This year Big Brother rolled out its uber-trashy all-seeing televisual eyes amidst a welter of warnings – ‘kiss goodbye to your summer’ cried everyone from Heat magazine to BB’s own increasingly cartoonish Davina McCall. There’s a grain of truth in that, at least for those of us who can’t be bothered putting up an impenetrable, culturally cool acceptable front… in fact half of us round these parts of the office are already discussing Shahbaz every morning, like the bunch of gossiping old fishwives we really are.
The real-time nature of BB, and the fact that it generates those ‘water-cooler’ conversations (you know, the sort all the media journalists were going on about a few years ago), well it makes me think. There’s all this buzz online about iTunes selling episodes of Lost (another of our favourites, especially now the plot seems to revolve around people sitting in a room doing inexplicable things with computers) and the new plan to sell 24 (yeah, we love Bauer too) on myspace.
But this narrowcasting approach, treating TV shows like music, seems a little foolish – TV is completely different, and nowhere near the solitary experience the naysayers wibble on about. In fact, I think it’s the most social of modern media. Discussion of last night’s crop of big shows is a vital office bonding experience… Daz got quite annoyed with me because I missed Lost the other week, and fair enough, I was a bit miffed myself. Not because I missed it, but because we all need a bit of fuel for talking outside of the world of SQL queries and web form design. OK, and because I missed it.
Hey, if you can’t gossip openly about your colleagues, at least you can gossip openly about the people on TV – and to do that you need to be tuning in as it happens, in synch. Now where’s my copy of Heat?