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Pop CultureSeptember 20, 2018

Bow down to the retirement village queens of Gogglebox NZ

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Gogglebox NZ takes a bunch of ordinary Kiwis, chucks them onto a sofa and films them as they watch television. Tara Ward watched them watching. 

“Don’t laugh too much, your teeth might land on the table.”

Last night three new stars flew into our lounge rooms like a pair of falsies hitting the coffee table. Retirement village BFFs Maureen, Myrtle and Sybil were the shining light of Gogglebox NZ’s debut episode, perfectly capturing the essence of what makes Gogglebox a winner: ordinary people saying bloody funny things.

To many, Gogglebox NZ marks the end of civilisation as we know it. A television show about people watching television? It’s the bottom of the barrel, the lowest of the lows! The world is eating itself whole and then throwing itself back up!  Run for your lives!

But fans of the franchise will know that the last thing Gogglebox is about is the television. It’s about the people who watch it, those brave souls who invite us into their living rooms to watch them drink beer in their jim-jams, as they lay bare all their loveable quirks and eccentricities before our very eyes.

It’s about different families around the country voicing the same thoughts about Graham Norton’s facial hair. It’s Hamo’s existential questions about which politician you should put in a rocket. It’s Maureen, Myrtle and Sybil’s banter about the Westside wedding pash (“they lick it first to see if tastes good”) and an unexpected vajazzle on Naked Attraction (“oh, well done!”).

If this is society eating itself whole, then count me in for every delicious regurgitated morsel.

Last night, Gogglebox NZ showed us a diverse nation filled with delightfully opinionated telly watchers. We watched whānau and friends cram onto their sofas to watch The Chase, a doco called Drain the Oceans and a news item about the value of te reo Māori in schools. Opinions flowed like an undersea volcano, and although we might disagree or question their choice of dressing gown, Gogglebox NZ proves that nothing unites a nation better than the power of silver fox newsreader Mike McRoberts.

Let’s revisit some of Gogglebox NZ’s most memorable moments.

The snacks

You had me at ladyfingers, Gogglebox NZ. What you eat on Gogglebox is as important as what you watch, and we had spongy digits, we had sub-par noodles, we had Ange and Tinks’ dog eating the best bowl of roast chicken and rice I’ve ever seen with mine own square eyes.

Please excuse me while I drain the social media ocean to find Ange & Tinks’ exact whereabouts, so that I can insert myself behind their pile of animal cushions before next week’s delicious banquet.

The reactions

Further proof that The Chase is the glue that holds this country together:

While the Solas watched the acrobat slip and fall on America’s Got Talent:

The accessories

All hail Hilz & Mary’s sofa, the finest big red chair this side of Graham Norton’s ombre facial hair.

Ange and Tinks’ incredible dog cushions, which need to be put directly into the blue light so we can appreciate these canine creations in all their padded glory.

Makes you think

Drain the oceans indeed, because Gogglebox NZ revealed a world of knowledge that’s been hiding deep, deep below the surface. Would you rather cut your eye in half with a razor blade, or swallow ten needles? Should you really hold the wall in an earthquake? How does Vin Diesel drive a manual in jandals? Is that a cushion or a real, live dog?

If Gogglebox NZ didn’t simultaneously blow your mind and make you scoff into your ladyfingers, then I’ll leave you with Vin Diesel’s immortal words from The Fast and the Furious: “the most important thing in the world are the people in this room.” And always, always hold onto your teeth.

Keep going!