The EVP film city, where the Bigg Boss Tamil set has been erected, is about an hour’s drive from main Chennai city. As I entered the space allotted for the reality show, I decided to indulge my inner Bigg Boss follower. After all this was the place that entertained the state more than anything else. This was the house that added words like ‘trigger’, ‘kurumpadam’ and several other integral necessities to our vocabulary. The pop-culture ripple it created was phenomenal – several films had Bigg Boss references (received with a rousing welcome at theatres). The second season is about to roll but the memes from the first season are still around. It was as if we were all waiting for an opportunity to spy on people and judge them, even if it is indirect.
We were asked to leave our mobile phones outside. I was unplugged for the brief time I spent inside the Bigg Boss house, just like the contestants. Did you know that the living area and the dining area of the Bigg Boss house have mirrors all around? And also cameras. There are a camera and mirror almost every direction you turn. There are eyes all around. The cameras are for us to keep an eye on the contestant, the mirrors are for themselves. It is one thing to see it on TV and another to actually see them with naked eyes. The sense of surveillance is hard to escape, even though we weren’t being filmed. No wonder the catchphrase is ‘Odavum Mudiyathu, Oliyavum Mudiyathu’ (You can’t run or hide).
With some minor changes, the new Bigg Boss house feels familiar yet new. There seems to be a time-themed design in place – several walls have cog designs. The bedrooms have an interconnecting door but with the same pink and blue colour theme. The store room now has a polygonal shape and there are some extra sitting spaces out in the lawn. The confession chair, which earlier had Iron Throne-like design, is now a luxurious sofa. Considering that this is the place where contestants are their most honest, vulnerable and judgemental self, the makers seem to have made it more comfortable for them to be themselves.
The most significant addition is the jail cage that has materialised just outside the house. Known for tasks that pit the contestants against each other, one wonders how the Bigg Boss is going to use this cage. Will it be for the contestants on the nomination list? Or will it be for contestants who are isolated? Or is it just a task? With names like Powerstar Srinivasan and Yaashika rumoured in the mix, one thing is for sure. Bigg Boss 2 is definitely going to be interesting.
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