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Fantasy friends

Why television groups bear no resemblance to real life

By Kathryn Hughes   October 2000

big brother was the hit not only of summer television, but of summer itself, because it told us, once and for all, that other people are a lot like us (or that we are a lot like them). In particular, it proved that being a member of a group is exactly what we knew all along-banal and irritating in a way it’s hard to put your finger on. The dwindling band of Big Brother housemates occupied themselves with activities reminiscent of a dreary family Christmas. There were listless party games, episodic flare-ups-but mostly just a lot of sitting around trying…

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