To most people it sounds like the stupidest idea ever: watching groups of people on TV watch TV and pass comment on it. Like Twitter come to life. Yet last night Australia was subjected to it’s own version of the show that’s entertained millions in the US and the UK, AND it was as good if not better (what the hell do “most people” know anyway?!).
Welcome to Gogglebox.
Casting was always going to be key for this show – can the participants be entertaining as well as interesting and will they be able to say what they think without being guarded about it? The producers managed to bring together a very interesting and diverse group that certainly made for a very fun show.
Our Goggleboxers are:
– The Dalton Family – Matt & Kate, and their daughters Holly and Millie.
– Wayne & Tom
– Anastasia & Faye
– Adam & Symon
– Lee & Keith
– The Jackson Family – Grant & Stacey, and their kids Corey, Britney, Jesse, Chase, Kane and Nate.
– The Delpechitra Family – Patrick & Tracey, and their kids Wendel, Vestal and Ethan.
– Mick & Di
– Angie & Yvie
– The Kidd Family – Stuart & Janet, and their kids Michael and Roger, and Michael’s partner Elena.
The ten groups of people we met last night were everything you’d need for a show like this – TV tragics with a variety of tastes and a willingness to blather on about anything and everything they see. The shows they all watched were a good mix of subscription and free-to-air content and provided some great talking points and responses from the ‘Boxers. There was also more than a few cracking lines from each group as we swung our way through a big week of TV (Adam & Symon stole the pun of the night award with the name for their new marble-focused reno business: “Marbellous Marble”). Of all the groups we didn’t hear too much from the Delpechitra family this week, though I suspect there’s lots of gold to mine from that family. Guards were obviously up for some thought they’re likely to drop in coming episodes.
For a first time out the show was entertaining and enjoyable television. No question there will be refinements as the season progresses and the cast will relax into the shows they’re watching allowing us to get to know them even better. Wayne & Tom proved to be early favourites though every family had a chance to shine as we flicked through Seven’s My Kitchen Rules, Nine’s Siege interviews, Ten’s I’m A Celebrity, Lifestyle’s Selling Houses Australia & a NatGeo documentary, among other titles. They were all episodes that aired in the last 7-10 days too meaning it’s current content which is critical to the success of the show (who wants to see them discuss a series finale from last week, or even a fortnight ago?).
It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. If you even dabble in the reality tv “arts” then you’ll find Gogglebox a welcome addition to your TV viewing schedule you won’t be able to shake. You’re watching the same shows they’re watching and you’ll find you *have* to tune in to see what your favourite ‘Boxers think of those shows. It’s light, easy, and very, very fun. (Reality TV tragics, welcome to your new favourite show.)
Gogglebox – Wed 8:30pm AEST, Lifestyle; Thu 9pm Channel Ten.