Big Brother Mzansi 3 hijacked by marketing

Written by Tashi from the blog Tashi's TV on 24 Jan 2022
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"Housemates can you hear me," 

                                             - Host Lawrence Maleka on Sunday's Big Brother Mzansi 3 premiere trying to be heard after the housemates moved in.

It wouldn't be Big Brother without it now. Technical sound issues at every turn, with voices suddenly quiet then loud. Housemates speaking at the same time with everyone's mics at the same level so you can't hear a word. Cameras focused on one group but the sound focusing on others who aren't in eyesight.

These rampant sound assaults were a big problem during Sunday's premiere but they were tame in comparison with the onslaught of something far more problematic and disappointing.

It's been seven years since we last saw the show in South Africa so I was excited to see something new and fresh but I was crushed by what we got.

It's literally a glorified 71-day advert for the show's advertisers! 

The people who've been cast are clearly supposed to be the "party-people" we'd see in an advert for Johnnie Walker, gambling the night away on Lotto Star.

Throughout their first night in the house they were nameless partying people - just like in an advert.

This is obviously why there's going to be a party every Saturday night and games night on Fridays... I wondered about the Games Night when I saw it listed in the show's line-up. I bet it's going to involve Lotto Star games.

The result: an undiverse cast consisting of a particular "demographic" that the advertisers are targeting, or want to use in order to sell a certain lifestyle.

Instead of being a social experiment that celebrates the rich diversity of South Africa's people, which is what Big Brother should be, everyone on the show is very similar in terms of their vital statistics. 

Age range: 20 to 30. 

Nail and eyelash status: Instagram.

Must be willing to drink alcohol.

And, as pointed out by TVSA member maxernity, the majority are from Johannesburg. Only four of the 18 housemates are from provinces outside of Gauteng.

This is unbelievably unrepresentative of our country and people and ultimately our culture. Big Brother as a TV show is a cultural phenomenon because that's what a TV series is, but turning it into an advert changes that fundamentally.

Where are the people from different cultures? Where is the older person who'll create tension? Where is the nerd who can't fit in? Where's the over-achiever who needs a constant eye roll? Where is the ordinary person who suddenly decided to be on the show on a whim without wanting a long-term career in entertainment?

Which brings me to a difficult subject to talk about because I don't want to be judgy but I have to say it... what does the show say about South African culture?

That we're a people who drink and gamble and should definitely be encouraged to do so, especially on a Friday and Saturday night. Tell that to Cele on a beach!

Look, I often booze myself into a stupour on a Saturday night but I mostly regret it the next day. I come up with reasons as to why I did it and they're usually very legitimate but even so, is this my culture? Is it what I want it to be? My dad was an alcoholic so no.

I wanted Big Brother to be a place to escape to, where I could guffaw, freak out, have a rant about people, take sides and generally have snarky fun with people who love the show - but we've gotten something very different.

All I can do is hope that the housemates who've been cast can overcome the pressure of being in an advert and somehow bring something real to what's supposed to be a reality show.


Users in this post: maxernity

Shows in this post: Big Brother Mzansi

Channels in this post: Mzansi Magic


24 Jan 2022 18:27

Tashi 100% with you on what you saying 

26 Jan 2022 23:41

I would like to ask a few questions about BBMzansi, what is the purpose of the shower hour? And why is it not shown on the 24 hour channel when it happens real time, instead of the edited version on channel 161. Is the edited shower hour done for ratings on 161? If so why is it shown at 22:00 instead of 23:00 cause that seems like an appropriate time to show such content on a "PG channel". It sometimes feel like 24 hour channel is the " PG channel" cause as soon as some nudity appears the camera will quickly move away from the person, and this looks censored/ filterted on channel that is supposed to 18 rated.

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