Gogglebox: the reality TV show with a twist
A three-time television award winner, and one of my all-time favourite shows on British TV, Gogglebox is a reality programme like no other. Imagine this ... you’re watching TV, but the people you’re watching are also watching TV … confused yet? This virtually metaphysical idea enables the viewer to enjoy not only entertainment from the immediate characters on their screen, but also from the programmes that the characters are watching, providing a double whammy of fun.
Further to the originality and simplicity of the series, Gogglebox keeps you hooked with its collection of colourful characters, with families and friends from up and down the country. Although they sometimes change, there are several iconic people that stay the same. These include an old and adorable couple, two bubbly and loud friends with new fake nails and takeaways each week, as well as a posh couple with either their dogs or a glass of wine in hand (or sometimes both), from a town that’s genuinely called Sandwich.
As well as being entertaining, Gogglebox is a great way to view a summary of the weekly top picks of British TV, introducing you to great new programmes but also highlighting the occasionally terrible shows that have made it onto our screens. Their news features also keep you up to date with the biggest stories and give an interesting insight into opinions of different people from across Britain, whether this is met by you in agreement or shock and despair. Furthermore, for me and others currently living abroad, it’s the perfect way to stay in tune with what’s happening back home and feel like we’re not missing out on too much.
Although the idea sounds ridiculous and just like another silly reality TV show, it couldn’t be more different. It’s informative and entertaining and in two minutes you can go from tears of laughter to tears of sadness. It’s also making British TV into one collective viewing experience, shared by teenagers, adults and even the elderly from all over the country, brought together by the famous voice of the narrator. Rather than the professionals, it’s the average viewer who’s giving the latest TV reviews, where their one-line summaries can be far more enjoyable and insightful (and often much less politically correct too!). Now in its seventh series, Gogglebox (‘goggle’ meaning ‘to gaze’ or ‘to gawp’ and ‘box’ referring to a TV) shows no signs of stopping soon. Hopefully, this simple, entertaining and innovative series can start a wave to replace the increasingly mindless and predictable reality TV that is clogging up our channels worldwide.