Gogglebox Australia

Gogglebox Talk: Reflecting on Australian culture

This week, the Goggleboxers were prompted to reflect on what it means to be Australian, after watching Sam Neill host a documentary exploring the history of the Pacific in the wake of Captain Cook and mockumentary Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures.

Every evening in Australia, more than four million of us choose to spend a night in front of the telly. Have you ever wondered what other people are watching and how they're reacting to the shows you're loving or hating? 

Reflecting on what we've been taught about Australian history

Whether you view Captain Cook as an invader or an explorer, students who've been to school in Australia will certainly have heard his name mentioned in the classroom, usually in reference to our nation's 'First Settlers'.

While many of us are aware Captain Cook was about 60,000 years too late to be the first to 'discover' Australia, the Gogglebox families this week discussed how little they've been educated about Australian history.

Patrick Delpechitra was quick to say what we were all thinking, as we watched Sam Neill recount the history of Cook's arrival onto this "new land": “But don’t you reckon the Aboriginal people discovered Australia?”

Sam later met with Indigenous Australians to talk about their version of events and how they experienced Captain Cook's arrival (or invasion) on their shores all those years ago.

While Cook and his fellow settlers were adamant they'd discovered the land, using freshly-drawn maps to prove their case, the documentary explained the entire country of Australia has already been charted in song and dance for at least 60,000 years by ancient Indigenous people.

Image credit: Facebook/History Channel

“Why aren’t we ever taught these stories?” Tom wondered.

As Sam is taught by a woman from Waalumbaal Birri, now known as Cook Town, an example of reconciliation was set in 1770 between Cook and an Aboriginal elder, giving the Goggleboxers pause for thought about why we continue to struggle with reconciliation today.

"Back in the day where no one could understand each other, there was reconciliation,” says Symon.

"And we’re still fighting," Tom noted.

On Australiana and poking fun at stereotypes

After making it big nearly ten years ago, one of Glenn Robbins' most loved characters is back on our screens for more All Aussie Adventures.

While some of the younger Goggleboxers weren't familiar with his work - “I thought Russell Coight was his real name," said a baffled Holly Dalton - the slapstick humour of the hopeless bush explorer brought a smile to most of their faces.

“I’m too practical a person to be watching something like this,” said Di, looking very unimpressed.

But most of the Goggleboxers were keen to take part in the silly, light-hearted fun of the comedy, laughing through Russell's parody of the ultra-macho, fearless, capable stereotype of the Aussie bloke we've seen time and time again in Australian films and TV made for the international market... But maybe we're reading into it too much.

So what's the real purpose of the show?

“It’s to make you laugh because he’s stupid," according to Emmie.

Gogglebox continues on Lifestyle, Wednesdays at 7.30pm.

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