“This year, not a single contestant is worth rooting for. Sab hi gande hain (everyone is bad),” said my mother who has been watching Bigg Boss with me for four years but now wants me to change the channel halfway through the episode. And, I couldn’t agree more. It’s only been a month since the thirteenth season of Bigg Boss went on air and I am already waiting for it to end. Wish the twist of four weeks finale was not a sham but a reality.
Supposedly, Bigg Boss is a social experiment where a group of strangers are confined to a house to compete for a cash prize. The celebrities agree to expose their lives in front of 100 cameras for 100 days for money and fame. What motivation do the viewers have to watch it for 100 days? The opportunity to know the true selves of their favourite celebrities and get a break from boring, scripted family dramas on TV. Why should they watch it this year? Umm..I can’t even think of a single reason. Those who are truly invested in the show are just squandering their time.
The first week of Bigg Boss 13, unlike last year, gave an impression of it not being a snoozefest. It arrived with the right amount of drama, comedy, romance and action. Shehnaaz Gill or as she addresses herself, ‘Punjab Ki Katrina Kaif’ created laughter with her wit, comic timing and easy-going nature. She became Salman’s favourite. Rashami Desai and Sidharth Shukla’s bickering also entertained and Paras Chhabra evoked laughter with his frivolous suggestions to others. But the contestants didn’t take long to change, in my opinion.
From the second week onwards, everything about Bigg Boss 13 turned distasteful. Contestants like Shukla, Rashami, Aarti and Devoleena, though popular faces of Indian television, became the most unlikeable housemates in the history of Bigg Boss. They yelled, whined, got violent but didn’t give a single reason to make viewers support them. The relatively new faces Siddharth Dey and Shefali Bagga came across as people who are easily replacable.
Also, what’s the point in having rules if they are not followed. Considering the target audience of the show, I don’t get why the makers and Salman Khan have turned a blind eye towards contestants constantly interacting in English and talking at a pitch hardly audible to the audience.
Amid all this, the biased side of both Bigg Boss and host Salman Khan came to the fore. Though, going by the history of the show, I am not surprised with Salman picking his favourites and pulling up those who question his favouritism. Still, it is as exasperating as it has always been. In the last Weekend Ka Vaar episode, the actor gave an earful to Siddharth Dey, Shefali Bagga, Paras Chabbra and Mahira Sharma for their inappropriate approach in the show, but with Sidharth Shukla, Asim Riaz and Shehnaaz Gill, he couldn’t have gotten politer.
The makers appear to be relying on the same old formula where ardent fans like myself already know what tasks are coming each week. Maybe it is time to add some new elements and by that, I don’t mean just the wild card contestants. Just like the contestants are often heard urging Bigg Boss to open the gates and let them quit the show, I urge Bigg Boss to bring some freshness and entertainment, else I, an annoyed viewer, want to quit it as well.