Photo: Courtesy of Bravo TV.
What is it that we love about watching people watch things? In the '90s, shows like Beavis and Butt-Head and Mystery Science Theater 3000 broke through the fourth wall with hilariously low-brow commentary on bad TV. More recently, reaction videos on YouTube have become a bona-fide cultural phenomenon. (See people losing their minds over everything from the Game of Thrones Red Wedding to Matthew's death on Downton Abbey.)
It was only a matter of time before Bravo got in on the action. The People's Couch is a new three-episode series premiering on the network Sunday night, featuring groups of friends, sorority sisters, bros, and family members huddled around televisions and watching shows like Scandal, Long Island Medium, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey while responding to the madness on-screen.
Couch is based on the British television show Gogglebox. Lara Spotts, Couch's executive producer and vice president of development for Bravo, says it aims to bring audiences closer to what they're watching. "I think the best way to describe this show is to imagine what your TV would see if it were watching you: One night you and your roommates would be in matching mud masks, engaged in a heated debate about whether or not Olivia Pope and President Grant should be fighting their attraction or indulging in it. Another night, you and the roomies might be pre-gaming, watching Miley: The Movement, and another night you would be painting your nails watching Long Island Medium and wondering what you would look like with Theresa Caputo's signature hair."
More than ever, we've got the means to share our thoughts and feelings about what we watch. So, it makes sense that a network would try and tap into the zeitgeist. That's what Spotts thinks, too. "This is a fun, funny show that celebrates our nation's love of TV," she told us. "And even more so, our love of laughing, crying, yelling, and singing at it." And yet, we can't help but cynically raise an eyebrow: Is it meta commentary on the way that we're hyper-connected to the shows we watch? Or, is it simply Bravo's attempt to eek some cheap programming out of plugging cameras into random living rooms? You decide. And watch, if you dare.
The People's Couch airs Sunday nights at 11:30 pm on Bravo TV.