Celebrity Big Brother Summer 2016 [CBB 18] Discuss the series won by Stephen Bear here.

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Old 26-08-2016, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default I could not Bear Celebrity Big Brother

Views and comments would be appreciated:

It has taken me eighteen series of Celebrity Big Brother to finally want to write a blog post about it, and it is not for good reason. I must say, as a fan of the show from the very beginning – there have been far worse series. In 2007, Celebrity Big Brother was subject to controversy due to the allegations of racist bullying towards Indian actress Shilpa Shetty, which caused outrage across the globe yet proved to be a ratings-success. Since then, the show has moved channels and rebranded itself- whether intentional or not.

Recent series of Celebrity Big Brother never feel complete without the presence of an antagonistic character. This year you could argue there was more than one, but somebody in particular made a distinct art of what an antagonist is. His name is Stephen Bear (though he is typically only referred to by his surname), best known for dating ex-Geordie Shore star Vicki Pattinson (yes, we pretty much have her to blame for this) and starring in other reality TV shows such as Shipwrecked and Ex on the Beach.

I do not especially want to make this blog post all about ‘Bear’ (contrary to the fact that the title of this post contains his name, and I will be talking about him a lot). It seems that Channel 5 are more than content in making this recent series ‘The Bear Show’. Causing his behaviour to divide the Celebrity Big Brother audience, although it can be argued that there is a majority of viewers who fawn over Bear and the ‘entertainment’ he provides – he is odds-on favourite to win and has survived five out of five possible evictions. For me, Bear has been the integral reason for why this series has been so awful.

Bear presented himself in the most bizarre manner on launch night. He walked onto the stage presenting himself with the same prestige Mick Jagger would, greeting Emma Willis with dark sunglasses on and physically taking control of the microphone. He went on to torment most of his other housemates on an almost daily-basis. The beauty of Big Brother is the sociological aspect of watching people in a confined space (I can’t say 24/7 anymore because there is a significant lack of live feed, which made the concept so special to begin with). Especially ‘celebrities’ of whom we would never see in this unique environment. However, as I have already stated, there is a new rule for certain people to feel the need to enforce contrived antics in the name of ‘good TV’. In my opinion, that retracts from the whole nature of Big Brother.

Now, you could argue that the whole situation is fake so it does not really matter, nobody is being themselves, etc. However, there are harmless and harmful interpretations of ‘playing up to the camera’. Although antagonists are a component to the franchise, it is rare to watch a housemate like Bear feel the need to make his housemates time a living hell in the most aggressive and passive-aggressive ways possible. Yes, what you see of him purposefully wasting coffee and smashing eggs in the garden can be seen as quite inoffensive, but these actions are all complicit in a far more serious issue – bullying.

Bear is a bully. B-U-L-L-Y – bully. He panders to the public by using the lowest form of tactics. There is a perception that the best housemates are the ones who get the most screen-time and cause the most drama. This aggravates me because the production team can intentionally edit people to come across a certain way to the viewers, and there is no live feed to even prove that other housemates are of their worth. As I have previously mentioned, this series has been ‘The Bear Show’. It has been The Bear Show because the producers know that the public are fickle to the most outrageous behaviour, and read into as entertainment. Hailing Bear the Bully as an entertaining character and that all of his actions are well-justified because ‘well, at least he is making good-TV’, ‘it would be boring without him’, etc. No. It would be an entirely different series, without a certain character swallowing up airtime. His appearance on the show is inflicting a dreadful realisation that people will support terrible people, as long they see the amusing side to it and they do not have to suffer themselves.

Bear was lucky to have counterparts in the house. Chloe Khan, Lewis Bloor and Marnie Simpson all enabled his behaviour and stuck up for him where they felt necessary. Heavy D replicated his behaviour because he was similarly antagonistic and knew it was working well for Bear in terms of public perception – it is amusing how it turned out for the former in this situation. Anyway, would Bear have been as accepted had he not been a twenty-something, (apparently) good-looking male? Probably not. Perez Hilton wreaked havoc during his time on the show and was met by pure hatred because of it. Two significant differences there – gay and American. Farrah Abraham was loathed by the Great British public as an antagonistic character, and she just so happens to be female and American. So why does Bear get away with it exactly. Well…

Bear is actually quite smart with what he does. His past with reality TV has made him aware of what the audience want from a reality TV star. He uses his outlandish and bothersome attitude to rile other people up and provoke a reaction from them that, in turn, makes them look bad. He thrives off that the opportunity to then play victim and passive-aggressively ‘apologises’, only to then antagonise them more by clearly showing no remorse by constantly repeating the same method over and over again to the point where people are in tears. According to some viewers that is fun and entertaining. To me, it is gas-lighting and repugnant manipulation. It is unnecessary, and it frightens me to think that a large portion of Celebrity Big Brother-watchers think it is acceptable because it takes place in the constraint of the Big Brother house and is aired on TV for our own satisfaction. Would these people who support Bear, stop someone on the street who was behaving and harassing someone the exact same way? Who knows.

Aubrey and Renee have been two stars in a plot that follows the acceptance and appropriation of bully-like behaviour. Yes, they are not perfect but they have stood up to Bear in times where his emotional and psychological torture has been too much to handle. It astounds me to find posts on social media that refers to the two of them as bullies! Seemingly if you stand up to a bully, that makes you more of a bully than the person in question. Aubrey received grief for spitting in Bear’s food and drink, and rightfully so. However, I could write an argument that what she did, as disgusting as it was, is a one-up in standing up the bully. Renee recently compared Bear to ‘cancer’, which caused a backlash in public support. Nevertheless, I cannot help but agree with the metaphor. These are both isolated incidents. Aubrey, for the most part, has come across as an incredibly intelligent and level-headed woman. Her verbal evisceration on Bear the other day was spot on. She told him all of the things he did not want to hear. ‘Big Brother is the biggest achievement you will have in life’, and it was at the cost of harming other people’s experience to appeal to the public nonetheless. Renee has been a constant force against Bear. Using her mob-wife persona to make it clear that she was unhappy with his consistent grief.

I said earlier I do not want to make this about Bear (despite the fact I kind of have), so I am now going to use the opportunity to declare my support for Aubrey and Renee. As much as Frankie has grown on me, he is far too much of a (and this is not a bad thing) people-pleaser and I need to support someone who is totally against Bear. Ricky started off okay but I went off him quickly once I realised that he was merely coping with Bear, as oppose to confronting him. Marnie – no. From what I had seen on Geordie Shore she was genuinely my favourite, yet she has disappointed me. Not only due to her friendship with Bear, but also her pathetic relationship with Lewis that was obviously arranged to help garner support.

Aubrey and Renee have the odds stacked against them…literally. In the eleven series of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5, only three women and one (male) American have won. Due to Viacom now owning Channel 5, there is an apparent blur between said channel and MTV. The viewers of MTV-shows such as Geordie Shore and Ex on the Beach are of a similar demographic to those who watched Celebrity Big Brother. It never really mattered how Bear or Marnie acted because there is blind support for these types of characters regardless. I know this blog post will have no impact on the votes at all (the finale is tonight), but I want to end it by suggesting that a female American winning would be a great example of faith being restored to the people who watch this show. It would be unexpected but satisfying because nobody like Aubrey or Renee have won, nor would they ever be expected to.

Vote for Aubrey to win: 6 50 58 01 (Mobile) or 090 20 44 58 01 (Landline)

Vote for Renee to win: 6 50 58 12 (Mobile) or 090 20 44 58 12 (Landline)
Disclaimer: I don't intend to offend any Bear fans. If you disagree then please feel free to either reply to my post or discuss in here
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