Death to 2020 (2020)
December 28, 2020 5:35 PM - Subscribe

The creators of Black Mirror take a look back at the mad glory of the year 2020 in this comedic retrospective.

This isn't a part of the series, but it is a substitute for not being able to produce a sixth season and it contains actors playing characters with different names than their own. So: movie.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/death-to-2020-charlie-brooker-and-annabel-jones-on-making-topical-comedy-amid-the-pandemic
posted by rhizome (24 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think this is also the substitute for the Charlie Brooker year-end wipe. I liked it. Jackson, Grant, Jones, Kudrow, and Nanjiani were all great.

The Diane Morgan character (also great) was basically Philomena Cunk with a different name.

I enjoyed the prophecies during the end credits. I'm sure Brooker is hoping to land another Cameron pig-fuck coup.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:01 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


Very funny and...cathartic, I guess? Laurence Fishburne gets some great zingers.
posted by figurant at 9:25 PM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


It's basically the All-Star Wipe. I don't understand why people in some corners have been sniffy about it. I laughed a lot. That's all that's necessary.

There's more range to the talking heads (the inanities of Philomena and Barry Shitpeas were easily interchangeable about 50% of the time, while these characters are more specific).
posted by Grangousier at 12:03 AM on December 29, 2020


I miss Newswipe so much that this was a welcome return. Leslie Jones's character is definitely personally relatable.
posted by cendawanita at 7:46 AM on December 29, 2020


Cristin Milioti was spot-on and hilarious as the Karen.
posted by cazoo at 8:40 AM on December 29, 2020


Most of the performers were great, especially Lisa Kudrow but the writing was pretty limp.
posted by octothorpe at 9:30 AM on December 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


This was a surprising, cathartic watch, although it wasn't necessarily as savage or overly mean as I expected. Not to say it was at all sweet about things, but I felt like the intention was to go more for funny rather than cruel and there was no punching down (at least not a lot, anyway). I think that was a good choice.

Not everything landed, but definitely some good zingers in there. It's not particularly deep or insightful, but I laughed several times and enjoyed myself. And that's more than I can say for most of my experiences this year so I appreciate that and I think that was the point.

(I did not recognize Hugh Grant.)
posted by edencosmic at 3:26 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


Was Grant under a lot of makeup or is that what he looks like these days?
posted by octothorpe at 5:06 PM on December 29, 2020


Hugh Grant is basically old now and looks his age, but he was also very well made up. He was parodying David Starky, a hugely racist British historian that the BBC keep inexplicably putting on TV, and did it brilliantly.

I really enjoyed this and found it on a par with previous Wipes. It’s a shame they allowed the perception that it was in any way related to Black Mirror as I think that warped a lot of people’s perception going in (even in the UK where Brooker is primarily known as a comedy writer) and probably led to some of the bad reviews.

It is what is is, silly British humour trying to find something to laugh about in the previous year.
posted by chill at 12:12 AM on December 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


A fair bit of bothsides-ism, which is not usually like Charlie Brooker.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 3:00 PM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


I did laugh at the idea that a mid-western soccer mom would have ever heard of Whatsapp.
posted by octothorpe at 4:34 PM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


Amusing, but not biting. Has Charlie gone soft? Bring back the Cunk.
posted by Marticus at 2:10 AM on December 31, 2020 [1 favorite]


I laughed more than once and snorted even more.
posted by h00py at 3:28 AM on December 31, 2020


Shall we make this the New Year's Eve thread? Why not, I say. I've already had too much to drink and had a little nap to get over it and am now into my second wind at 9.29pm. Any Southern Hemisphereans out there?
posted by h00py at 3:30 AM on December 31, 2020


So it's about an hour later and I'm watching the latest episode of The Stand, which is pretty good so far, I have to say.
posted by h00py at 4:26 AM on December 31, 2020


A fair bit of bothsides-ism, which is not usually like Charlie Brooker.

No, he's definitely skewered the "elite liberal bubble" type before. Which I wouldn't say is "both-sides-ism" as such - more a castigation of a specific kind of liberal.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 AM on December 31, 2020 [1 favorite]


Happy 2021 from over here. No sparklers, I can't believe it! The son and I hooted and sang terribly at the stroke of midnight and then he got in first with the pinch and punch which suits me fine, I want this year to be HIS year. I'd like mine to be a good one too, which I think is doable.
posted by h00py at 6:10 AM on December 31, 2020 [1 favorite]


No, he's definitely skewered the "elite liberal bubble" type before. Which I wouldn't say is "both-sides-ism" as such - more a castigation of a specific kind of liberal.
Sure, I was probably bad tempered, but we'd just got to the early bit where they were casting the woke lefty brigade as just as bad as actual goose stepping nazis. Which isn't an uncommon position for aging comedians I guess.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:49 PM on December 31, 2020


I was missing Brooker at the helm and had completely forgotten that he'd done an "Anti-Viral Wipe" back in May covering the first months of the pandemic. It's on iPlayer for anyone in the UK, and makes a good re-watch after Death to 2020.
posted by rory at 6:24 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


It’s a shame they allowed the perception that it was in any way related to Black Mirror as I think that warped a lot of people’s perception going in (even in the UK where Brooker is primarily known as a comedy writer) and probably led to some of the bad reviews.

I get the feeling this was intentional - they were going to get people going "the Black Mirror team" and wanted to establish their comedy credentials in the US. They even talk about how they were a comedy team first that started to do dystopic sci-fi, and that people in the US didn't really appreciate that.
posted by Merus at 7:29 AM on January 1


I don't think that anyone in the US heard of Brooker until Black Mirror. Or at least I never did.
posted by octothorpe at 7:47 AM on January 1


Has Charlie gone soft?

Did you watch Antiviral Wipe ? I would hardly call that going soft. And that was only half a year ago.
posted by Pendragon at 1:16 PM on January 1


Wait, Black Mirror's not a comedy?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:46 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Hugh Grant is basically old now and looks his age, but he was also very well made up. He was parodying David Starky, a hugely racist British historian that the BBC keep inexplicably putting on TV, and did it brilliantly.

I hate that I miss jokes like this because I don't know the source.

I enjoyed this as a NYE watch. The joke of using unrelated footage to explain the science was so dumb, but "Pyrex Flask's" response to it made me laugh every time. I gave up on Stranger Things, but I was delighted to see Steve as the hipster influencer gig millennial (how dare they hide his crowning glory under a hat).
posted by gladly at 11:38 AM on January 2


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