Bigg Boss, the cult reality show, a jewel in the crown of Indian television, is back with season 11. A show where a bunch of known and semi known faces battle their outer and inner demons to stay sane in a confined, communication less environment, makes for a perfect voyeur watch, titillating the baser human emotions.
The format toys with human emotions and psychology. When days pass and time becomes timeless, the little demon in the head pops up creating perceptional/judgmental illusions, beating one’s rationality to pulp, where contestants behave like Ulysses in the ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario.
Bigg Boss, the show, has evolved immensely. What began as a mere urge to peep into the lives of celebrities, today, is a content beast which roars with might, drawing audiences like a moth to a flame.
Colors, with its intelligent marketing ploys and the ‘once in a lifetime’ decision to rope in Salman Khan as the host, has successfully made the property one of the most sought after ones, without an iota of doubt.
Bigg Boss is synonymous to festive season. Millions celebrate outside their homes, and also indoors with their remote at hand, enjoying the fights, romance, bonding, valour, and scores of myriad emotions of the Bigg Boss contestants. And when bhai comes to meet his fans every Saturday, ratings shoot sky high.
Bigg Boss means controversies, you love it or hate it but certainly cannot ignore it. The show provides great national level visibility for each and every participant (Sunny Leone began her Bollywood career post BB), and its viewership cuts across stratum.
Many complain of the show spreading negativity and being a waste of time, however, Bigg Boss sees maximum social media trends and those who hate it are also addicted to watching it.
This Endemol India production always piques media interest which run speculative stories about possible contestant lists in the run up to the show. Since all candidates have to sign an NDA, no one can come on the record to accept or deny the buzz. It has also become a trend by certain wannabe contestants to feed controversy to the media in the hope of grabbing the attention of the makers.
Just how powerful Bigg Boss has become to Colors’ annual plan can be gauged by the fact that they spend huge amount of money on the show. Host Salman Khan obviously pockets a huge remuneration fee (rumour of Rs 11 crores per episode for this season). The production and promotional cost also is pretty high.
Bigg Boss has never rated big (comparatively), yet it always gets a huge budget allocation for it is a tent pole property for Colors. Many who don’t watch staple TV stuff, tune in to Bigg Boss, even some big Bollywood influencers join in the conversation on social media.
As number of seasons increase, contestants are more and more ready to play the game, they know controversy sells, so are ready go all out in the house. Yet the final master/fate decider is the editor for at the end of the day one gets to see only an hour of day long activity. It is said that Bigg Boss creates characters out of the content and only shows parts which suit their purpose. Bigg Boss is no easy three months walk through. Experienced creatives craftily engineer situations (tasks and by choice of inmates) which make the strongest snap. Furthermore, being completely cut off from the world and having only some who you like or dislike, does not help matters.
Having said that, there is just one fly in the ointment. Some contestants like Swami Om and the alleged thief Bunty Chor gets a lot of publicity which is not good. Agreed they make right noises which lead to ratings, but there is a certain social responsibility which a great network like Colors needs to display.
The inclusion of commoners, thus evoking the crowd sourcing model, enhances direct mass appeal and lends variety to the format.
As mentioned, Bigg Boss also is a good platform for certain artists who are no longer in their prime to again make a bid for the arclights. The show is a open book, how well you can write depends on the feedback you generate early on and how the editor finally shows (read: cuts) you.
There is a live feed format, however to ensure airtime viewership, what is at display often are empty frames, which is quite a dud. This year the padosi (neighbor) theme foretells ultra bitchy activities and the mix of celebs and aspirational commoners would ensure fireworks.
In closing, we would like to bring to notice that Bigg Boss, like most reality shows, has not really changed the fortune of all its past winners. So the acid test remains, how you use the fame/ in fame to your advantage. Let’s face it, media cycle is very short, so play well and give your best.
And yes…. Bigg Boss chahte hai ke aap yeh article share kare (Jallad nods).