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‘Big Brother’: So awful, yet so addictive

(Posted July 26, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

One morning a few years ago, I found myself watching people sleep. One was snoring. The others were barely moving. I was entranced. And embarrassed.

They were in a trailer in the parking lot of CBS Studio City. I was in Chicago, watching via the Internet. The people were “houseguests” inside the southern California “Big Brother” compound. Inside the camera-covered studio/house, where they agreed to live until they were voted off the reality TV show, the contestants ate, slept, talked, and occasionally participated in challenges. They were competing for $500,000, but by watching them all day, it’d have been nearly impossible to tell that they were anything more than the world’s dullest individuals.

Yet they were the stars of a show that aired three times per week on network television, one that has managed to survive for five years, despite its festering flaws. And it is most certainly flawed.

“Big Brother” is not CBS’ most popular reality show, but arguably it has the most devoted reality TV audience, one that obsesses over it literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for three full months. Perhaps more than any other reality series, “Big Brother” engenders a love-hate relationship with its fans, as it manages to be provoking, entertaining, insufferable, and hateful all at once.

Source: MSNBC

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