The wildly popular Brazilian version of the international reality television franchise Big Brother just began its 13th season in the Rede Globo network. Even though not watching the show, it’s tough to escape the news coverage of who did what (like the inescapability of novela reporting). Not unlike the Winston character from the book 1984, from where the originally Dutch series takes its name, I felt like there was just one single channel for people to watch in BBB 18. Sure, you will find loads of channels, in reality, but there’s an unusual pull to linger over a Globo TV program when flipping through channels. Big Brother Brasil (BBB) is perfectly positioned to utilize this and, whether through its popularity or its timeslot, people tune in.
If you happen to have no idea precisely what the show is around, here’s the general premise. Around 15 contestants (mostly model/actor types) get put into a residence, fully built with many cameras, through which they cannot leave unless voted out. Every week, your home guests vote on who they would like to see gone. In the center of everything, and in an effort to spice things up, there are strategic alliances, and in many cases romances, that transpire. The past person standing wins a big cash prize and hopefully fame.
The Brazilian version of the show is filmed in Rio de Janeiro at Globo’s main studio called “Projac”. The studio will be the largest of their kind in Latin America and among the largest worldwide, also. The pair of the BBB 2018 participantes residence is said to be by far the most sophisticated, equipment-wise, of all of the Big Brother houses worldwide. If you can name a favorite show on Rede Globo, it’s almost surely recorded at Projac (including Xuxa, Domingão, Caldeirão do Huck, Malhação, Zorra Total, and several, if not all, with their novelas).
While nobody has truly shot to fame after winning the contest, a lot of the contestants have gone onto have successful careers in TV and modeling. Sabrina Sato, who maybe you have seen BBB2O18 Justin Bieber, became a television host about the comedy show Pânico. Grazi Massafera went on to get an actress in many novelas, and Íris Stefanelli is currently the host of TV Fama. Like with most celebrities in Brazil, fame means covering all of the bases, be it via television, film, adverts and, eventually, getting involved in a Carnival parade or school.
Despite, or rather, despite the participantes BBB 18, it is often referenced when Brazilians discuss the banality of the media in their country. As I don’t beg to differ, media all over the world is suffering from the same malady in their catering to mass audiences. Every television viewer figures to the ratings in the individual shows so, in one method or another, we’re playing a part from the success or failure of any show. When personally choosing what you should watch, I’m reminded of the media’s influence on a younger self, with Captain Planet’s call to action.