It must have sounded like a good idea at the time.
Instead of having couch potatoes giving opinions on television, why not have workers weighing in on the news? After all, we do it all the time.
But while Gogglebox has won legions of fans around the country, Common Sense has landed with a thud failing to touch its numbers on either Foxtel or TEN.
Sure it takes time to get to know the characters, just as Gogglebox did, but there are some central issues with the premise of Common Sense.
The biggest problem is that people at work yakking the whole time makes them look lazy.
If these people work it must be when the cameras are not rolling. Footage of people glued to their phones does not endear me to their opinions. I’m not laughing, I’m not disagreeing, I’m just wondering when the hell they are going to do some work.
So far the two removalists don’t seem to have lifted a finger. But to film them carrying furniture in and out of homes would require a roving camera, instead of a camera left on a tripod. The whole idea of a fly on the wall is all but abandoned. Talent would be far more conscious and potentially begin to ‘act up,’ presuming they aren’t already.
The two hairdressers must have mute clients. None of their customers engage in the conversations. That’s unrealistic. The bra ladies don’t appear to have any customers at all, so why does it take 3 staff to look after their stock?
Common Sense films its employees during their breaks so as to minimise disruption in the workplace. But the net result is that they look lazy.
Another issue is the source material. On Gogglebox all families have viewed exactly the same episode of Married at First Sight or Four Corners, as we have. So they end up effectively saying what we are thinking. The whole thing becomes a shared experience.
On Common Sense there is less clarity about which article, which radio news item or TV report they are responding to. It varies from group to group and it’s unlikely we’ve seen the same source. The experience is less shared.
I don’t really get how this differs from talkback radio, other than perhaps I am supposed to find favourites amongst ongoing characters. So far I haven’t.
But then if producers want to know what’s wrong with the show, just show it to the Gogglebox cast.
They should give them some answers quick smart.
Common Sense airs 7:30pm Wednesday on LifeStyle and 8:30pm Thursday on TEN.