Big Brother-Unseen, Uncut, Unreel (2003)
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Various|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
For those interested in the "ultimate all access pass into the world of Big Brother", Big Brother: Unseen/Uncut/Unreel, has been released on DVD.
"Unlock the door to the ultimate Big Brother experience with this totally interactive collectable DVD that offers fun, facts and full disclosure on the hit show that's as real as reality TV gets".
Let me begin by admitting that I have never seen a single episode of Big Brother. Yes, I've heard about it, and yes, I've watched other reality shows, but Big Brother has always eluded me. In volunteering to review this disc, I was hoping to get an insight into the Big Brother phenomenon and its popularity. Sadly, however, that remains a mystery. This DVD is a collection of 'off-cuts' for the fans. In reviewing it, I got the sense that if I had been watching the series from the beginning, I would find its contents more interesting. Instead, I found it to be a strange, often nostalgic, mixture of clips taken from three years of Australian Big Brother.
From what I can tell, Big Brother is all about voyeurism. A group of young men and women, wearing radio microphones, are locked in a 'house', with video cameras on them 24 hours a day. There are even video cameras in the toilets. Audiences tune in to watch the 'house mates' eat, sleep, chat, argue, and shower. The 'house mates' are also given tasks, which vary from the mundane to party games to spice things up. Who would possibly want to do this? I was amazed to find that Series Three had over 30,000 applicants wanting to be 'house mates'.
Australian censorship laws govern what can and can't be shown on Australian television, so the live shows are broadcast with a 30 second delay. All unacceptable nudity, slander, sexual and/or racial comments are cut out. However, there's been no need to cut out any sexual content as, according to this DVD, in three years, no 'house mates' have ever had sex -- at least not in the Australian Big Brother.
As a weekly television production, Big Brother appears to be a logistical nightmare, with a production team of over 270 people, including 12 directors. Screened on Network Ten, the show is shot in a purpose built 'house' in Dreamworld, Queensland. The house reportedly attracts over 8000 visitors each day. Sponsors donate everything, from goods and services to clothing.
The DVD's content is taken from all three Australian Big Brother productions, and is divided into three sections:
While the source material is broadcast television, the transfer quality is limited by the videotape source material, which includes footage captured by infra-red cameras, home videos, and some shoddy audition tapes.
Thanks to Digital Television (which of course broadcasts in widescreen), the transfer is presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness depends on the source material so it is variable. The shadow detail is often poor due to poor lighting, and the nature of live television.
The colour is generally very good throughout, except for the home videos.
MPEG and film-to-video artefacts were not a problem.
There are no subtitles present on the DVD, which is a shame because at times it is hard to hear what the 'house mates' are saying.
This is an RSDL disc. I assume that the layer change is placed between segments.
Originally broadcast on Network television, the only audio option is English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s).
The dialogue quality suffers from being unscripted live television. Sometimes it's hard to hear what is being said, and at other times multiple people are speaking at the same time. The audio sync is fine.
A variety of music is used throughout the three series, including the techno-background theme music.
There is no surround presence or LFE activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
It is hard to separate the 'feature' from the 'extras', as the feature is a collection of 'extras' from the television show. The following are the only DVD content that appear to be 'extras'.
A very simple menu.
Cast and crew credits.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Obviously this title has not been released on DVD in Region 1.
If you enjoy watching a group of ordinary Aussies sitting around on couches having aimless conversations, with the odd flash of nudity, then Big Brother is for you. This DVD is a collection of 'extras' from the television show, and as such, it is strictly for dedicated fans only!
The video quality is variable.
The audio quality is also variable and limited.
The extras are the feature.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|