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Why Bigg Boss is a Favorite for Young Indians


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Why Bigg Boss is a Favorite for Young Indians

The only TV show that will have the Indian youth plastered to the screens is Bigg Boss. The fandom the show has can rival those of any daily soap, that are a favorite of Indian moms (and dads too). A good portion of Indian memes and viral content are tiny clips from years of existing Bigg Boss. Some have gone international too. (Remember the “Pooja, what is this behavior?” clip?) But what is it about this one of a kind reality show that has young people in such a chokehold? Is it a dinner-watch, a binge watch, or simply a grey area between entertainment and voyeurism? 

Bigg Boss: Drama beyond comprehension

Bigg Boss was born after actress Shilpa Shetty won the Dutch reality show it was inspired by – Big Brother. Having first aired in 2007, the show now has become a key part of Indian entertainment. A set of contestants, all famous for some reason or the other, are locked in a spacious and luxurious house, for nearly 2 months. This is where the reality part of the show plays in. Bigg Boss has no script – the rumors are wrong. Every year, the resulting interactions between the contestants make the show that Bigg Boss is. Fights, taunts, romance, anguish, joy, tears – you name it, and Bigg Boss has it. And they deliver: Season 2 of the OTT version recorded 245 crore views for the entirety of the show. It was only followed by the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the most-streamed entertainment property on the streaming platform (JioCinema).

All of the above emotions are not expressed in a cinematic way , despite being a TV show. They are savage — the fights involve hair pulling, and often escalate in violence. Most of the show is yelled, and not spoken or played out the regular way. People scheme against others, all in an effort to ride along till the end of the show. A show like Bigg Boss crosses the limits of mere melodrama. The drama is simply, Bigg Boss-drama. The drama also unfolds because of the tasks that are given to the housemates by the Bigg Boss. Contestants have pretended to be dogs, gone bald, and slathered chilli paste on fellow contestants. The target here, unfortunately, is to perform well and keep oneself safe from elimination.

Another reason why Bigg Boss is actually a voyeuristic show is that people are witnessing celebrities without their facades. This is an elite group of people that have become untouchable by the general public because of fame. Now, celebrities can be watched in their natural – and sometimes primal – avatars. Viewers are seeing them lounging around the house, doing basic household chores, sleeping – activities that a celebrity won’t be seen doing anywhere else but their own homes. It might be fun, or intriguing to see celebrities in their natural selves, and how they react spontaneously to situations. The mix of celebrities too keeps things interesting, especially with attention grabbers like big TV names.

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The audience has changed, and so has Bigg Boss

The new OTT format of the show is a major factor why the show remains successful even after exiting TV. Going digital meant undertaking a new, digital-savvy approach to the show. The show was made into a 24/7 live format, making it possible for viewers to tune into it anytime during the day. Another factor is adding internet personalities to the candidate mix. Last year, Youtuber (?) Puneet Superstar got evicted within 24 hours of entering the house, but not without unleashing his natural dramatic self.

This year, internet fame Chandrika Dixit – AKA Delhi’s ‘Vada Pav girl’ – is confirmed to be a contestant on the show. Actor Ranvir Shorey too is in the mix. Salman Khan, the host, and an icon of the show for more than a decade, is replaced by Anil Kapoor for the current season. And as is with every edition of Bigg Boss, the new season too is definitely going to make some newsworthy topics soon. Indian memers, be ready: your time to shine is here.

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