I confess, I do watch several TV shows on the Bravo network. One show I was initially skeptical about was The People’s Couch. I scoffed at the state of reality TV…watching people watch TV? Then I caught it playing one morning when I was getting ready for work, and I laughed a lot more than I thought I would. My husband and I soon began watching The People’s Couch when it aired.

I happened to catch this article in The Daily Beast and I was instantly intrigued about Gogglebox, the original BAFTA winning British version.  (Gogglebox is British slang for TV.) Gogglebox is currently airing its 8th season.

The shows they watch have been on TV during the last week–so it’s timely.  The American version takes place in Los Angeles and you see a variety of families: a father & three grown daughters, two Persian sisters, two best friends, three elderly ladies, three gay friends, an African-American family, etc. People drop off the show and then a new group comes in, but you get to know them (and their animals) over time.

Gogglebox in the UK films around the country and in completely different economic circumstances. If you’ve ever been to England, you know there’s a huge difference between a Newcastle accent and a Manchester accent, and it makes it so much more interesting.  They feature an adorable muslim father and his two grown sons in Derby, the posh B&B owners in Kent, the Moffat family in County Durham, Leon and June (retired teachers) in Liverpool, Jenny & Lee from Hull (best friends), Giles and Mary in Wiltshire, Sandra and Sandy from Brixton, the Malone’s and their five dogs in Manchester, etc.  Seeing what shows air in other countries and how families react to them is fascinating, especially news about the U.S. Most were shocked at Trump’s election victory but also felt the surprise Brexit vote was a precursor.

Gogglebox also airs an Australian version, which just finished its 3rd season.  An Ireland version just aired season 1 and more countries are following suit. I wish Netflix aired this show, with subtitles if necessary–we could get a much better understanding of other cultures, how they watch TV, what is the big news in each country, and just be better informed about the world.  Because of Gogglebox, I knew who UKIP’s Nigel Farage was a few years ago and you could sense Brexit rolling in. I also learned about great shows like Happy Valley, Marcella, Versailles, etc. that would be airing in the future on Netflix or on a U.S. channel.  These shows make you laugh and cry, and they sometimes have to cover the screen with a hand to block out the scary bits just like you do.

We wait to hear if The People’s Couch will be renewed by Bravo for a fifth season – the fourth season ended in May. The best part is getting to know the families and friends–their quirks and their animals. You see the kids growing up over the seasons and relationships shifting. I love all of these shows.

People’s Couch watches Beyonce’s Lemonade is one of the greatest shows and still one of my favorites.