As you have no doubt heard Big Brother is shutting up shop and ending it's eight year run (on Network Ten, at least) this coming Monday. I was a huge fan of the much maligned series' first few seasons where it was oddly fascinating and scarily addictive. I think, however, that once the show disappears from the television (until somebody somewhere reactivates it, which you know they will) it won't be the outrageous incidents ("turkeyslapping", "the bum dance", "free the [sic] refugees" etc) it will be (along with aforementioned "game on, mole!") the fact that somehow Australians ended up loving some fairly out there people. And Gretel. Always Gretel.
Sure, the main problem the series had was that - apart from Reggie in season three - the winners were always the bland daftly decent looking guy. But there's also the fact that viewers embraced the sweet-natured Chrissie Swan, or the flamboyant Zach Douglas, or the lovable loudmouth Camilla Severi, or the original Sara-Marie and so on. It was actually quite nice to see the likes of Zach, an intruder, reach the runner up position with his tanned skin, scary hair and feminine dress sense.
Then, of course, there is the greatest contestant ever (perhaps even in the world), and that would be Vesna Toveska. She came third in season five. The same Vesna who was an intruder and who openly spoke about her vaginal hygiene, routinely fought and screamed at housemates and who was as brash as you can be on national tele. I remember watching Big Brother Uplate (yes, the show where they stream live from the house during the night, yikes) and watching live as Vesna had a complete breakdown as a result of a challenge. It was captivating for reasons that I'm sure I should be ashamed of. Vesna was solid gold. I'd watch a Vesna-centric reality show for sure. More than, oh I dunno, Living Lohan!
The series lost its way in the last few seasons with the current season eight - as little of it that I have watched - being dreadfully poor. A lot of that, along with a good reason as to why the ratings dropped off so significantly, surely has to do with the absence of Gretel Killeen who was a mecca in the land of boring and inept television hosts and contestants. I loved watching her perpetual "kids these days!" looks. It was like poetry as she openly mocked the idiotic contestants and they were too stupid to realise because all they wanted was a shiny new car. I really wish Killeen would get back in front of the cameras. Or perhaps writing for TV or even cinema.
And so I bid farewell to Big Brother. You were classic there for a while, much like that other passed-it's-used-by-date reality program Australian Idol, but you lost your way. But we'll always have Vesna's snatch (clip below is obviously NSFW).
"So your concerned about the exposure."
"Of my snatch."