Now THAT’S how you act classy on national television
Something beautiful happened last night on Channel Nine. On Big Brother, a guy called Josh Moore whose brother died unexpectedly this week, exited the house with grace, poise and sheer gentlemanly class.
In a week when our TV screens have been filled with 50 year olds carrying on like the proverbial pork chops in a large House in Canberra, how ironic that it should take a bunch of 20 year olds in a large house on the Gold Coast to remind us that Australians can be decent, warm-spirited people.
Normally Big Brother is unwatchable. It is hour after hour of ineducable dullards lolling about dry humping, cooking inedible food and generally having the sort of meaningless, circular conversations worthy of stoners. But last night it rose several levels above all that.
Josh was all class the minute he arrived on stage for his live chat with host Sonia Kruger. In the midst of his deep personal grief, it must have been hard for him to go through the whole official duties thing, but he did so without flinching. He knew the audience wanted to hear tales of BB house life, and he delivered.
The balance was just right. Kruger was not too intrusive, while Josh gave as much of himself as he could. There was a laugh or two, a reflection or two, and the hint of a tear. If Josh wasn’t such a genuine person, the whole event could have come across as ghoulish and disrespectful to his departed brother. But the tone, like Baby Bear’s porridge, was just right.
With his measured display, Josh not only struck a blow against crusty old bastards like me who believe anyone on a reality TV show must be a desperate wannabe, he also delivered a massive public relations boost for his oft-maligned generation.
Gen Y is often characterised as self-obsessed and materialistic, and while there are plenty in the BB house this year who appear to fit the description, Josh sure isn’t one of them. The guy has a lovely manner, a fact which is detectable with the sound turned down but which was made all the more abundantly clear with statements like:
“It was a no brainer for me [to leave the house]. Family comes first, it was an easy decision to come out and celebrate the life of a great man [my brother].”
And this gem, in response to a Kruger question on his appeal to the women of the BB house.
“You just have to talk to women Sonia, there’s no real science.”
You just have to talk to them. After everything that’s been said about women and sexism and the rest of it all week, doesn’t that just nail it? Don’t you just love this bloke?
Throw in that mop hair, the cool stubble and a smile which is confident but not smug, and kapow! Josh has carved a firm niche in the highly desirable territory between old school Aussie boofhead and new age over-sensitive manscaper.
The more you think about it, it’s amazing how often in the past the dopey antics of the Big Brother house have mirrored the dopey antics in Parliament. For the Sara-Marie Bum Dance of BB 2001, substitute disgraced Senator Mary Jo Fisher’s bizzarre Timewarp and Hokey Pokey. For countless acts of sleaze in BB land, substitute countless acts of sleaze in Canberra.
As mentioned, though, BB has been way above Canberra this week. The dodgiest, most inane show on television has showcased an average Australian who makes us proud to call ourselves that. Support for the guy on social media and online is completely through the roof, and for a good reason.
Here’s hoping Josh has time and space to mourn his real big brother this week while the show of the same name continues without him.
Meanwhile, the goons we pay to run our country might themselves take time out to ponder why BB rates in the millions, while the only people who bother to watch Question Time are those too old or infirm to reach for the remote.
Twittery thingo: @antsharwood
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