Gogglebox Ireland is here. The long awaited reality TV show finally made it’s long awaited appearance on Irish television. With the first episode down, just how did this British hit translate onto Irish TV?
What is Gogglebox about?
Gogglebox is a simple concept. Families around Ireland watch a selection of evening TV shows while being recorded themselves. The results are often humorous but strangely familiar. The original British version of the show was hugely successful, owing to the wide range of TV shows and extremely candid reactions of the viewers.
What did Gogglebox Ireland get right?
Things kicking off with the Angelus was funny if not a little calculated. Calculation will be a running theme throughout. With that said, the Angelus is something likely to resonate with most people watching. Ultimately the most important thing that Gogglebox had to achieve was finding sacrificial lambs for social media to shred to bits.
The Cavan twins
The Cavan twins certainly fit the bill. The two farmers hold a dislike for American culture which many will be familiar. Their description of America’s Got Talent summing this up nicely.
Legends ???#GoggleboxIRL pic.twitter.com/wDBwSJ5j7T
— JJ Hartigan (@jayhartigan) September 22, 2016
One of the brothers reached peak hilarity as a fly decided to come between him and the TV.
"That bloody fly is back fergal" #GoggleboxIRL I'm in heaps ??
— ?Hollie? (@pityimnotwitty) September 22, 2016
And finally, the great debate raged over Gingernut versus Jaffa Cakes.
Auld wans everyone knows
Two darling old ladies with barely a bad thing to say about anyone (save for automated cars) also made us giggle with their “Michael Tea Higgins” tea cosy. Much like Nidge’s Nikes were in demand after Love/Hate, the ladies could be knitting overtime following the show’s airing.
Michael Tea Higgins….the new #KingNidge #GoggleboxIRL #iconic pic.twitter.com/I5k3pxIaSj
— Sarah Geoghegan (@SarahGeoghegan4) September 22, 2016
Other than that, the best one-liner of the night goes to the lad who said the only “white lion” he’s ever seen was the “white line” on the road.
What did Gogglebox get wrong?
Unfortunately, Gogglebox Ireland just wasn’t as funny as the UK equivalent. Deirdre O’Kane hasn’t really been funny for a while now, and unfortunately, Gogglebox doesn’t seem to help her, despite her hopes otherwise.
Given the success of Gogglebox Britain, Irish candidates were likely to have known exactly how to impress the editors. As mentioned earlier, large portions of the show just felt a little calculated and it does feel as if the participants know what they’re up to. The show creators don’t get off scot-free either. As funny as the Angelus intro was, it was a little lazy joke that was always going to spark off a few laughs on Twitter.
You know its Gogglebox Ireland,when the jaysus Angelus kicks off the show. ?#GoggleboxIRL
— Graham Merrigan (@Merriganmania) September 22, 2016
The calculation continues with the lead sponsors of the show. Virgin Media’s obvious product placement of their Horizon boxes and Horizon remotes felt incredibly forced. We’re just wondering if any BT Sports coverage will make the show later on.
Gogglebox Ireland: The verdict
Some parts felt forced, others made it feel like a gigantic ad for Virgin Media and TV3. Given how much we enjoyed the UK version of the show, we hoped the Irish version would be better. Thankfully, the show is created as we go along. One week could be brutal while the next one could be gold.
We won’t lie, there were laughs throughout but the laughs were just followed by a feeling of guilt that we’d been duped into a joke. For now, the best we can hope for is the whole thing to get better. Unfortunately, there is one element of the UK show which can’t be replaced: the late Caroline Aherne.
#goggleboxirl It needs a lot of work, but it has potential –
Caroline Aherne's "Taking the piss tone" in the narration is missing.
— Paul (@Data_Cables) September 22, 2016