30
Jun 05

This Ordeal

Do You SeePost a comment • 218 views

OK, first of all, I was completely wrong about Big Brother this year. It is horrible, but also fascinating, and an amazing piece of collaborative theatre – directors and cast trying to pull it each into a different rhythm, all of them very aware of the interlocking plates of short-term gain, long-term strategy, what the public want to see and how the last few series went. (Some of them of course are wrong.)

Tonight’s incident with Kemal interrupting Maxwell and Saskia’s petting was written up as devastating banter from the house’s Queen Bitch. It was a lot less pleasant to watch, though I was still entirely on Kemal’s side and thought he handled it pretty well. As Dr Alex commented to me earlier this series, Big Brother is a scarily accurate representation of life in a boarding school, and this particular episode more than most.

There were plenty of times I was kept awake at school by people kissing and fumbling: it’s a really disturbing, creepy feeling being in the next door bed, particularly if the ones doing it aren’t your favourite individuals anyway. There were several occasions when I’d have loved to say something and stop it, let alone something as catty as what Kemal managed. Of course I never did. So I was cheering Kemal on. Saying something in those situations leaves you horribly exposed – paintable as a prude, as jealous, as a pervert listening in – and even though Kemal fumbled his lines the lines themselves were gold. He gets my vote, if it comes to that.

(It’s also worth pointing out – as usual with Big Brother – that it’s very hard to imagine that kind of scene ever being scripted in a drama, or turning out so visceral.)

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