Since its Netherlands debut in 1999, the television format Big Brother has offered the world three great bequests. First, its "interactive" approach offered a newly ailing industry the means to extract revenue directly from viewers. Second, it gave shelter to pathologically self-absorbed 20-somethings who may otherwise have ended up in a clinical trial for personality disorders. Finally, it breathed new life into media and cultural studies programs. Man, there were a lot of books and papers about Big Brother. They had names like "Staging the Real", "Audience Intervention and Narrative Activism" and "Discursive Formations and Penis: Foucault’s power-knowledge in the age of the turkey slap".
Razer: Big Brother in the post-stupid age
Some wankers (OK, Helen Razer) used to wax lyrical about the panopticon, Foucault, Big Brother. But 11 seasons in, does any of it matter (or not matter) anymore?