Big Brother Eight - Week One
Despite the planned eviction being cancelled, the first week (or so) of BB8 has seen the usual early drop-outs. Least predictable of the two was Emilys eviction after dim-wittedly addressing the vile Charley as "you nigger" in what we can only presume was an ill-concieved, "ironic" address or more likely a catastrophically unfortunate slip of the tongue. I think she probably moves in circles of posh teenagers who take horsey glee in bandying about swear words and speak in Nathan Barley-esque gangster lingo, rather than is actually racist deep down, despite "tabloid revelations" to the effect that she had a snowball fight on a school trip to Auschwitz so she MUST HATE JEWS TOO, THE BIG RACIST.
Channel 4, I suppose, had no real choice in the matter, but it's a shame because Emily was turning into a decent enough housemate. She was prissy enough to get into a few scraps, but intelligent enough to make sure she had a reliable footing before doing so. It's ever-so-annoying watching all these girls have tantrums because someone TOUCHED THEIR EAR AND THEN TOUCHED THE TAPS HOW AM I GONNA BRUSH MY TEETH WITHOUT GETTING A VERUCCA ON MY TEETH every year. The peeing in the shower debate has become an annual phenomenon, with nobody having yet bothered to state the most obvious point, which is that everyone pisses in the shower cos you're in the fucking shower and it's probably the cleanest way to piss ever, for gods sake, as long as you aim the shower head at the tiles to get rid of any splash. The unlucky person to be spotted doing it this year was Sue Perkins In Thirty Years, Lesley. Lesley was starting to bore the balls off me with her snotty attitude, much of which seemed to rest on the belief that she was really funny. She wasn't really funny. I had to buy a new TV set because I punched through my TV set in sheer fury when Lesley, at a house meeting, claimed the role of resident post-modern-ironist. What's post modern or ironic about wearing the most unflattering trousers ever, and being a bossy old mare? Is there a punchline that I am missing? Since walking out of the house, Lesley has continued her self delusion with claims that she "could have won". Not in those trousers, fatarse!
Lesleys incessant giving of sagely advice did yield one or two good points - she applaudably berated her fellow contestants who intended on using their stay in BB to springboard them into a media career for doing fuck-all to convince viewers that they were a capable entertainer. Earlier series, less jaded by contestants desperation for celebrity, featured genuinely entertaining housemates, buoyed by their situation into providing excellent TV. This lot just sit on their fucking arse all the time. It's teeeeeeedious. Especially whenever Shabnam opens her fat fucking gob. While everyone exudes self-congratulatory zeal in their entrance videos ("I'm the WACKIEST PERSON IN BOURNEMOUTH!" etc), nobody seems to have told Shabnam that the camera has stopped rolling on hers. She insists on repeating to anyone who listens that she's a "wacky", "exuberant", "interesting", "intelligent" person, breaking concentration only for long enough to prove that she is none of the above by having another bloody strop about leaving the house, or exhibiting a supremely awful judge of character by befriending Charley, the most easy to despise of this years crop.
Charley was at her most vile during a task which saw the new male housemate Ziggy sharing one course of his eleven course dinner with a different female housemate. It looked like he was eating Bernard Matthews ham on granary bread with asparagus on it at one point, which doesn't sound very nice at all. If I was promised an eleven course meal and the last course was an after eight I'd boot off, too. That's a rubbish final course, and you'd be waiting for something really good, like a chocolate cake with a drawing on it, or an epic cheeseboard. Ziggy used to be in a boyband called Northern Line, who I basically remember, which surely in some quantifiable way makes him famouser than some of the Celebrity contestants. He exhibits a trait which I find particularly irritating and which he quickly infected the rest of the house with - that they can con the public and hide their true opinions by "thinking outloud" and forcing certain conversational topics, and that if you can justify your actions in a way that sounds a bit like something a "self help guru" might say in a magazine then your behaviour can't be flawed. Everyone's so busy declaring themselves to be moral protectors of the group because they "don't raise their voice", because they "just speak their mind", that the only moral imperative they should be observing - some kind of consideration for people other than themselves - has gone right out the window. The younger housemates are so coached in ridiculous, meaningless mantras that they seem to be unable to question their own behaviour in any way. Any argument just consists of each party repeating "yeah, but, what I'm saying is..." at an increased volume until one of them runs away crying. Ziggys entry wasn't as interesting as it should have been, probably because Ziggy has a vagina, so nothing really changed. He's indulged in just as much stagey, self-promoting "small-talk", alliance-building, two-faced skullduggery and ceaseless false compliments as all of the girls, aswell as inevitably going for the first available romance after lingering just long enough to decide which coupling would garner the most public support. It's almost as if he's been groomed by Heat magazine. Ziggy and Chanelle exhibit as much chemistry or believable attraction as a chair does to a potato that's too far away to even see. It might not even be a real potato, it might just be a made up potato for the sake of argument. The whole coupling was so obvious that Ziggy revealing his attraction over the final course was thuddingly dull and perfunctory, as was her reaction.
Despite an obvious lack of interest on Ziggys part, the repugnant Charley chose to retell the story of their course together as if it had been a smouldering, flirtatious romp. It in fact resembled some embarassed christians at an improv class trying to do "sexy", except only one of thems trying to do sexy, and the other one used to be in a boyband and he's kind of drunk and he's wondering how long he can carry on being nice to these tedious slags before his mask slips. Probably quite a long time - even Ziggy telling people about his religion sounded like a speech he's had prepared in his head for weeks. Whether or not Ziggy turns out to be an interesting housemate depends on whether or not he stays long enough to run out of prepared speeches that'll make girls vote for him.
So basically Emily, Chanelle, Ziggy, Shabnam, Charley and Lesley have so far not done anything apart from be intermittently twatty and very boring. Who else is there? Sam and Amanda, the twins. Deprived of external stimulus, these two have calmed to a tolerable level, but have still yet to offer anything of worth to the programme. Carole, the mad lefty hag, believes herself to be something of a mother hen, but is more tolerated than anything else. Laura, the plus-size nanny. She's a dick, that one. Hopefully her ranting about food rations (again, because she was merely "being herself" and "speaking her mind", Laura was ignorant of the possibility that her wolfing down cheese like there was no tomorrow and stocking up on seconds before her housemates had eaten might not be the best idea given the limited food supply) will see her early lead in the polls slip. Nicky, the unstable adopted asian catholic, has proved relatively sane, although I'm convinced there lurks a killer inside her. If someone from the future asked me which housemate I thought would be the one to just snap and go on a mad rampage with a knife, I'd say Nicky. There's something gone behind her eyes, like she doesn't see the point of life. Tracey, played this week by Popeye from TV's "Popeye" cartoon, has been an unpredictable beacon of common sense - could Big Brother be won two years in a row by someone who looks like they follow The Levellers on tour and have a dog on the end of some blue string? Unless the slow trickle of male housemates brings forth someone a bit fucking interesting, you can count me amongst those who hope Tracey walks it, if only for telling the room full of people who are always battering on about how thoughtful they are to stop singing their heads off in the bedroom in the middle of the night. It was one of the few points this week where the Big Brother house has shown signs of containing rational human life, rather than a group of dull and weird overgrown braindead children pleading to be liked.
Next time - there's more chaps in the house, and some other stuff happens.