What’s everyone watching in 2023?

2023? How the bell did we get here? The days are all a blur and we have more choices than ever of TV shows – but are they any good?

I am late to the party with a Brooklyn 99 binge via Netflix. It’s a fun show when you have had a hard day and don’t want to watch anything too mentally taxing. And Andre Braugher’s voice is always so soothing.

My new weekly date is with the zombie apocalypse show The Last if Us. It’s based on a game about fungal spores infecting humans and sparking a global pandemic. I do live a good apocalypse show and even hung in there a The Walking Dead limped to the end a king time after it should have been put down.

One to watch

Australian TaskMaster starts on Ten this week. The British version is one of my fave shows, so I am really hoping this one is not dreadful.

Tom Gleeson from Hard Quiz is the TaskMaster, so if his schtick is not your thing, steer clear. Still, most of the fun comes from watching comedian contestants attempt to do ridiculous tasks in tight timeframes.

. If you have no idea what I am talking about, there should be some UK seasons on SBS in Demand.
TaskMaster airs on Ten Thursday at 7.30pm (so it will have to be much more PG than the UK original).
And here is a link to the best scene ever from UK Taskmaster

What’s everyone else watching?



  1. There’s not much appealing content on Aussie TV at the moment, for me.

    I’m not watching “Australian Idol” (I have this weird phobia about listening to people singing live. I don’t know), definitely passing on “MAFS” and “Survivor” has featured George very heavily in all the promos, which is a hard pass.

    One show I did get addicted to, last year, was “Below Deck”. 7Bravo is currently airing the Australian sub-franchise (“Below Deck Down Under”) on Wednesday nights, so I don’t miss that.

    I’ve also recently gotten totally addicted to watching clips of “East Enders” on YouTube. So much so that I’m starting to hear cockney phrases and words when I talk to people.

  2. I’m looking forward to Taskmaster and am watching Survivor.
    Like you, WS, I’m not into talent or even worse, dating shows.

  3. I am a big fan of the UK version of The Taskmaster.
    I worried that the Australian version would be a pale imitation but was pleasantly surprised. The two new hosts steered clear of following too closely over the trodden path (although it was touch and go every now and then) and let the contestants be “the hero” of episode one.
    I also expected Julia to be too overpowering, as she can sometimes be, but it was all nicely balanced with some people I have never heard of.
    It was easy watching and I even laughed out loud at one point so I will tune again.

    • Yes. It was an advance screening of Episode 1.
      I was a little bit thrilled. Felt special for a moment 🤣🤣🤣 and then realised that I probably spend too much time streaming free to air.

      • You’d be like me, Bobi, getting a link from TenPlay to watch TM early – just haven’t had time yet.
        That’s a relief to hear it is not awful!

    • I also love the UK one, but I did enjoy this one. I believe the show’s success relies on the “minion” and not the actual taskmaster, and I think the little Tom was quite good, although it would be hard to find anyone as good as Little Alex Horne. Of course, the UK version was invented by Alex, so it is really a vehicle for his talents with Greg just the sideshow.

      The Aus version started quite stilted but it got better as the two hosts relaxed and went off script more.

  4. I watched TM tonight with Mr Juz and Mr 10 (who adores the swearing in the UK one). It was pretty good although the loud canned laughter was overbearing. I do miss the banter between Greg and Alex but at least they did not try to fake that with the Toms. All the cast did well although I found the final on-stage task to be rushed. In the UK one they would have had a go one by one. None of the tasks was an exact copy of the UK one – just shared the DNA – so that was a relief.

    • I watched it and mostly enjoyed it. There were some flat spots, and yes, the canned laughter was annoying. Tom and Julia can each often be overbearing but were more restrained last night. I think it will get better as it goes on.

      I did get some laughs over how many of the players just could not follow instructions.

    • Heh, heh.
      I’m looking forward to that segment.
      I saw that Luke just got engaged. Given his mother’s comment, he either kept that quiet from her or the relationship was very quick.

  5. Enjoying Survivor very much. So refreshing after the disaster that the US version has become. A good mix of returning and new players, and more variety in the challenges. I quite like George (as a player) but only the first ep focused on him really, because of the injury.

    Last night’s evictee was a very poor ambassador for wildlife conservation!

    • I’m quite liking it, too. I can’t watch a whole episode because some players are nails-down-a-blackboard but, given the amount of airtime they are getting, I’m assuming they are not long for this show.

