Big Brother: The old vs. the new
Hit and miss

Big Brother: The old vs. the new

6 November 2012 | 7:30 am

Is it really possible to make a success out of a show that was well past its use-by date just by changing channels?

Channel Nine seems to think so. But after months of promising a fresh beginning for Big Brother, has Channel Nine delivered on its promises, or are they just flogging a dead horse?

Big Brother Channel Ten (the old)

In the beginning, there was Big Brother series one. When Big Brother started on Channel Ten, the public was genuinely intrigued by the concept. Reality television was in its infancy and most of us were fascinated. Who would choose to put themselves in that position? How could they psychologically survive? We were drawn in to the drama of it all, got to know the characters and definite favourites emerged.

When Ben won the series and Blair came a close second, most of us felt it was well-deserved. And who could forget Regina (Reggie) Bird, Big Brother winner 2003? The fish and chip shop-owning Tasmanian had the whole country on her side when she won the coveted cash prize – even those of us who claimed to not watch the show.

But after a successful entry, the show slowly slid into the gutter, relying on sordid turkey-slapping scenarios to grasp at ratings. Could Big Brother go any lower? Cue controversial duo Kyle and Jackie O. They got there just in time to hammer the final nail into the Big Brother coffin.

Big Brother Channel Nine (the new)

Months of promising a new take on the Big Brother concept had me a little curious at first, and Sonia Kruger is far more palatable than Kyle and Jackie O. But after watching snippets from the first few episodes, it was clear that Big Brother 2012 was no phoenix rising.

The personalities are the same – although more contrived and attention seeking. The bitchiness is the same. The completely boring, vacuous viewing is the same. I feel insulted! A 2012 television-watching public is jaded and knows that reality programs are just cheap television, and the ratings reflect this.

The verdict

Keep Big Brother where it well and truly belongs: in the past. Instead of rolling out concepts that no longer work, draw on the wealth of Australian creative talent to bring new ideas to fruition.

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