If you’re a fan of You Can’t Ask That, then you’re going to love Look Me In The Eye.
Look Me In The Eye is the kind of show that’ll have you crying within minutes, but it’ll also restore your faith in humanity.
Hosted by Ray Martin, the SBS show (which is also availble now to stream on SBS On Demand) is based on a UK format that’s been adapted for Aussie audiences.
It’s a unique television experience which aims to answer one question – can eye contact alone repair a broken relationship?
Listen: The Binge host Laura Brodnik explains why Australia is so obsessed with Look Me In The Eye. Post continues after audio.
The show pairs together people who are estranged, have hurt each other, or have experienced conflict in the past. The two then have to look each other square in the eyes for five minutes without saying a word.
Once the five minutes is up, they decide whether they want to see each other again and talk things through, or just want to walk away.
The 17 couples featured in the six-part series range from an estranged father and daughter to a former child soldier, Ayik, facing his former prison guard.
Everyone who has watched Look Me In The Eye has been profoundly affected by the experience. Here, six women share why this Aussie television show has them glued to their TV screens:
“I cried like a baby.”
“I stumbled on this show and couldn’t look away,” says Batoul. “I cried like a baby through the whole thing.”
“The moment that still haunts me is the Sudanese man who confronted his red army leader who tortured him as a child. During the staring phase his eyes still looked like a little boy and then when he spoke to his torturer he cried and expressed his pain and it really affected me as a mother imagining a little boy suffering with no one to comfort him… I was a hot mess.”
“It puts an amazing lens on humanity.”
“Everyone I’ve spoken to who has watched the show has dissolved into a puddle of tears just describing the moment they watched it,” Mamamia Entertainment Editor and The Binge host Laura Brodnik said.
“It’s in a format that could feel exploitative, if it wasn’t done in such a nuanced way, it’s also seen through a purely emotional and human lens. There’s no sense that these people are being pushed beyond their limits.
“There’s no live audience or crazy Dr Phil coming in and questioning them, just two people deciding whether they can forgive and reconnect and you just watch it happen.”
“It’s changed the way I think about my own life.”
“Watching the show made me think about all the petty fights I’ve had in the past,” Karyn said.
“It definitely made me realise that life is way too short to hold onto grudges. It’ll make you want to pick up the phone and reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with.”
"I really want to try it."
"I love this and I just want to go around the office and stare at people for fives minutes and just see what kind of stuff comes up," said Clare Stephens, co-host of The Binge.
"Look Me In The Eye is fascinating and intense,"said Bec.
"I'm hooked each week watching all the personal stories unravel and witnessing these people confronting skeletons from their past, it draws you in so you're emotionally invested in their conflict and has you wondering how you would cope in these situations."
"The raw emotion as they initially face each other is very powerful."
The six part series airs on SBS on Wednesdays at 8:30pm. Look Me In The Eye is also available to stream on SBS On Demand, so you'll never have to worry about missing an episode
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