera on raft, take shots of people on raft, remove camera from raft, take overhead shot from helicopter of people on raft, etc.

The fact that a BB houseguests was unwilling to take the $50K offered to them was not surprising. If you've been watching the US version for awhile, you've seen how they've fallen into a groupthink mentality, it's more of a cult in there than a house full of enemies.

And can you clarify who all is included in your "white trash belt"?
posted by gluechunk at 6:12 PM on September 17, 2000

Despite myself, I actually wound up staying in for the final of UK BB, I really didn't think I'd get into it but I did. Around the time 'Nasty Nick' got caught cheating and kicked out was when I and many others started watching. I think it had something to do with the mental games they were playing with each other, the US BB contestants seem to talk everything to death, whereas the UK contestants all played their cards close to their chests.
I was at my grandfather-in-law's 85th bithday party a couple of weeks ago and the main topic of conversation seemed to be BB and the various traits of the contestants, everyone wanted to see the 'honest' contestants prosper and the more devious ones fail, regardless of the fact they were in a contest. It's been a while since something on TV was discussed by such a wide range of ages and types of people. While often, the fact that something is so universally popular can be a sign of true TV trash ("Millionaire" anyone?), I think BB had elements which made it worth watching.
And yeah, aaron, the NHS has to make descisions like the one you refer to everyday, they simply don't have the funds to treat everyone, therefore they have to factor in life expectancy and 'quality' of life among others when deciding where they spend their limited budgets. It's quite common to find 'non-essential' operations cancelled or postponed too, especially as the financial year draws to a close and the cash runs out. It's why many companies offer private health as part of the package when they advertise jobs, opening up a whole new argument about so-called 2-tier healthcare in this country.
posted by Markb at 3:48 AM on September 18, 2000

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