Celebrity Big Brother 7 - Restoring silliness to our screens

The easiest thing to do as a TV critic is to slag Big Brother off. It’s easier than trying to kill mice in a mug with a claw-hammer.

More difficult is finding nice things to say about it. In a media-scrum that fights itself to say the nastiest thing about a TV show, sometimes, it’s easy to lose site of aimless fun… and yes, I am guilty of it in the name of cheap laughs.

On that note, Celebrity Big Brother 7 is all about cheap laughs and, as a result, I’ve been doing the most un-TV critic of things and finding myself actually enjoying myself.

This week, CBB7 has, naturally, been filled with listless moments, with people bickering about eggs and snoozing a lot. This is when Big Brother doesn’t work. Long gone is the weird voyeuristic glee of being able to watch someone nod-off without getting arrested.

What seems to have been addressed this year is the mental torture element that tore the Big Brother show to pieces. Once the laughs died down, most of Britain shuffled nervously from foot-to-foot feeling uncomfortable about laughing at people crying and arguing.

With that, Big Brother has gone all-out silly in 2010 and weirdly, reminded me of why I tuned into the damn thing in the first place, all those years ago.

You see, Big Brother is a very stupid franchise. It gets people to dress up in daft clothes and pretend to lap milk from Dennis Waterman’s ex-wife’s hand. That’s what Big Brother is. Not the Shilpa Shetty race-row. Looking back on the exit of Nasty Nick, it was all hilariously overblown and wimpish. The absurdity of the situation made it almost compelling. Showboating and sticking yer tits in the camera is not a reason to watch a reality TV show… watching a recovering alcoholic get abused is not joyous television.

Watching a bunch of near-celebrities being forced into dressing up like OAPs whilst Mr Motivator appears on a screen doing exercise routines is.

The OAP task and the punishment of making Basshunter bloke listen to his own music on constant loop with Lady Sovereign sleeping in a drawer has been gently amusing television… which makes for a nice contrast to the bleak weather outside.

Weirdly, when Big Brother doesn’t try to force a situation, you end up with pleasantly distracting mirth. The inclusion of the laconic Stephanie Beacham has been a masterstroke as she wryly watches the silly young people tripping over each other’s genitalia and farting on each other’s laps. There’s something about Beacham that reeks of… “Jesus… if only you knew some of the things I’ve got up to in the past… you’d all have to pick your jaws up from the floor…

So while CBB7 is far from brilliant television, it’s not been a chore to watch this year and that’s the way it ought to be. The franchise is bowing out with not so much a whimper, but rather, a handshake.

About the author

I'm Mof Gimmers.

I've been writing about TV for a long time. I love it and loathe it in equal measures. I'm pretty sure the TV feels the same away about me too.
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