Monday, January 24, 2005

Denis Latin on Big Brother Croatia

There is first time for everything. Tonight Croatian state television had the very first talk show solely dedicated to the show belonging to rival TV station. Latinica, popular show hosted by Denis Latin, dealt with Big Brother, which had been aired on RTL Televizija.

Of course, this isn't the first time Denis Latin dealt with television programme not belonging to his employer. In late 1990s Latin and Latinica have defected from HRT to TV Mreža (TV Mreza), network of local stations which was supposed to be transformed into first privately-owned national TV station. He made a series of shows, and one of them dealt with HRT 3 – third national channel which was supposed to be privatised. Latinica did a hatchet job on HRT 3, trying to prove that state-run HRT could do well without it and that the frequency should be given to commercial station. Although Latin enjoys quite a reputation as a brave journalist, that show was one of the darker chapters in his career. Thankfully for him, TV Mreža, financed by Croatian tycoons connected with Tujman's regime, went down into oblivion and Latin returned to HRT shortly afterwards.

However, while most people forgot that episode, I didn't. So I was anxious to see whether the history will repeat itself and whether Big Brother Croatia will be savaged.

Latin didn't do this, at least not as explicitly as I feared. He brought the usual set of celebrities and public personalities traditionally divided into "pro" and "contra" camp. The former included Dnevnik journalist, composer of Big Brother theme song and Mario Kovač (Mario Kovac), one of show's story editors. They were accompanied with Iva Carić (Iva Caric), described as best friend of Zdravko Lamot. That young lady talked a little bit in the beginning and tried to say something in the end, but I doubt that many will remember her participation. "Contra" camp was represented by university professor from Zadar, Catholic theologian and Massimo Savić (Massimo Savic), pop singer who attacked the show for the lack of "artistic skills" among participants.

In the debate itself "pro" camp generally managed not only to stand its ground but to score some major points against "contra" camp. However, accompanying TV footage was mostly anti-Big Brother. The most disturbing were images from Samobor few weeks ago, recorded when Saša Tkalčević (Sasa Tkalcevic) and Zdravko Lamot tried to give autographs in local shopping malls. The mall was literally besieged with hundreds of children and young teenagers leading to a panic among mall executives and security personal – they all looked concerned over more than real possibility of catastrophic stampede.

Scenes like that are the reason why even the biggest fans feel comfortable about show being over.


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