So tonight, I’m watching, via YouTube, the Big Brother UK highlights show that aired tonight on the UK’s Channel 5.
Right now, the game is crossing the two month mark, and currently they have eight housemates left. The cast is divided into two sects: Luke A., Deana, Sara, and Adam on one side, with Scott probably the most neutral of the group, with Luke S., Becky, Ashleigh, and Conor on the other side.
Instead of the housemates each naming two nominees, they did something very interesting: they allowed friends and family of each housemate to cast on their behalf, without any kind of conference with their representatives in the house. This allowed some information to spill out that housemates didn’t know about, and it increased the tension in the house ten-fold. It also meant in a few instances that the family members voted to nominate housemates that those in the house believed to be friends of theirs. For instance, Sara’s mother nominated Scott for one of her two votes, calling him a rapscallion, even though Sara and Scott are friends.
Big Brother producers here in the US, take note. You don’t need muscle bound men and women with fake body parts to create drama. You don’t need actors and actresses, nor do you need twists every fan who has followed the show for a while can figure out immediately.
All it takes is a bit of ingenuity.
Probably doesn’t hurt that the UK version can use several of those seven dirty words that US TV still forbids, either.