Building a new generation of reality television

There's a bit of a buzz in our house about a reality TV show. We are the house that has scorned MAFS, couldn't give a toss about The Block, and are not interested if no one survives Survivor.

There was once a passing interest in I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, but across our various generations, we hadn't even heard of most of the latest crop of celebrities.

Then we began to see ads for Lego Masters, and something stirred - some memory of the utter satisfaction of clicking two Lego bricks together.

I found myself picturing the virgin territory of one of those green baseboards, imagining the things I might create there.

I am no Lego fanatic and never have been. Neither is our 13-year-old daughter who, following the Lego Masters ads, suddenly became obsessed with building a giant Minion kit she had not glanced at since Christmas 2017.

It's like that episode of The Simpsons where Itchy and Scratchy are taken off air and all the kids discover there is a world outside.

This was before the show even aired.

We sat at the designated hour, a little doubtful that it was cool to watch a show about Lego, but lured by promos showing exploding colours and walls of multi-coloured bricks.

My daughter had watched the first episode three times before the second show aired. Lego Masters is an unexpected hit, not just with us, but with many of the 1.3 million plus viewers who tuned in.

I found myself the next morning buying a Lego ruler and pencil sharpener for a small friend, and chatting with the newsagency staff - every one of whom had watched the show. Then off to visit a friend - whose children, it turned out, were clearing out a room to make a special Lego table.

It's like that episode of The Simpsons where Itchy and Scratchy are taken off air and all the kids discover there is a world outside.

Bring it on. In a world where bed-hopping features on cooking shows, here is one that takes creativity to a new level - one vaguely achievable to the more optimistic among us.

I have heard two blokes, who I've never known to boast an imagination, discussing the awesomeness of being able to make a living out of building things from Lego.

It might be a marketers' dream for Lego - a Danish invention that began back in 1949, with a name based on a Danish phrase for "play well". But it is also a bit of a dream for the rest of us who are thoroughly over the bee-stung lips and hair extensions of reality television. Who doesn't love seeing a boy and his grandmother take on the world?

And there is always room to encourage people to build dreams - brick by brick.

Marie Low is an ACM journalist.