  6. I’ve just come back from grocery shopping. That was a shock 😮. Seriously, it was a huge jump. I did buy extra meat but it was mostly mince. I’m thinking that I’m going to have to have a closer look at discretionary items.
    I am enjoying Britbox. I’m keeping that one.

  7. I have been recording Survivor Aus, bit so far haven’t been able to bring myself to endure whining Sharni or whiny George. I already spent most of their last seasons wanting to see the back of them.

    • Yes, I haven’t even bothered with this year’s “Survivor”. The heavy George focus was enough to turn me off.

  8. I have just been watching the Grammys.
    I feel so old.
    The singing, and I use that term very loosely, is just horrendous.

    • I didn’t watch because I wouldn’t know most of the singers, so am not all that interested in who wins.

      But I have looked at photos of what people are wearing. Some of those outfits are hilarious. Shania Twain takes the cake I think. One newspaper described her outfit as “Seussian”, which is accurate – Dr. Seuss would be proud.

    • There’s a lot of hate directed at Harry Styles for winning something instead of Beyoncé.
      I don’t have an opinion on Harry winning but I have absolute views on Beyoncé.
      I’m a little over this worship of Beyoncé as some sort of deity. She not my cup of tea. She put out one good song and now, apparently, she is perfection in every thing she does. Normally I would put in a disclaimer here about “not my demographic “ but my view is held by all my grandkids so I am feeling kind of smug.

      • Beyonce appeals to an easily impressed dumbographic.

        Would she have made it in the 60’s or 70’s ?


        • Could you imagine Guy Sebastian, Delta, or Jessica Malboy making it in the 70s.
          They’d be playing at the Herdsman as a feature act, and I guess someone would go. Normie Rowe played as a feature at at the White Sands and he did his block because people weren’t listening to him sing.

      • I also don’t “get” Beyoncé. She has won plenty of awards – it is ok for other people to win, too. I’m not a Harry fan either but.good on him for forging an international career after starting in a manufactured UK boy band

        • I just don’t like the boring music they have the cheek to call R&B. I would expect more from a genre with that name.

          Yesterday I was listening to The Stranglers singing Golden Brown on my car music list. Now THAT has a sound.

  9. I hear Dr Phil has been cancelled. I don’t know what I’m going to watch now while I have lunch. Oh, wait, more fabulous cooking shows 😀.

  10. Taskmaster was okay tonight. I hope that’s not as good as it gets.
    I love the concept of this show and I don’t want it to go bad.

    • I’ve had a rough day and needed a laugh. I’m not far into the show yet, but Julia opening 71 bags before finding the cat made me guffaw.

      I think the bit where contestants bring in prizes could be eliminated.

      • Hoping it’s a better day today.
        The opening segment is usually my favourite bit. This one last night was inane. Maybe that’s what sparked my disappointment.
        The show was slightly redeemed for me by Luke’s phone call to his mother (plus my heart broke a little bit for Nina). He really is a delight.

        • Thank you, Daisy and Bobi. Sometimes things just get you down. I felt sorry for myself for a little while, had a little cry, and today I am fine :).

          Luke’s phone call to his mum was funny, especially his facial expressions as she kept on talking. The show does have some bits that don’t work, but I’ll keep on watching because so far the funny bits outweigh the others.

  11. Commenting on Bobi’s comment above about price shock on groceries -wtaf is going on? Did inflation jump to 50% while I wasn’t looking?

    I did an on line shop the other day and it was delivered today. It was normal pantry and fridge items, no junk food, chocolate, cleaning products, or personal stuff like shampoo. While I took note of price increases when I shopped, I got pissed off again when checking items against the invoice. I compared 6 things whose prices I knew before they went up. Total of price increases for those 6 was $8.80. Woolies even put up the price of the goddamn paper bags. I don’t think inflation, covid, and shortages can account for that. Greed?

    • If it was just a gradual increase, I’d put it down to just inflation – you know, like petrol cost, transport costs etc (the stuff we are used to) but it’s dramatic. We know it’s not wages and I doubt that Woolies or Coles have high interest payments. Obscene salaries for CEOs?
      Call me a simple soul but I’m with you on the greed. Surely. I can’t think of anything else.
      I used to grow a lot of my veggies. I have had a terrible couple of seasons. I’m going to blame the weather rather than my lack of green thumb. 🤣
      I don’t really know where to go from here.

