Bigg Boss Season 11: The Best is Here

Pop Culture

Bigg Boss Season 11: The Best is Here

Illustration: Sushant Ahire/Arré

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who’s the fairest of them all?
Bigg Boss Season 11

Let’s just say it out loud: Bigg Boss Season 10 was boring AF; it reaffirmed the belief of its 20 million viewers that the show was indeed going to the dogs. Commoners had been included but the mix wasn’t working well. Celebrities didn’t miss an opportunity to put the aam aadmi down, and it gave us a glimpse into what really goes on inside the mind of an average celebrity. It definitely wasn’t fun to watch. Neither was the sight of Om Swami throwing his pee around like holy water.

Bigg Boss Season 11 changed all that.

We were off to a fiery start from the word go when in the first “Weekend Ka Vaar”, host Salman Khan reprimanded Zubair Khan for threatening House members and being abusive. From then on things have only gotten better.

Bigg Boss as a format has truly arrived this season with just the right amount of drama, romance, comedy, and action; the commoner-celebrity mix finally seems to be working. This season is proof that it has matured as a show in its truest sense, with neither the makers nor the participants (particularly the celebrities) shying away from showing their true selves. And if people are being real, nothing’s going to stop Bigg Boss from being touted as a truly successful social experiment. Every episode of Bigg Boss is a lesson in life. Don’t let Netflix and Hotstar noobs tell you otherwise.

I’ve watched every season of Bigg Boss with as much enthusiasm and excitement as a freshly selected IPL player playing his first game. I’ve endured Rakhi Sawant and Kashmira Shah’s catfights while silently hoping Rahul Roy would win Season 1. I watched the filthy Kamal R Khan give empty threats on national television in Season 3. I hated Dolly Bindra for her imbecile attacks on Shweta Tiwari and hadn’t discovered the beauty of the Pakistani Hindi accent until I witnessed Veena Malik and Ashmit Patel’s massage sessions in Season 4. And in Season 5 when Akashdeep accused host Salman Khan of favouritism, it made the nation stand up and listen because never before had someone defied “authority” on the show. It also set the stepping stone for what would become routine on the show in the following seasons. Remember Gauhar Khan pointing fingers at Mr Khan for being biased toward Tanisha Mukherjee?

Bigg Boss is the biggest lesson in patience for both the viewers and the participants. While viewers hope their favourite participant doesn’t do something embarrassing and hurtful, the onus is on the participant to take a stand for what is right. While some have it easy, those who stand up for themselves and others have hurdles to cross at every step. There’s no pressure like the pressure of loyalty and friendship. And that’s precisely what makes the show so interesting. Friendships are put to test with every task, and the hunger for becoming the next captain of the House makes the participants do the unthinkable. Who can forget Rishabh Sinha making Kishwer Merchant walk like a dog for the sake of a task? When put under pressure and thrown together with people whose points of view may differ from yours and with no means of escaping, the show brings to light the true nature of a person. And what we see on television only scrapes the tip of the iceberg.

Bigg Boss is the biggest lesson in patience for both the viewers and the participants.

I’m no blind lover though. Every season of Bigg Boss has left me feeling guilty with some even making me wince at myself for looking forward to the show night after night.The Rahul Mahajan-Monica Bedi-Payal Rohatgi love triangle was nothing but cringe-worthy, as was of course, the PeeGate. But that is exactly what changed with this season. Much in contrast to the likes of Om Swami, the well-spoken, calm, and composed Sshivani Durga was a welcome change to India’s obsession with godmen and godwomen. Contrary to Om Swami, the occultist had a neutral stand on most things and had more quality screen time than just being a vehicle for making noise. Not once, did we see her speak about religion or imposing her views on others. In fact, she led the way by discussing spirituality and how the mind can be trained to be patient.

Unlike the drab Season 10, where Salman Khan had to repeatedly remind the participants to stop sleeping, every episode this season leaves you at the edge of your seat. Never have equations changed at such a pace in the Bigg Boss House as they have in Season 11. Task or no task, every participant seems to be playing their own game with the exception of Luv “#bailbuddhi” Tyagi. Taking Salman Khan and the audience’s feedback seriously, Luv’s attempt to move out of his zero on-screen visibility space saw him cleverly latch onto Hina Khan. She in return is seen using him, Priyank, and the recently evicted Benafsha as pawns. After having what seemed like a BFFs tiff, Arshi Khan and Shilpa Shinde are a team again. Arshi’s one-sided love for Hiten makes way for healthy flirting on prime-time TV while Aakash (or A-Cash as he likes to call himself) gives us the right dose of frivolous, comic entertainment that was missing in the previous seasons. If you look past, Puneesh and Bandgi’s “romance”, there’s absolutely no sense of loyalty among any set of participants.

Bigg Boss Season 11

I hated Dolly Bindra for her imbecile attacks on Shweta Tiwari
Image Credit: VOOT

Groups change every day and so does the power balance in the House, leaving the viewer baffled. Your favourite contestant in the House at the beginning of the show could easily transform to being someone who you hate at the end of it. The fact that you can’t predict their equations adds a layer of excitement unlike in any other reality show.

While I was annoyed by the whole Shilpa-Vikas drama in the first few weeks, Shilpa has emerged to be a strong participant and is clearly my favourite now. And really, what would Bigg Boss Season 11 even be without Shilpa Shinde and Vikas Gupta? The duo turned the house upside down from Day 1, when their real-life fight played out on screen. Torn between whose side to take, housemates were left puzzled at the beginning .

Amid all this, we got to see the unbiased side of both Bigg Boss and Salman Khan: Priyank Sharma was ousted in the first week for being violent and Zubair Khan was lambasted for boasting about his underworld connections. Going by the history of the show, I never thought that a celebrity like Hina Khan would ever be pulled up. But that changed. Salman Khan didn’t mince his words when he criticised her for creating an unwanted ruckus and instigating House members against each other. Even when it comes to the dimwit Aakash Dadlani, the host has gone all out.

Bigg Boss Season 11

We got to see the unbiased side of both Bigg Boss and Salman Khan: Priyank Sharma was ousted in the first week for being violent and Zubair Khan was lambasted for boasting about his underworld connections.
Image Credit: VOOT

Whether the show is scripted or not is still a mystery, but this season makes it quite evident that there’s no room for partiality. Even as the rest of the House makes up its mind about Shilpa and Vikas, the two of them have left everyone stumped by patching up. Vikas’s grand gesture of sacrificing his “favourite jacket” for the audience’s favourite, Shilpa, has clearly been the highlight of the show, so far. Friendships or personal equations with the host or the makers of the show have been left outside the Bigg Boss House. It’s the viewers’ opinion that seems to have far more control and this is evident from what the House members are being reprimanded for.

I’ve been so emotionally invested in Season 11 of Bigg Boss that I secretly wish they aired two episodes instead of one every day. There’s not a waking moment when I don’t think of what new twist ensues. As my love for Shilpa Shinde grows with each passing day (and I hope she wins), I can’t wait for Priyank and Hina to be evicted soon. With the prize money of the show now standing at a total sum of zero rupees (courtesy the housemates dismal performance in a recent luxury budget task), it’s also quite clear that the ₹50- lakh reward is nothing more than just a bait.

And oh, for the uninformed, you can watch Rick and Morty, Girls, This Is Us, and Bigg Boss all at the same time!