In defence of Bigg Boss

The writer talks about how watching Bigg Boss Tamil, isn’t something to be looked down upon, and how life lessons can be learned from the reality show, hosted by Kamal Haasan

We watch it in secrecy. We discuss it in private WhatsApp groups. For many people, it would be humiliating to be caught watching it. Should someone take a peek at our phone as we are watching it, we urgently switch windows. Society consumes it, but society also frowns upon it. You’d think I’m talking about porn, but no, I’m just talking about Bigg Boss Tamil.

Detractors call it voyeuristic. They dub it trashy entertainment. They allege that it is all scripted; they are convinced it’s forcing society back. They suspect it’s making us more judgmental. I had a video conversation with one of Bigg Boss Tamil Season 3’s most controversial personalities, Vanitha, and some suggested I was reducing myself by interviewing a Bigg Boss contestant. This criticism is hardly shocking, given that even someone of the stature of Kamal Haasan is getting it. He addressed this during one of his weekend episodes recently, and sought to distance himself from the limiting label, ‘intellectual’, should it be in conflict with his participation in Bigg Boss. All of this has necessitated this piece in defence of the show. So, yes, here’s why I think Bigg Boss Tamilis loads of fun, and don’t arrest me for saying this, why I think it’s useful too.

Ever wondered why we watch films, why we give away so willingly our hard-earned money in return for two fleeting hours of enjoyment? It’s because the stories in them free ourselves from the chains of our own reality. They force us into the shoes of others and draw our empathy. Inside the Bigg Boss household, there is no dearth for interesting stories and fascinating character arcs. Multiple stories co-exist while affecting each other. There are surprise cameos, tragic eliminations. Some stories are driven by a protagonist, many aren’t (in that sense, there’s an equality in this show that’s rarely found in cinema).

For the remainder of this interview (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), please visit

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