The Ten 'Gogglebox' Families I’d Like To Spend An Evening With
It is hard to fathom what makes 'Gogglebox' so compelling. After all, on the surface at least, what could be less watchable than watching strangers watch television. That was my scoffed reaction when I first saw it advertised. Yet three series later and here we are, and 'Gogglebox' is standard Friday night viewing. Perhaps it is, without getting too ‘culture show’, the renewed sense of shared experience that makes popular to so many – so much of our culture has been disseminated into digital sub-channels that we no longer feel connected through the glowing box in our living rooms, 'Gogglebox' gives us some of that back. Or maybe its just quite a funny show, one that is easily followed when you’re half-way through a bottle of merlot.
Anyway, I digress, for I am not here to do my best Yentob impression. I am here to list my top 10 'Gogglebox' families that I’d like to spend an evening with. I’ve got my Jacobs Creek and my box of celebrations. So off we go:
10. The Tappers
Are the Tapper family the least likeable, most irritating family on 'Gogglebox'? No. Unfortunately for them they offer little else besides allowing their children free reign to talk shite. I don’t have kids, but maybe that’s the key to parenting – putting up with your kid’s nonsense. I steadfastly believe that ‘the children’ are our future, but until they learn to self-censor they shouldn’t be allowed on 'Gogglebox'. Which links me nicely to our next entry…
9. The Michaels
We all know the problem with first impressions, if you don’t there is plenty of ‘life lesson’ twitter accounts that some dickhead always RTs onto your timeline. The problem with the first impression of the Michaels family is that one would be mistaken to assume the loudmouth 17-year old son was the asshole of the piece. Yet now we’re three series in it’s clear that the real issue with the family is the parents. Their increasingly overt ill-informed views are rapidly developing into a prefect storm of UKIP leaflets, Daily Mail opinion pieces and spit. I can endure a lot, but I’d be surprised if I spent more than five minutes in their company before frantically searching for local minicab numbers and directing them to the house with the ‘No to Windfarms’ poster in the window…
8. The Woerdenwebers
This would be one of the households where there’d be a decent chance I’d be asked to leave. They seem like a lovely family, and I have a soft spot for Ralph’s beautifully Germanic ‘fookin ell’, but sooner or later I'd have to ask whet they’re playing at with the whole heavy metal thing (the musical equivalent of wrestling – no one over 15 should have an interest). Or my drunken staring at ‘silent Jay’ in attempt to form a Vulcan mind meld would get too much. I’d give myself till just after’ eight…
7. Linda, Pete and George
‘Knees-up mother brown, knees-up mother brown…’
6. Stephen and Chris
More than any other family, Stephen and Chris would love the fact I’d brought wine and celebrations – they’d even make a humorous joke about how shite the wine was, but not to my face. They’d wait till I went to the toilet and on my return the tittering would dissipate and I’d sit there, frozen with paranoia wondering what they really thought about me. I’d make my excuses and leave before 'Chatty Man'.
5. Bill and Josef
Ah, the underrated intellectual pimps of 'Gogglebox'. I would love to spend an evening around theirs. We’d have cheese and crackers, maybe a sherry or two (I wouldn’t dare bring wine around, not with my lack of knowledge) and we’d watch documentaries on BBC4 about trains or radio waves or something – usually the stuff I’m only allowed to watch in the wee hours on my own, like a teenager silently trying to access free tits on Babestation. Speaking of tits – if the conversation did go over my head (90% probable) I could just stare at the semi-pornographic ‘artwork’ on the walls – win/win.
4. Sandy and Sandra
Going round to the SAS’s house would be like going to a music festival – all great fun but by the end of it you’d be craving some sort of detox. Whilst I’m not denying I’d enjoy the novelty factor of drinking out of a pot noodle cup, eating a share size pizza or the infectious enthusiasm that comes with a Jools Holland show, by midnight I’d be googling the nearest 24hr gym. There maybe no regret in Jesus, but there is certainly some to be found in type 2 diabetes.
3. The Seddiquis
Another underrated family – two reasons why they rank so high. One – a seemingly continuous supply of quality, varied biscuits. No two cups of tea would be the same. And two – the patriarch of the Seddiquis, Sid is the ring master of a superb comic troupe. They dish out one-liners like they're going out of fashion. As I sat there, washing down a massive mug of tea chuckling away to the throw-away jokes I find myself slowly sinking into the chair in total relaxation. A quality night in. They’s have to ask me to leave, but in such a nice way I’d bear no malice.
2. The Parkers
I wouldn’t leave the Parkers' gaff. I’d wake up the next morning, my brain playing ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ backwards as my stomach is still making it’s mind up as to which way is polar north. Through the morning haze the details of the previous night would come into focus – booze flowing as freely as the amazon, public school parlour games, politics, booze, religion, the Middle East, more booze and finally a dramatic re-enactment of when Theroux met the Hamiltons. I may have had fun but I will never return.
1. June and Leon
There was only ever going to be one winner. In contrast to the previous entry on the list I’d happily move in with Leon and June. I’d readily jettison biscuits in favour of a solitary Ryvita. I’d turn wine into water. I’d sit on the fucking floor. All to be close to Leon. The man is an a comedian, an oracle, a bullshit merchant. He is what every man should aspire to. Leon for PM.