The problem with Big Brother spin-off show, Big Brother: Confidential, isn’t so much the content but the fact the content is being used to uphold the very existence of the otherwise useless magazine-style addition. (For those who didn’t get to watch Confidential tonight, be warned, I do discuss episode content)
For weeks now, you may have seen me get a little annoyed at all the relationship talk in the house. We can’t go one daily show without a ‘Big Brother couple’s’ tirades dominating a major storyline. Other than the odd task, bitchiness and maybe the odd bit of off-the-cuff content; daily shows continue to be driven by Layla, Sam, Josh and Ava. BOORING.
Since watching the first instalment of Big Brother: Confidential back in week 1 (well, actually week 2 or 3), I haven’t even gone near the show. At 8PM Thursday, my night on Nine is over! Not out of disgust or embarrassment per se (as some of you seem to do), but just because I have other things filling up my evening. Tonight has been my first chance to actually watch the show in proper since it moved to the PG timeslot of 8PM.
And I don’t know whether the fact that I don’t blog Confidential has anything to do with it, but I found myself genuinely interested in the content that aired. But what I don’t have any clue with is why the heck they haven’t used quality daily show time to air this stuff. Big Brother Confidential is just a waste of half an hour filled with the stuff I WANT TO WATCH!
After weeks of Josh kissing Ava, Ava smooching Josh; Angie jealous of Ava over Josh; Layla kissing George, breaking up with George, pairing with Sam, kissing Sam, fighting with Angie over kissing Sam, Angie kissing Sam, Estelle showing interest in Sam, Zoe jealous of all the kissing, Josh kissing Ava a bit more, Josh and Ava heading to the lounge, Josh and Ava kissing, housemates discussing Josh and Ava kissing and Josh and Ava kissing yet again, watching Confidential was like drinking a refreshingly new brand of soft drink…that no one else seems to like.
So what did we get treated to on tonight’s episode? The main thing I liked was the humorous elements. There was one segment called ‘Bogan Waters’ where the always comedic Stacey, Michael, Josh and Bradley acted out scenes from a very trashy-looking Bogan-filled sitcom/ dramality series. Obviously it wasn’t the funniest thing in the world, but it still drew a chuckle or two out of me. Seeing the housemates bond in this fashion was different and interesting…and very fun to watch.
There was also another segment where Bradley and Josh had what looked to be a very awkward yet full blown argument over Bradley interrupting Josh. It all turned out to be a joke to the surprise of the other housemates. It had me fooled, and glued to my seat the entire time.
The daily show that preceded it contained footage of housemates complaining of ‘fun Josh’ disappearing since Ava entered the house. As a viewer of the daily show only up until this point, I agreed and it kind of made Ava look bad. But as all this footage shows, there is still a fun side to Josh us conventional viewers aren’t seeing. After just that half hour show, my confidence in Josh at being a deserved housemate has gone back up.
There was extra footage of the family dinner discussion. With the daily show yesterday (a nice, extended 90-minute edition might I remind you) covering nothing but another tirade about Estelle misinterpreting house conversation and Ava’s (non-existent) music career, I found the topic they were discussing tonight, whether the housemates would choose looks over wealth, quite interesting. Yes, it’s not the hard hitting stuff Nine promised us (but really, that’s more the housemates’ fault- which I guess comes down to casting, which IS Nine’s fault!) and it is a bit of a tie-in with the relationship talk I so dearly HATE, but the actual dynamic of the conversation added a lot of insight to the opinions of many housemates we seldom hear from at these events, namely Zoe.
The episode ended with Stacey teaching some of the housemates ‘dick-dancing’, which involves dancing like a complete dick! Again, obviously nothing intellectually stimulating (like Josh and Ava’s relationship is!), but it was a humorous way to end the show, and it had me in tears.
By the end of it, I just felt pissed off. Nine plays an hour of Big Brother a night, sometimes more, and fills it with stuff which mostly gives no real insight to the housemates. As I said, other than a lot of bitchiness (which is OK, in moderation), a lot of kissing and a few secret tasks, the show lacks a sense of humour, is short on any really insightful discussion, doesn’t highlight key events during the week (like the family dinner) and devote more time to them and all in all, is seemingly devoid of any content that makes me react in a way other than ‘oh’.
If this is all the housemates had to offer, that’d be fine (well, it wouldn’t, but in this context it would). But, clearly, it isn’t. And the sort of content that I saw on Confidential tonight doesn’t belong in a half-hour standalone show. It belongs intertwined into the sometimes lacklustre daily shows.
It is currently being wasted on a show that is quite cheap, isn’t getting the best reviews, and while it is rating OK, wouldn’t have its absence felt if it was to be taken away. Nine have made the show, and the content, PG-rated and are aiming for minimal Big Brother airtime. Why waste water on a pot of sand?
Integrating just a half hour of content into almost six hours of daily show a week doesn’t look like it would make much of a difference, but believe me, it would! The bitchiness and relationship talk is all fine by me; but it needs to be cut down. Replacing this content with the half hour of content that airs on Confidential is not what I’m after. What I am after is for the WHOLE suite of housemates to have their entire personalities aired through the story lines presented on the daily show. What I am after is a bit more humour, and a bit more silliness and a little less, well, sluttiness.
Big Brother: Confidential draws good content away from a not-so-perfect daily show. Putting it back in would almost certainly increase my interest in them and will create a more balanced product. Right now, Confidential is just a cheap side-project funded by gold. That’s the problem here.
Big Brother airs weeknights at 7PM on Nine.