Monday, 9 June 2008

Thursday 5 June 2008

you’re back big brother
but you haven’t changed at all
you’re still just childish.

And Big Brother has returned for a ninth outing. To be honest, I was on the cusp, yes the veritable cusp of not watching it this year. ‘If there’s another Charlie,’ I vowed, ‘I’m turning it off.’
As it happens, with one or two exceptions, the selection this year is pretty good. I’m rather taken with Luke, the politics student who looks like Stan Laurel and talks like Ashley Peacock. He thinks, poor love, that he looks like Justin Timberlake, but we’ll let that pass.
Someone else who is clearly deluded is Denis from Scotland. Of the BB archetypes (and after nine years I am sure BB are compiling a list of successful and - maybe not so successful -archetypes) Denis is the slightly more sane reincarnation of the Goddess Shabaz, who famously went bonkers in the house, hid all the food and had to be taken away in a madwagon for his own and everyone else’s good.
Denis thinks he looks like a young Tom Cruise.
Grace Dent hit the nail on the head in her own, very readable BB blog on the Channel 4 website when she described Denis’ lookalike as being Chucky from ‘Child’s Play’.
There are the usual social outcasts – who characteristically show more humanity than their housemates – in the form of albino black man Darnell (whom everyone called Daniel or Donald on the first night) and blind Irish transvestite Mikey (I’m loving him!)
There’s also Mario (who looks curiously like Buzz Lightyear) and his girlfriend Lisa (who looks a bit gladiatorial and could no doubt snap any of the men like a twig if she so chose)
My heart sank however when BB announced that there was going to be a secret mission.
I’m bored with secret missions.
Mario (43) has to pretend that he is not with Lisa. He has to pretend that his girlfriend is Stephanie (19), a whining blonde zombie with the personality of a staple-remover.
It would have been more interesting if Mario had had to pretend that he and Luke were a gay couple, but only marginally more interesting.
Let’s face it, secret missions are a little desperate. They are designed to create friction where, in previous series, the interest was in seeing how the friction grew slowly and naturally, occasionally exploding into fury, tears and terrible hair.
Secret missions are dull. They are BB’s Viagra, attempting to inject some excitement into a jaded production team which seriously needs a change of personnel.

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