Big Brother Albania

This is probably not going to be what you were expecting with a title like “Big Brother” in a country known for its harsh, controlling dictators. But the Big Brother I’m reffering to is just as bad and has just as tight of a hold over this country. And sadly, that’s a reality television shows.

The best parts of reality tv in the US are the scandalous, outragious and mildly offensive things people do or say. But here in Albania (an extremely conservative, post-communist country), reality TV is more like watching Golden Girls than Jersey Shore. There is no smush room, no confessional camera, no shots of them out clubbing (or even having a drink for that matter), no fist fights or street brawls, and for sure no PDA on camerca (they barely even touch).

So what’s reality TV without hooking up and drinking, you ask? Very boring. It’s just 10ish people sitting in a house arguing, walking around, smoking cigareets, drinking red bulls (all at the rage here), and voting each other out of the house. And they do this 24/7 while the entire country watches in rapture. Today we watched them sunbathe for 30 minutes while no one moved or spoke a word. It’s like The Truman Shows, but for real. People here don’t just tune in for the interesting parts; they spend the whole day glued to their couches…watching other people sit on their couches.

I can only stand so much before I have to leave the room. I just shake my head and laugh as I think about the looks of terror that would be on my host parents’ face if they saw just 5 minutes of Keeping up With the Kardashians or Real Housewives.

 

“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”

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