  12. One of the best tribals I have seen, last night on Survivor. George, hate, love or tolerate him, has the most amazing mind, and he just carved them up last night. He turns people from “he has to go immediately” to “actually, I like working with him”. Poor Simon was ground into the dirt by George’s incredible ability to manipulate situations. JLP barely said anything, just stood and watched in awe.

    And all this with the background of a vital piece of information that the viewer knows, but none of the players know. It is turning into an awesome season.

  13. There are some shows returning that I’m looking forward to. Insight, Gogglebox, and new episodes of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw are ones I like. MasterChef too, and I am a little tired of that, but will probably watch anyway.

    There’s a new one that, if I’m reading the promos right, follows couples as they are going through the process (nearly wrote journey) of IVF. Could that be right? It’s a terrible idea. Do we see people having unpleasant treatments, waiting to find out if a pregnancy results, possible miscarriages? Is nothing private anymore?

    Also, there will be new eps of Bluey, best news of all.

  14. I’m with you on the IVF one. Part of me is horrified at the intrusion of something so private, and part of me wants to watch. I’m guessing the appeal for the couples is that a very expensive medical procedure is paid for by the producers. It feels a bit opportunistic to me, taking advantage of someone’s desperation. I hope they mention the low success rate. I hate this view that IVF is a cure all.
    Can’t wait for Bluey.
    And new episodes of Vera. ❤️
    In the meantime, I am watching The Great British Sewing Bee on BritBox. I love this one so much that I am going to go out and buy a sewing machine. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Very little will go wrong if you’re patient with yourself while learning. I learned to sew when I was young, but was never able to master putting in sleeves so they looked right, or putting in zippers by machine. Shirts I made were sleeveless, and zippers were put in by hand.

      I still have an old sewing machine. It’s only used now for overcasting raw edges of hems and various bits of mending on old but favourite clothes.

      If you don’t understand any of what I said, you might do better to find a good seamstress :).

  15. My aunt was a seamstress back in the day. I’m assuming that women weren’t allowed to be tailors. I won’t say I learned very much from her but there was a little information transference by osmosis.
    It’s more that these people are taking such joy in the process that it makes me want to give it a go.
    One challenge saw them making a bra (really difficult, btw) but if I could master that, wouldn’t that be a bit of fun.
    I know that it wouldn’t be like that for me. I would be in the back room, hunched over the machine, in the dark, crying.
    But wouldn’t it be nice if it wasn’t. You can never have too many hobbies.

      • Agree with nope, stretchy and slippery fabric is the absolute worst to work with. Are the people on Sewing Bee accomplished sewers? Do they have a few inexperienced ones to make it more interesting?

        If you really do buy a sewing machine, let us know the first thing you make. With pictures.

        • In the last season or two there have been some cast who took up sewing during British lockdowns. Some are from creative fields, like set design, but there are also doctors and retired teachers etc. Thr blokes tend to be less experienced. Sometimes the excellent sewers get tripped up in the reinvention challenge. While they are great at following patterns and French seams, they come unstuck when asked to turn beach towels into an evening gown, or similar.

        • They are mostly experienced home sewers but it rare to have anyone with the complete range required. Who in their right mind would make a man’s dress shirt?
          My favourite episode had them making one of those beautiful African peplum dresses.
          Delightfully, no one fails completely but some people are very good.
          I look forward to sharing my attempts. 🤣

  16. I missed half of Taskmaster because I forgot it was on last night. I’ll probably keep watching because it will lead in to Gogglebox. Although some challenges are funny, overall the show is disappointing.

    I do find it amusing that Julia often finds a completely different way to interpret the instructions while staying within the rules.

    • Yes. I, too, am disappointed in the Australian version. I doubt that this is going to be renewed for season 2.
      I think Jimmy and Julia get the concept. Luke is just charming.
      I am wondering whether the problem is the host. It’s out-of-the-box thinking that should be rewarded.
      Or maybe it’s the lad stepping in for Little Alex Horn. One of the delights of the UK show is how Alex is used as a prop without a single complaint or pushback. Jimmy would have been good as Alex. He is willing to forgo dignity for a laugh.
      However, I will keep watching. It harmless fun and there’s very little else on.

