chapter  10
22 Pages

Big Brothers and Little Brothers: National Identity in Recent Romanian Adaptations of Global Television Formats

ByALICE BARDAN

In a review of the most recent research on Big Brother, Liesbet van Zoonen and Minna Aslama (2006) note that audience studies of the famous reality show format found that the viewers’ fascination emerges from the interest in simulated everyday occurrences in the Big Brother house as well as from guessing and assessing the ‘authentic’ versus the ‘artifi cial’ behavior of the participants. In contrast to cultural approaches that discussed Big Brother as a format belonging to the category of documentary and reality television, the critics invested in audience studies placed it in the genre of soap opera. As with soap operas, they claimed, the show’s major appeal was due to audience investments in issues of authenticity and the self (91).