I saw only a snippet of an ad for this show, some new endeavor where they trap a handful of strangers inside a restricted structure for so much time and videotape them. And it was called Big Brother.

I guess these TV execs either don't read books like 1984 that even today have some valid social commentary OR they think the reference is made with such casual smirking that no one would find it absurd, even insulting.

Look, I realize that voyeurism is gaining momentum on TV. I myself sent in a video to MTV to apply for the Real World. People had told me that I would make for quite an interesting character for the show, but they rejected me. Then, by sheer irony, the next time they pick a location, they pick New Orleans, where I live. And of course they're going to show them laughing it up for Mardi Gras and eating King Cake and falling down on Bourbon Street (at least for the first few episodes) all of which are not typically local things (I know, no shit). I would have loved to have been the local for that show. But anywyay, back to Big Brother.

I am just as drawn in to these shows as the next person. But honestly, I like the feel that Lanie in Reality Bites was trying to bring to her audience. She knew her subjects; they were her friends. Again, when I watch these shows, I try to find someone I can relate to, but seldom can. They're all either too false or cast in such a shallow light of sensationalism that who they are is dulled in the flood lights of the camera's watchful eye.

And now this new show ups the ante. As John Bender said in The Breakfast Club, "There's nothing to do when you're locked in a vacancy." If indeed the kids in this new show will be locked away in seclusion, I wonder just how inventive they will have to get before the cabin fever begins to show itself in all the physical comedy and mania and fights that the network almost counts on for ratings. And what's worse is that I can't even pity the people on the screen because they asked to be there. I ask myself what it is I would be watching this program for.

I was an only child. Only children can be very inventive when locked in a vacancy. Your room becomes your closest friend anyway, so spending a lot of time there is not unusual. I was forced to find things to do. I am curious to see how inventive these kids get, since on the other less restrictive shows, they didn't seem to be when they had more than enough to entertain them. And when I say "find something to do," I mean something that is more than just watching TV or playing video games or getting drunk all the time. There must be more to life, even suspended life in seclusion, that just these things. For the fate of this new show, I hope so.