  17. Insight was interesting tonight. The subject was political correctness. I knew that would be a button-pusher for me, so had decided to listen all the way through and not yell at the tv. I think Insight is a good show because the people on it are mostly respectful and listen to others opinions without yelling or finger-pointing. As they were tonight – except for one person. It wasn’t just the hateful and prejudiced words that came out of her mouth, but also her facial expressions, eye rolling, lip-pursing and head shaking when anyone said something she did not agree with. That was Katherine Deves. I wanted to punch her in the mouth.

    • 🤣🤣🤣 The woman is a caricature. It is hard to believe she is real. Still unbelievable that she was chosen by the Liberal party. Maybe she continues to have high hopes. Some people become overly invested in a losing preposition. I will watch just for the joy of seeing her.
      And the yelling. I love yelling at the tv.

  18. I see that Big Miracles, which is the show that follows couples having IVF, is on tonight.

    I was tossing up whether or not to watch one episode, although I think the premise is intrusive and inappropriate for a reality show. But after seeing excerpts from it on Gogglebox the other night, I definitely won’t be watching any of it. One couple had 16 rounds of IVF before the woman tested positive for a pregnancy. I don’t know rules for IVF clinics, but I’d think giving anyone that many treatments would be unethical. I guess money talks. By far the worst scenes shown were after a baby’s birth, when the baby didn’t breathe right away. Watching her being stimulated and prodded for what seemed like forever was horrendous and I wondered if they were really showing a stillbirth. She did cry eventually fortunately.

    I suppose there are some happy endings and healthy babies in the show, but I think it is an unsuitable subject for reality tv.

    • I have a granddaughter who was born through IVF. The procedure was a simple solution to a simple problem so it wouldn’t make for good television viewing. 🙂
      But because of “everything “, I was aware of the stories. Desperate people looking for hope where there is none, and the clinics are mostly driven by money.
      And I say mostly because, to be fair to them just for a moment, there are enough stories about that one miracle so people would be unlikely to listen anyway. Everyone thinks that they can still win the lottery, despite the odds saying otherwise.
      I’ve heard people talk about cancer in the same way.
      Here’s my conspiracy theory. These television shows are propaganda to keep keep invested when they should just stop. My brother, cynically, calls it The Cancer Industry. I’m not the only person at the table who would have second thoughts about any cancer treatments having watched a family member go through something that looks suspiciously worse than the disease.
      And back to IVF, I often wonder about the life of the successful embryo. The pressure on that child growing up to be perfect is unimaginable to me, and doomed to failure, of course.
      Ignore me. I am feeling deep today.

      • Bobi, I have a friend who has 2 children conceived with help from ivf. I don’t think anyone would expect kids conceived through ivf to be any better or worse, but fyi; her kids are THE meanest, naughtiest, rudest and demanding kids I have ever seen. I never met a kid I didn’t like, EVER, then my friend had 2. They are truly horrible…but it was parenting.

        • I think any person who is desperate to get pregnant/have a child, should have to rent a two-year-old to be with them 24/7 for one week.

        • 🤣🤣 Absolutely, Von.
          I don’t say it very often because I am prone to being misunderstood but “children” are highly overrated.
          I like my children, and two of my grandchildren are simply adorable but on the whole, if people were totally aware of the day to day drudgery – with a passing mention of how self-absorbed these tiny creatures are – the human race would die out.

          • I agree with you both. At this risk of being maudlin, after giving away my figure, decades of my life and probably millions of dollars raising kids and grandkids, then being kicked to the curb, I’m thinking dogs are a better idea.
            Ask me again in 5 years.

    • My views are “complicated”. 🤣🤣🤣
      Something, something, privatisation and corruption of government and then something, something apathy of voters.
      It would require a long dinner table conversation and plenty of wine for my opinions to be laid out. It would be fun as long as the wine was good.
      I think that the changes to taxation of superannuation is a slice that shows what is wrong with Australia. One half of one percent (0.5%) of Australians will be affected by the changes to taxation of super but 35% of Australians are against. Seriously. Who are these people and what are they thinking? I’m serious, btw. I really would like to know.
      But I suspect the answer also leads to profiteering by companies, the rental crisis, inflation etc and that’s why we can’t have nice things.
      And I took great care to start my sentence with a “but” rather than an “and”. 😀

      • Maybe some of the 35% are looking to their futures and hoping not to be affected by the changes. But I wonder if these, presumably younger, people really think they are going to be in that bracket at retirement. I didn’t pay much attention to my super beyond making sure my and my employers’ contributions went in, and occasionally checking the fund’s performance, when I was young. The wfc changed that mind set somewhat, and looking back…well, hindsight. 🙂

        And governments change, so rules and regulations change. People worried about their super in the future should vote accordingly.

