For about a month Australian audiences were subjected to advertising telling us that the concept behind Gogglebox might sound stupid but the show is actually good. My wife and I decided, heck, lets give the show a try. Big mistake. Exactly how bad was it? Well, imagine the very worst reality show you ever watched and try to figure out how to make it even worse, and you have Gogglebox. What is worse than a reality show about dumb, irritating people? How about being trapped in a room with a bunch of boring people watching a reality show about dumb, irritating people. Now make it even worse. Make a reality show about boring people watching disjointed edits of a really bad reality show about dumb, irritating people so you can simulate being stuck in a room with those people whilst suffering short-term memory loss and dementia-style confusion.
Here is the basic concept of the program: Take clips from another TV show, deprive those clips of any context or continuity so they are just a disjointed mess, cut to miscellaneous people apparently picked out of a hat (or at least not on the basis of their wit), and show us their reactions. Cut to cooking show. The rich bitch makes a face. Cut to audience at home who note she made a face. Cut to host of cooking show talking about a miscellaneous dish. Cut to audience members talking about how they think he has a nice voice. Cut to guy with obvious southern US accent. Cut to dumb boring random person wondering if he's from Canada. Cut to other random person mentioning that the guy on the TV is a Texan. Flashback to 6 months of advertising for My Kitchen Rules about a Texan whose charm is making turkey noises. Cut to next random scene and inane comment from other boring person.
Do you think this review is long and rambling? Well, you have not experienced the sheer hell that is Gogglebox. Really, this, along with water-boarding, should be made illegal. It is torture. It is cruel and unusual punishment. It has zero benefit to intelligence. It strips us of our humanity. Yes, the show is that bad. I'd rather watch paint dry because frankly being bored to death is better than being subjected to this evil monstrosity of a show.
I can only conclude that the critical accolades they referred to in the commercials for this program (which, I reiterate, were built around the fact that it was a stupid concept) must have been for the British version of the show which I can only conclude has access to better clips and more interesting viewers. Or maybe they promised not to make the critics watch the show again. That would be more effective than threatening to shoot their dogs, rape their wives, and release embarrassing photos.
Apologies to the people who appeared on Gogglebox. You're probably nice people. I'm probably not interesting to watch whilst I'm watching TV. I'm not Mike Nelson either. But you are being used as instruments of torture.
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