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5 Shows like Big Brother: Lights, Camera, Action

Charlotte Lucas itcher‘Big Brother’ is an Orwellian creation – viewers are invited to gawk at contestants as they are trapped in a house, constantly watched by cameras. A voyeur’s dream! If you’re looking for TV shows like ‘Big Brother’, you can’t go wrong with a bit of healthy competition in ‘The X Factor’. For pure voyeurism, have a go at watching ‘Maury’, a talk show with a twist. ~ Charlotte Lucas

Somebody’s Watching You

I definitely have some reservations when it comes to shows like ‘Big Brother’. It’s the moral question that nags at me: should I really be watching this? The fact remains, though, that contestants choose to participate in these televised competitions so that we can watch the spectacle and rejoice in the mundanity of our own lives. 

In this article, I will recommend some shows that offer the same element of competition as well as the voyeurism aspect that makes ‘Big Brother’ so addictive.


Shows Similar to ‘Big Brother’…

‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’ (Granada Television, 2002- )

This first show relies on a crazy concept: celebrities are taken to the jungle and forced to participate in ‘Bushtucker trials’, a very similar task system to the one upheld in ‘Big Brother’. This is hugely entertaining as you get to see well-known people in extreme and uncomfortable conditions.

‘I’m a Celebrity’ plays on our psychological instinct to watch others overcome trials and tribulations. It is addictive to the point where some people wait all year for a new season!

If this appeals to you, watch the trailer below to find out more.

Similarity Match: 90%
This show is exactly like ‘Big Brother’ if you took away the house and replaced it with the jungle.

‘The X Factor’ (Syco Entertainment, 2004- )

Originally a British show, ‘The X Factor’ has now been replicated all around the world. A talent show to find the next best singer, Simon Cowell’s creation is now thought to be dead in the water, due to reports of falling viewer figures.

Despite these reports, ‘The X Factor’ has really become a household name, with some of the contestants going on to make careers out of their appearances on the show. If talent competitions are your thing, you won’t regret giving this programme a go. Plus, you’ll have many seasons to choose from!

Similarity Match: 85%
The two shows share the same element of competition, as well as the long run of episodes. The only difference is that this show is a talent show.

‘Geordie Shore’ (Lime Pictures, 2011- )

‘Geordie Shore’ is a reality TV show in which the viewer is treated to a no-holds-barred look at young lives, complete with a myriad of sexual mishaps and drunken fights. This is a dream for some and a nightmare for others – if you like to watch people doing things that are usually kept private, this is for you!

Perhaps you haven’t been exposed to the delight that is ‘Geordie Shore’ before? If this is so, read our article for more details here.

Similarity Match: 75%
By watching ‘Geordie Shore’, you will get that same sense of surveillance as you do when watching ‘Big Brother’ just that the ‘Geordie Shore’ people don’t have to stay in one house.


If You Like ‘Big Brother’, You Will Like…

The following recommendations are different because they are not British shows, but they still have that same element of competition and voyeurism that ‘Big Brother’ has.

Clearly, the Americans understand the lure of observation, too.  Read on to find out more about these TV series similar to ‘Big Brother’.

‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’ (Bayonne Entertainment, 2008-2015)

This is guilty pleasure territory. ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’ is a reality TV show where – you guessed it – a matchmaker attempts to find a partner for various millionaire contestants.

This is pretty hilarious and awkward to watch as we see the millionaires rejecting and critiquing their potential conquests. Just like ‘Big Brother’, ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’ has an enigmatic host: businesswoman Patti Stanger. To find out more about Patti and the show, click here

‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ is similar to ‘Big Brother’, but I would dare say that the former is just a tad more fun.

‘Maury’ (MoPo Productions, 1991- )

‘Maury’ is like a televised freak show for the modern age. Audience members are invited to judge the problems of their fellow Americans, then heckle and mock them while they are still on stage. This is entertaining, yes, but it feels a little cruel and self-indulgent.

By all means, ‘Maury’ is no worse than any other reality TV show – there will always be a compromise of privacy. I, personally, like my TV with a little more compassion, however.

For more information on ‘Maury’, take a look at this.

Though nobody is trapped in a confined space, contestants on ‘Maury’ are similarly suffocated with audience abuse.


You Have Been Evicted: Please Leave the Big Brother House

‘Big Brother’ is a hybrid of pure escapism, voyeurism and entertainment.

It is an absolute guilty pleasure – the kind of show you didn’t plan on watching but end up switching to at the last minute. If you’ve managed to make it through every single season of ‘Big Brother’ – at sixteen seasons, this would certainly be a feat – try out my recommendations. I can guarantee that at least one of them will satisfy your craving for unabridged entertainment. 

Did you agree with my list of TV series like ‘Big Brother’?

Leave us a comment with your suggestions.

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