      • Interesting points. Thanks for that.
        I find it difficult to determine Australian voters think. I reassess my vote at every election on … idk … available information – I’m not a rusted on anything voter – so people’s reasoning can be perplexing to me.
        My DiL is a rusted on Lib voter because she believes in small government and anything that says no taxes. When she talks, it’s like listening to someone who runs a big business and comes from money. She doesn’t btw.
        Fair enough. She’s entitled to her views, except (you knew there would be an except 🤣🤣🤣) she hasn’t worked since she was 18, she is on a government pension and will be for the remainder of her days, the kids are subsidised to go to a private school (Catholic), she lives in a govie house with a rent subsidy, etc, etc, and really more etcs.
        I’m not sure that she sees it as money. Sometimes I think that she just thinks that everything is free for her. When it’s mentioned that this is all taxpayer funded, she just gets a funny look on her face and goes on a rant about something (kind of like, “Look over there”. 👉👆☝️👇👉🫣) You should have seen the look on my face when she ranted in favour of Robodebt. 😯
        Unfair of me, I know, but every time I hear of someone complaining about paying too much tax, she leaps to mind. I must stop that. My New Years resolution is to keep an open and curious mind. It’s still a struggle sometimes. 😀

    • The duopoly only cares about its (is duopoly singular or plural?) commitment to shareholders and the all important bottom line. That’s business I suppose, but I wish they’d stop with the virtue signaling – “we care so much about our customers, and try to keep prices down” – because that is all bullshit. They will milk the pandemic and supply line issues excuses for as long as they can, and then continue to put prices up anyway for no reason other than greed.

      • As a point of no particular interest, it’s singular. Duopolies is plural.
        I love the English language. Designed to confuse.
        And Qantas is my pet peeve.

        • I should have known that, but the “duo” part confused me.

          Qantas peeves you because there is no U? They could have kept the U from Queensland I guess. Or made it Qldantas so it was unpronounceable as well as an odd spelling.

        • 🤣🤣🤣 Yes. It is the lack of U. It is my right to demand a U.
          I just did a quick google (morning coffee time in bed, waiting for the sun to get up) to see if there were other words with no U and they are all foreign and direct imports, or Europeans have substituted a K.
          So … KANTAS?

  19. For those of you who have liked Death in Paradise, there is a new spin off series on Binge. Kris Marshall renews his character as DI Humphrey Goodman, and Sally Bretton, is back to play Martha, his fiancee. It is set in Devon and has all the charm and intrigue of DIP. A new episode is dropped every Saturday, with 2 eps currently available. I am loving it, just hate having to wait a week between eps.

  20. Is anyone still watching Taskmaster, hoping it improves? I’m watching, but last week’s was dismal and I wandered off to do something else.

    Luke and Julia are the funniest, and I love Jimmy Giggle so he gets a pass from me on anything he does. But the tasks are often weak and the taskers can’t do much with them. It is disappointing. Maybe tonight’s ep will be hilarious.

    • I’m watching TM but, like for you, it struggles to hold my attention.
      Every now and then, there is a funny segment, and every now and then, one of the players thinks like a proper taskers and I am amused, and of course, it is very funny when they get the task completely wrong but are supremely confident that they have been fabulous. It’s that head slap moment.
      They have all grown on me to some extent. Julia and Jimmy are clearly seasoned performers and Luke is just likeable. Because she Is everywhere, maybe we have underestimated Julia? The two girls have settled and are better. The blonde lass has potential.
      Sadly though, it’s not enough and I have gone back to watching the UK version. Let’s just blame it on lack of chemistry. Somewhere.

      • I am watching, and enjoying, but I agree that it lacks in comparison to the UK, which is into another great season on Monday nights. For me, it is Tom Gleeson (who I usually like) who brings it down. The comparison to Greg Davies is just too wide, and since the Aus version started I have appreciated Greg much more. The comic timing between him and Alex Horne is impeccable.

        The celebrities are okay, but nothing special. The blonde anonymous one annoys me, yet is often the best at the challenges. The challenges are mixed, with some I will remember for a long time (the roses on the path) and others that are bland. The best are the ones where there is an obvious shortcut that all except one miss, but you can’t have too many of those.

        I reckon it will be renewed, as it is doing well enough, and far better than some of their recent attempts at new content.

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