As the Sydney Morning Herald reports that a new BBC Channel 4 reality tv series will show footage of couples having sex (in a tasteful way and for educational purposes, of course), news.com.au brings us the tantalising tidbit that Gretel Killeen has dumped Saxon. The wonderful blog Ausculture (headline – “we suck so you don’t have to”) may seize the chance to revive their Graxon campaign, which kept me enthralled and amused during BB4’s run.
Australian reality tv has actually featured far less sex and coupling than some of the overseas originals. Much to the frustration of the producers of Big Brother Uncut.
I’ve often wondered if Australian reality tv says anything about us as a culture. Aside from the obvious – our real estate obsession. On shows like Survivor and BB, contestants have seemed more concerned with group belonging than the rampant competitive individualism of the American counterparts. And the Australian sense of humour has been on full display.
But things seem to have taken a nastier turn recently. Earlier episodes of Australian Idol were often exercises in voyeuristic and sadistic humiliation, and Gretel morphed at some point from mother hen to sarcastic “it’s all about me” celebrity. Do these trends in reality tv reflect something changing in our mores? I wonder…