An Ordinary Review: Gogglebox (2016)

Dammit. How could this have happened?

Normally I hate Reality TV, not dislike. Hate. In fact, I would rather become a permanent resident of Hell and not be able to eat anything but Donald Trump’s hair than watch Reality TV. Wait, that means that I wouldn’t be a UK resident so I wouldn’t be able to vote in the next Election. Dammit.

But here I am, sat on my sofa- appreciating what is essentially Reality TV. And not just appreciating, enjoying. Which is weird. Well, I say Reality TV, but it’s different from normal. Let me explain:

The program opens. We see around 4-5 different groups all sat on their sofas, in front of the Television (it cuts between them). Before each ‘reaction’ segment, the narrator gives us a bit of context into the people’s situations and what it is they are reacting to at that precise time. It’s actually a bit like-

The show features many unforgettable faces, ranging from comic couples to forensic families.

Dammit. It happened again. I’m actually praising a Reality TV show. I’m praising it for taking a popular online social trend and using it in TV in a completely coherent way, and giving it a natural feeling. People on social media have been recoding their reactions to games and videos for a number of years now, and this has become a regular fixture. However, it has remained native to the TV world, down below, until now. Gogglebox manages to use the format of online commentary videos, but make it appropriate for normal TV consumption.

So why can I actually bear it? Normally I can’t stand shows like this, (like I’ve said about a thousand times before) and I have a theory why. On the simplest level- we all like watching Television that we can relate to- and this is why I hate reality TV so much. I’m not the sort of person that can have a half an hour long argument about why my friend said he would text me and never did, neither do I enjoy shopping for clothes (really), or discussing whether someone fancies someone else- on length. Reality TV just isn’t my reality.

However, when I watch Doctor Who, I feel gripped on an emotional and intellectual level. I’ve always been a creative person and someone with a huge sense of adventure- even from doing the smallest of things (most often actually). So watching the Doctor and his/her (why not in the future?) companion travel through time and space and discover and solve problems together is like watching a much amplified version of me.

So in summary, we’re all very different folks. But there is one thing which unites most of us- Television. No matter your age or your intellect, a bet you a TARDIS that you remember shouting at a screen at some point in your life. I bet even Theresa May goes home after a long days work, kicks of her shoes (not high heels) and shouts at Phil Mitchell for not calling the police when his ex. ‘colleague’ broke in to his home and threatened him. Or maybe she’s more of a Corrie person…

So to see people from so many different walks of life sitting and reacting in the same way we do, makes us all see a reflection of ourselves- without class, or status- or dignity, yelling our faces off to an inanimate object.

And that older couple that always drink are well funny…

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