God bless the minds behind Fox’s brand new, just-announced reality series, Celebrity Watch Party: They’re really putting it all on the goddamn table tonight. Not since Wipeout—a show about people wiping the fuck out—has a series been so blunt about how it’s trying to spend your precious time on this planet: Watching famous people watch things. That’s it! No, you don’t get to see what they’re watching. No, you don’t get to pick what they watch. No, we’re not making this up. Yes, Rob Lowe is involved.
As noted by Variety, the series is actually an adaptation of Gogglebox, a U.K. show that’s been so massively successful that it’s now been made in 35 different countries, all presumably full of people who should, to a nation, have known better. The format of the series is simple: The people watch the thing. The camera watches them. The people riff on the thing they watched, unscripted, like the world’s worst version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Friendless people who’ve somehow never heard of podcasts get a brief sense of parasocial connection. And the cosmic ballet goes on.
The big difference between those other shows and Celebrity Watch Party, of course, is the famouses: Gogglebox relies on a “hanging out with your pals” vibe that sees it typically focus on regular families, of the kind you’re presumably extremely sick of hanging out with in your own home by now. Not so for quarantine-Americans, though: We need the celebrities. (Feel free to put scare quotes around all appearances of that word in your mental version of this story, by the way: We’re talking about a tier of folks for whom Lowe is the unassailable apex, with other watchers including Meghan Trainor, Joe Buck, Raven-Symoné, Master P and Romeo, JoJo Siwa, Steve Wozniak, Curtis Stone, and Robert and Kym Herjavec.)
Here’s the most absurd thing about all this: This is actually the second time this show has been pitched and green-lit in the U.S. Bravo ran four seasons of the regular person version—as in, literally based on the same Gogglebox franchise—as The People’s Couch back in 2013 to 2016. The only difference with this new series is that now they’ve shoved a camera in Raven-Symoné’s face, because we’re all so sick of looking at the people and objects in our own homes that sweet celebrity facetime is the only possible cure.
Fox has already ordered 10 episodes of the series, presumably because it only costs however much an hour of Steve Wozniak’s time is worth to produce. The series debuts May 7.