Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oh, Brother!

Globalization can be slow but it’s unavoidable. Big Brother has finally turned his eye on Serbia. Unlike many people I know I don’t see this as the end of civilization as we know it. Sure it’s somewhat mindless but it’s harmless and at times entertaining.

After the BB rehearsal – the unappealing introduction into the world of reality shows, which was a bit too real, reminding us of where we live and of all that is wrong with this country, the real thing is here, and it’s surprisingly decent.

What we could have learnt from the trial period is that Serbia seems rather superficial in selecting the only two decent looking people to go through to the actual show. But the one thing that really stands out, in my view at least, is the disproportional amount of attention on homosexuality. It is a topic in every episode, in conversations, on forums and in newspaper articles. After the appearance and later elimination from the rehearsal show of the first openly gay character on Serbian TV, we now see inklings of a debate or at least acknowledgement of an issue that is absolute taboo in our society.

Whether this was deliberately done to draw attention or not, I think it’s a good thing. It brings the problem into the homes of regular people, especially now that B92’s ratings have grown to levels they could only wish for with more intelligent programming.

I’m sure real surprises are yet to come. Personally I think it would be wonderful if Ivan and Marko hooked up. I’d enjoy it on both a symbolic and a personal level, but it’s not likely to happen. The good thing is that the first person to leave the house was kicked out by the housemates for being too intolerant to gay people. Hopefully some of what we saw on this surreal “reality” show will spread into our real reality.

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