"Indeed, Hawkes has argued that the true heir of the Elizabethan theatre isn't Tom Stoppard or even David Williamson, but television. It's a claim Australian media studies scholar John Hartley enthusiastically endorses, arguing that television is the modern vehicle for popular drama. Comparing the last Big Brother series with William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, he notes that the latter employed "various stock characters, as carefully chosen as the housemates on Big Brother, to portray familiar types in the target demographic of the popular audience" and was equally "full of stagy artifice disguises."There isn't any doubt that Big Brother is drama of a sort, and that the programme makers are manipulating the situation and unconsciously drawing out some very human themes such as paranoia and servitude. But will it be studied in four hundred years? Possibly but only as a cultural artifact, as a way of coming to terms with were humanity was at the turn of the millenium. It lacks metatextual depth -- the actual thing itself lacks a substance which can be studied.
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