Bigg Boss 5: The Apparently Real Life of the “REEL- ITIES”

The recent entry of Swami Agnivesh surely caught many by surprise and instantly gave birth to many questions and queries regarding “Big Boss Season 5”. What began 5 years back as an Indian Celebrity reality show inspired from the American Show Big Brother has; always been successful in surprising the Indian audience with its format. However, Season 5 has broken down all the clichés and is striving hard to add on that appealing twist almost every minute.

This season in the midst of speculations began with an all girls’ Bigg Boss house with only one man Shakti Kapoor trying hard to maintain his ground. However, the scene transformed quite soon and new men were added into the ark which thus, triggered the “entertainment” factor related to the show. Nevertheless, in the present context there were certain factors that caught my eyes. The show follows the format of dumping Celebrities into a house and thereby locking them up for 3 months, shutting them from the outside world.

The idea of season 5 based on girl power presented a slight alteration in the already established format. However, the idea of locking females into a house full of cameras and thereby allowing only one man to be a part of the gang presents quite an interesting voyeuristic tendency. While, television since its inception has always remained a neutral medium but of course with the advent of the postmodern generation the idea of television has altered to a great extent. Catching up a daily dose of celebrity females in their everyday lives performing their routine tasks within the highly colourful ambience of the Big Boss house is nothing less than peeping into a “her” life through the hidden cameras.

While, the highly chivalrous voice of the unknown Big Boss in the midst of everything reminds us of the wizard from the “Wizard of Oz”. Everyone is fascinated by this character and strives hard to meet him but, unfortunately he is just the voice. Season 5 resembles the structure of an experiment and presents multiple answers to the question of male: female quotient and of course successfully demonstrates how adverse situations can alter behaviours, mannerism
and even can push an individual out of his/her normal individuality.

A perfect example of this is of course contestant Pooja Mishra. She might not have wanted the world to see her bad side. However the game format pushed her to dawn the villain hat and thereby create unnecessary problems for the others. Then again, we do not of course know for sure whether the contestants are asked to perform in front of the camera laden house and bring out their real self within the reel- reality show structure. What amazes me is the effect of the camera…when one catches up with the show daily not for once can they complain that the aesthetics of television or camera has got distorted along the time.

There is a sheer sense of perfectness in everything that one see but, this sort of an aesthetic achievement is not even possible when it comes to watching a documentary. Then the question is how come reality TV is so perfect and value loaded? In other words how is the same so “Reel”?An entire gamut of reality TV has in recent times gained prominence and has caught eyes too but, the only reason by Big Boss 5 stands out of the league and even presents an entirely new dimension to the idea of the previous Big Boss shows.

The contestant selections and of course roping in personalities like Swami Agnivesh has demonstrated a certain shift. While the previous season can be credited for the inception of these shifts but, the idea rose to prominence in a more profound way in the present season.

Anurima Das