Big Brother is the only such “unreality” type show I’ve ever got into, and every year it has me hooked. This week one of the housemates in the UK house, Cameron, has swapped places with one from the Big Brother Africa house. With the travellers’ fellow housemates not knowing until the new arrivals turned up.
This is amazing stuff, really. It’s as if a load of science fiction authors all announced their novels actually happened in the same universe and all their plots and characters began intertwining. It’s so much less random than previous years’ gimmick of introducing an apparently random new housemate to shake things up. It can’t be long until the first truly global (but, presumably, English language) Big Brother.
While fun to watch, the event is a massive upset for people who have practically forgotten there’s an outside world. When Cameron left the house his fellow housemates assumed he was being held in solitary confinement in the “reward room” (a treat-filled room unlocked once a week for those who complete an assigned task) for 24 hours as some kind of challenge. This room is as “outside” a location as they can imagine right now. It was amazing to watch first the disbelief on Cameron’s face as his journey dawned on him, and then the shock of the others as they reimagined their little worlds after this upset.
The outside world’s become a scary place after weeks of comfortable isolation. One of the most touching things I’ve seen in some time was Cameron, waiting alone in the house’s temporary “departure lounge,” using the courtesy phone to ask Big Brother to let his family know he loves them, should anything happen to him.