Celebrity Gogglebox USA

Gee Australia does a bloody terrific job with Gogglebox.

I know this because I’ve just sat through Celebrity Gogglebox USA in which I struggled to connect with the cast, the shows and a fair whack of their reactions. Ok, let’s put it down to a cultural disconnect, given we Aussies are not the target audience.

For starters I have no idea who most of these celebrities are. Joe Buck, Raven-Symoné, Master P and Romeo, errrrrr….. ok I recognise the Osbournes, Curtis Stone, Rob Lowe and I think that’s Tyra Banks. I don’t know who Robert Herjavec is but his partner Kym has an Aussie accent. Oh wait, it’s dancer Kym Johnson, why didn’t you say so?

Known in the US as Celebrity Watch Party (yuck) this has sprung to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result a lot of these folk look like they are wearing sloppy joes and pyjamas, save for rappers Master P and Romeo watch TV in suits. Word.

There are more than a few swank home-cinemas amongst this lot, especially that owned by the Osbournes (Sharon, Ozzy & Kelly participate), but like the Aussie edition dogs are prevalent. Does Gogglebox have something against cats?

Tyra Banks and her (uncredited) mother don’t even move from bed for their viewing, and how is it Rob Lowe manages to stay more good-looking than his two sons?

Amongst the shows they view are The Masked Singer (again I have no idea who the unmasked singer is)…. a Disney+ doco Elephant narrated by Meghan Markle, film night with Raiders of the Lost Ark, news stories on COVID-19, RuPaul’s Drag Race, basketball doco The Last Dance, more news on King Jong-Un, a virtual Kentucky Derby and reality series Dr. Pimple Popper. Ewww.

Ozzy Osbourne’s blunt remarks were largely where I laughed, otherwise it was all pretty drained of humour and insight. I do think it will be worthwhile to see their reactions to George Floyd protests, which looks to happen in episode 5.

10 sources tell me they will avoid anything spoiler-y that is likely to air here, and it will use comedian Nikki Britton to revoice (the preview I viewed had a whimsical UK narrator).

The risk in using celebrities is a tendency to ‘over-act’ for the cameras, and this is evident from the get go. It’s reasonable to presume that with further episodes these unknowns will become more endearing, but this just highlights the familiarity we have with our local edition, and could even over-egg the brand.

I accept that networks are challenged with a lack of content due to production shutdown. I just don’t reckon this is really the answer.

Celebrity Gogglebox USA airs 8:40pm Thursday on 10.

17 Comments:

  1. white orchid

    It was dreadful, not because I didn’t know who they were, not because zi wasn’t familiar with the shows they were watching but because it was humourless.
    As a huge fan of gogglebox Australia (I didn’t know Who they were either and am not always familiar with the shows they watch but the show is humorous and fun) I was terribly disappointed by the US celebrity version. I don’t think I can watch the series after seeing the first episode. Maybe channel ten would have been better importing the English celeb version to fill the void left by corona production shut downs.

  2. The Wikipedia entry en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity_Watch_Party has the narrator as some guy but obviously we wouldn’t know who it is and replaced by an Aussie (sounds like Fifi box)

  3. No cats? Not watching.

    I’m actually surprised an Australian version hasn’t been made, there’s been enough TV personnel interviewed to know who would love to be on Gogglebox.

  4. If anything, this will show why Aussie gogglebox shouldn’t be edited and watered down for a 7:30 slot. The UK/Irish/and Aussie editions target their countries but allow it in an honest language too, not bleeped or having the cast second guess what they need to say or they wont get airtime.

    • But the Australian version isn’t censored (nor would it need to as M rated content is now permitted from 7.30pm onwards on FTA). Hell, they didn’t skimp on the nudity when they showed clips from the nudist episode of You Can’t Ask That or the graphic birthing scenes from (I’m assuming) One Born Every Minute.

  5. Not that he’s an actor (he’s a sports broadcaster), but Joe Buck will be well-known to those who have seen the Hank Azaria series ‘Brockmire’.

  6. I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of Raven Symone. She was on The Cosby Show, she played Olivia the cute kid they had in later seasons to replace the gap Rudy let when she got older.

    She also had her own teen show on Disney, That’s So Raven and a bunch of other shows.

    She came out awhile ago too.

    • She’s widely known in my age group (early 20s, late teens) purely from her staring on thats so Raven on Disney channel. Unless you watch the view (I think thats what she was on for a while in the US I may be wrong) older people probably don’t really know her. Its like to say unless you watched the suite life of Zack and Cody (again I doubt anyone under 21 did) then you would only have discovered someone like Cole Sprouse in recent Years.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.