Alright, this is pretty complex to buckle up.
This dropped into my Netflix recommendations this morning as I was about to watch an episode of Baking Impossible and thought it looked quite interesting – I can’t say I’ve seen much Spanish reality. From the first five minutes – oh, it’s basically Big Brother, but in truth it’s actually a bit more interesting and insidious than that.
Twelve contestants think they’ve made the final round of casting for the show, and the last stage is two weeks staying in the house that they don’t believe is being filmed, because they’re idiots apparently who have never come across the idea of one-way mirrors, whilst doing tests in the “workroom” (which they know IS being filmed). Each contestant is wearing a wristband that apparently is tracking everyone’s emotions, and this is all fed into their individual pie chart and discussed by a casting coach, the idea, as far as they’re concerned, is to try and “scientifically” come up with the perfect reality show contestant and to see how far they’re willing to go for $100,000. The question the show seems to be trying to ask: are people different when they don’t think they’re being filmed?
However what the contestants think the show is, and what the viewers think the show is are rather different and I suspect by the end of the run our positions will have changed again. Two episodes of seven in we’ve been introduced to a fake contestant, two fake “bad cop” producers, a confidentially break, mess, tears and tantrums and evictions and nothing is quite what it seems – only that reading the episode synopses ahead, there IS a game and there IS $100,000 at stake and at some point everyone’s going to find out they were being filmed the whole time.
The show is hosted by actress Najwa Nimri who apparently can’t sit in a chair properly and the direction goes slightly overboard with “look how mysterious this all is” in quite an annoying way, but I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t interesting enough that I wasn’t going to finish the series – it’s only seven episodes long and each one is about 45 minutes.