Say the words ‘reality TV’ and the show that comes into most people’s minds is Big Brother. Love it or hate it, there have been versions ( 版本) in more than seventy countries! The basic format is simple: put a group of strangers into a house, record everything they do and watch how they manage to live together.
Actually the idea wasn’t original. A similar show, The Real World, was broadcast in 1992 on MTV. But the format really became popular with the success of Big Brother, and it has been copied again and again, including celebrity versions. In similar shows, contestants ( 参赛选手) have been sent to the jungle or a desert island. In Wife Swap a mother goes to live with a family of strangers and tries to manage their homes; in Young, Dumb and Living off Mum a group of spoilt ( 宠坏的) teenagers with no life skills learn to live together and look after themselves.
So what makes these shows so attractive? Actually, living with strangers is stressful and also personality problems are common. Contestants often have to share tasks and housework and this also brings conflict. “It’s all about relationships,” says TV critic ( 批评家) Jo Barnett. “Some characters are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but they are all real people.”
But is it healthy to be so interested in other people’s private lives? And what kind of people want to appear in front of TV cameras twenty-four hours a day? Not everyone was in favour of such shows, including the first ever winner of Big Brother, Bart Spring. “I’m not a fan of the programme or of people becoming famous for being stupid.” he says.
63．Big brother is a TV show which has versions in over 70 countries, isn’t it?
64．Which of the following words has the same meaning as “original” (Para. 2) ?
A．narrow B．creative C．powerful D．favourite
65．What life skills can the spoilt teenagers learn in Young, Dumb and Living off Mum?
66．How is the life of the contestants living with strangers?
67．What does TV critic Jo Barnett think of the characters in these shows?
68．Do you like to take part in this kind of activity? Add your reason(s) .
63．Yes, it is. / Yes.
65．To live together and look after themselves. / Living together and looking after themselves. /They can learn to live together and look after themselves.
66．Stressful and with a lot of personality problems. / Stressful and personality problems are common.
67．Some characters are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but they are all real people./ They are all real people and just show their ways of life.
68．Yes. Because it’s fun. / Yes. I can make more friends and learn a lot from them. / Yes. I can learn to be independent. / No. It’s stupid to appear in front of TV cameras. / No. I don’t want to involve in others’ private lives.