“The Golden Cage,” as Big Brother was originally called, was originally hatched by John De Mol, Bart and Paul Romer. The idea had stemmed from a 1991 experiment shot in the Arizona desert: “Biosphere 2.”
In “Biosphere 2,” 8 men and women lived together in an air-tight glass and steel geodesic dome that tried to replicate Earth’s environment.
Orwell’s descendants sued, how about that? The payment was never revealed.
Upon the show’s original announcement, an ethical debate arose. Could such a show be decent and in good taste? What about showering and the toilet? What if participation caused mental damage? (The latter question arose after Sweden’s “Expedition Robinson” show aired: the first contestant voted off actually suicided. His family blamed the public, claiming he felt rejected and unpopular.
Not everyone had a negative opinion, of course. A professor of clinical psychology thought the show could actually produce insights not possible to achieve any more in socio-psychological research because the psychological well-being of the participants had been given greater importance. A psychophysiologist actually said that the show was “a wet dream of a psychological researcher. Nowhere in the world an ethical commission will be found that would agree to such a design,” A. Gaillard of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research.
In the UK, BB was marketed as a ‘social documentary offering the audience to get ‘pore close’ to the experimental subjects: in the USA, participants have described the show as ‘an experiment in human behavior and strategic planning.” Viewers in one study felt that ‘watching and commenting on Big Brother tells us a lot about ourselves: how we judge people, what our values are in relationships. How we interact with others and how we would handle relationship dilemmas if put in a similar situation.” (History of Participatory Media: Politics and Publics, 1750-2000.)
The Aussies continually stress the experimental nature of the show: I have watched season after season, and heard that sentiment many times. Many USA viewers will agree that the show is indeed a social experiment, evidenced by the ‘live feeds’ on the Internet that only Big Brother provides.
|Bored? Here are my favorite clicks from TheBoredButton.com|
Beware... some of these will keep you busy for hours!
|#BBOTT Finale, Last Moments|
#BBOTT Last Moments: Pride For the Final Three . #BBWARRIORS All.
|BB OTT: Shane's Eviction Interview|
Joker's speaks with the latest BB OTT evictee, Shane.
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Snake Joke|
Final thoughts on the finale, and out of context quotes
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Social Justice|
The varied meanings of "social game", end of the season awards, and out of context quotes.
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Rodeo Clown|
Tracking James's bizarre Big Brother devolution, and out of context quotes
|Paul's "roommate" analysis of himself and the 15 other Houseguests he's spent the summer with|
Paul gives the lowdown on how shady it is to live with some of the Houseguests
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Revolution|
Showmance hell, reconsidering Paul, and out of context quotes
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Feminism Type Thing|
Paulie's take on feminism and Jersey girls
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Girl Power|
The resurgance of the Spy Girls, and the many complications of America's Care Packages
|Big Brother 18 "To Vic"|
A poem better than Victor's
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Mateship|
James accidentally says too much to Da'Vonne, and Bridgette's Big Brother life without Frank
|BB18 - Meow: Claws will Clash with Class|
Meow: Claws vs. Class
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: It Ain't Me, Babe|
Big Brother interventions, and Bridgette vs. the Mean Girls
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Just Kiddin'|
The comedic stylings of Frank, and Nicole as America's Player
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Growing on Me|
Da'Vonne's second life in the Big Brother house, and the ghost of Battle of the Block
|#BB18: A Thinking Woman's Season|
Sweet little old ladies love BB too! Bigger_Old_Auntee reports in with Jeff, Jozea and Bronte in her basket.
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Mix Up|
The problem with Vets vs. Newbies
|Twas the Night Before BB...|
And all through the house!
|Big Brother 18 House of Mirrors: Scouting Report|
Your guide to the Big Brother 18 cast