Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Big Brother Croatia Update: Orwellian Mission

Today's TV daily summary was another opportunity for some of the show's fans to remind themselves of its origin – George Orwell's novel 1984. Judging by the way they handled last night's events, it is very likely that the novel's protagonist Winston Smith would feel at home in Big Brother Croatia production offices. He would have seen very few differences between the team that delivers TV daily summary and Ministry of Truth. Slogans like "War Is Peace", "Freedom Is Slavery" and "Ignorance Is Power" might have been replaced with "Alen and Marina are match made in heaven", but the principles upon those two institutions operate are the same.

Of course, only those who follow Big Brother events on Internet livestream can come to this conclusion. Those use TV daily summary as the only source of information are probably going to receive a nasty shock after the end of the show and when it becomes obvious that at least two of the housemates aren't as close as RTL Televizija portrayed them to be.

Last night's drama was, for example, reduced to merely 10 minutes. Careful and manipulative editing showed Alen getting in bad mood, Marina raising her voice and later Marina trying to make up with him, with the last images suggesting that the crisis is only temporary and that two of them are going back to their lovey-dovey routine any minute. Of course, there weren't any mention of Alen and Marina spending at least an hour and half in Confessions Room, other housemates expressing concern over possibility of Alen leaving the House voluntarily, Marina complaining to Saša (Sasa) and Zdravko that she had told Alen twice that he won't be anything more than a friend to her, Saša and Zdravko praising her patience and good will. Of course, there wasn't any room for the image that was supposed to symbolise the present state of their "relationship" – Marina, alone in the House, literally singing from joy while Alen standing outside in backyard and watching the walls with tearful eyes.

RTL Televizija simply refuses to air those sounds and images for one simple reason. With number of housemates reduced to four and with the events lacking and drama and unpredictability, there is very little RTL Televizija can show what hasn't been shown before in one way or the other. The only way to keep ratings and interest in the show is to titillate audience with something that can't be aired or, to be more precisely, can be witnessed only via Internet or by special "Big Ear" phone line. That something, of course, is an explicit sexual activity between two contestants. And this is most likely to occur if there is something like full-blown romance in the House. Most of those who take their information about "relationship" in TV daily summary are likely to believe that Alen and Marina will ultimately "do something" in House and, in an effort to witness that glorious event, spend hours in front of computer monitors or listening to Big Ear. Of course, T-Com, show's main sponsor is likely to profit from such curiosity, perhaps even more than from the show's final phone vote. By the time it becomes apparent that there isn't any romance and there won't be any sex, the aim of the Orwellian mission will be accomplished.


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