Amy Stern (bigbrotherreads) wrote,
Amy Stern
bigbrotherreads

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Like so many reality TV veterans before me, I had become a victim of editing.

So someone sent me a link to this Defamer article. I think it would be interesting whether or not you're a fan of the genre, but then, I'm kind of biased on this one.

The basic gimmick was, CBS invited eight journalists into the house to enact a full week of BB in a day. It was a cheap publicity stunt that also enabled them to get a handle on the cameras, and it was effective, getting more publicity than the premiere of Big Brother has any right to. I'd read several articles about the actual day (unless they do this every year, in which case I've read several articles about the days), but this is the first one which actively draws attention to the nature of editing and performativity:

Those introductions and the initial flurry of ridiculously-costumed competitions carried us until nearly halfway through the day, and it's at that point that the most insidious element of reality TV—the allure of the cameras—sunk its tenterhooks into us. The stakes for the day were awfully low (only one person would be voted out, and it would happen just before we all left), yet we began to conspire like they were all-important. In a house that lacked a deck of cards, television, or music, playing the camera game was the sole entertainment, and the only way you could win was to give those whirring, wall-set cameras a reason to follow you. It didn't matter that all we would eventually get for our troubles was a fifteen-minute, cut-together "episode" of our day. The battle to be the untelevised breakout star was on.


Also, I can tell you exactly what season this one is from, based on recognizing the decorations of the house in the publicity stills in that article. Do you have any idea how many good things my brain could be accomplishing if it weren't filled with this kind of useless trivia? 96% of the time I'm incredibly defensive at the idea that reality programming is a "waste" of my time, and the other 4% I'm left wondering if my love of Big Brother is the only thing standing between the planet and a solution to the world hunger problem.
Tags: defamer, reality: performativity
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