Big Brother

OP ED: The Big Brother reboot has never felt further from the original series and this season’s love story proves it

The death of real reality love.

By Maddison Hockey
Reality television has evolved drastically over the past two decades.
Thinking back to the purity of talent shows like Australian Idol shining a light on rising stars or the wholesomeness of Big Brother where everyday people formed life-long bonds, seems so far removed from what's on our screens today.
These days we have celebrities jumping out of planes and strangers marrying, cheating and throwing wine on each other. It's as though reality TV is one aspect of the modern world Darwinism doesn't quite apply to.
Host Sonia Kruger remains, but so much has changed. (Channel Seven)
One of Australia's most reincarnated reality shows, Big Brother, is the perfect example of said evolution: consistently upping the ante to compete for ratings. And we can't help but feel that in the process it's lost the essence of what the show was really intended to be.
This week, as fans watched intruder Brenton Balicki be evicted from the house, the contrast between the OG Big Brother and 2021's revived format became glaringly stark.
Why? Because the primary reason cited by housemates for wanting the 31-year-old gone was his budding romance with Christina Podolyan.
Last year's coupling of Sophie Budack and Chad Hurst ultimately led to the duo making it to the show's finale before the Sydney-based model won the grand prize. So, when Christina and Brenton began falling for one another their relationship posed the biggest threat to everyone else's game.
Love was quashed in the house thanks to game play and strategy. (Channel Seven)
In the glory days of Big Brother viewers tuned in to watch genuine connections between housemates – romantic or otherwise – blossom. The show is meant to be a social experiment, after all.
But, these days, the social aspect has given way to tactic and strength games.
Ask any die-hard Big Brother fan about the moments that have really stuck with from the original series and they're likely to site romances like Tully & Drew or Cat & Lawson.
And who could forget Jess & Marty's TV wedding or Pete & Christina's "dancing doona" moment?
Lawson cheated on his girlfriend who was waiting outside the house after falling for fellow housemate, Cat. (Supplied)
Sure, we could tune in to actual dating shows to watch two people fall in love, but watching staged dates and forced romance will never compete with two people falling for one another in a setting that wasn't designed for it to happen.
It isn't just the romance aspect that's been lost, there were the menial day-to-day chats, parties, bum dances and heartfelt confessions that actually reflected the parameters of a social experiment.
Maybe it's nostalgia talking, maybe it's fatigue with the over dramatisation and scandal that comes with reality TV now, but it feels as though, despite being an all-seeing entity, Big Brother has lost sight of its roots.