Gogglebox yes, Common Sense no.

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.


  1. I watched Ep 1 out of curiosity (as I’m sure most did) – but it was too staged, and the fact that NewsCorp is the source of all the online stories, it feels more like the producers said “go to this link, read this, and then give your opinion, but pretend the cameras aren’t there”.

    Haven’t seen it in the schedule or promo’d (but then maybe because I choose not to !)

  2. Raymond Reddington

    I watched the first episode of Common Sense and didn’t enjoy it at all. I thought that the casting was poor and it felt as if the participants were trying too hard.

  3. I hope common sense gets cancllled and pulled off air ASAP. It’s boring and bland, not to mention very, very unrealistic. Also I am dying to see the Gogglebox opinions of Yummy Mummies

  4. I don’t entirely agree, as I’m enjoying the show, but I have to say the fact that they remain in the same clothes/position for the entire ep makes it look very staged. Some of the conversations looked staged too, like the fish market lady and the bra ladies. The removalists & oldies seem quite natural but I can’t take to anyone else. I keep thinking that if I owned the bra shop I’d have to close it as there’s more staff than customers. It’s quite distracting wondering why the set ups look so false and clearly filmed all on one day. I would like to see the removalists break into a sweat and lift some furniture. Maybe series 2 will address these issues.

  5. Would love to know what Anastasia and Faye and Angie and Yvie think of Common Sense and its participants. All of these girls aren’t backward in calling a spade a spade so their commentary would be surely entertaining.

  6. For me Gogglebox works because it’s more a fly on the wall coverage with the participants seemingly not aware of the camera. Viewers can relate to them as we are sitting in our lounge rooms and sharing a similar experience with them at the same time. Common Sense on the other hand, the participants are very aware of the cameras and seem to be playing up to them. There’s no sense of a shared experience. You can obviously tell the participants are answering questions to an off screen Producer standing next to the camera. Get rid of Common Sense and use that money to double the amount of episodes of Gogglebox please

  7. TasTVcameraman

    Gogglebox Great, Common Sense is not common sense it is pathetic, after all common sense is not that common,
    Yummy Mummys also in my opinion pathetic, A tip from me to the Ten Network, why not look at a resurrection of Nines Wonderful World of Sport, Not concentrating on one sport but the whole lot. I admit I am not a huge sports fan, but I watched every Saturday afternoon when it was on. Great variety of sports, I do not watch either football, or cricket, or rugby or soccer, but that show I enjoyed.

  8. Agree that it’s inferior and even boring. I switched off about 10 minutes in. It’s essentially another news show with different opinions on the stories flying around in your face which plenty of other panel shows already do. Gogglebox is something fresh and different with a great comedic cast where the news topics are only touched on week to week.

  9. Watched the first ep. Was mildly interested that they seemed to have got the same sock sponsor for the real estate guys as for Gogglebox’s Adam and Symon. Lost interest soon after.

  10. This show is disappointing, couldn’t make it past 20 minutes of last weeks episode. It is also really boring

    Inferior to Gogglebox, which was charming from the first episode

  11. I don’t watch either show, but my wife does, so occasional I do sit in for 10 or 15 minutes.

    For me, Common Sense has all the hallmarks of a contrived sequel to Gogglebox. While Gogglebox has its own contrived set up and comments, it is much less seemless in its presentation. Whereas Common Sense just doesn’t appear natural, which then fails to engage you in its whole set up. Its a fine line. Sometimes it works and others it fails.

    You can’t blame them for trying. Gogglebox has been a slow boil success. You can just see the producers pitching a follow up that delivers the same – cheap TV that rates.

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