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"Real World" Minus the Sex and Depravity

By Michael Murray | TV Reviews | July 17, 2009 | Comments ()



Laura, like all the others who surround her on the show, feels persecuted by her peers, not because of her negative qualities, but because of her good ones. You see, people hate her because she's beautiful, she says, asking if it's her fault she has huge boobs. Well, since she went out and got the implants, I guess it sort of was her fault.

Of course, we watch "Big Brother" because it's such a hideous spectacle. What we see are a bunch of bad actors, each one trying on the role of sycophant or bully in an attempt to manipulate their peers and further their own petty interests. If we were actually watching people living in unguarded moments, that would be one thing, but what we see is artificial, designed for an audience, that at heart, want simplicity. The characters we get, each one either lacking or trying to conceal an interior, are caricatures. Existing as ridiculous amplifications of their own unmediated impulses, the House Guests stage a kind of modern opera, only with hot tubs instead of arias, and we, the judging public, as their chorus.

Michael Murray is a freelance writer. For the last three and a half years he's written a weekly column for the Ottawa Citizen about watching television. He presently lives in Toronto. You can find more of his musings on his blog, or check out his Facebook page.



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