Isn’t Charlie Brooker awesome? Like Harry Hill but really, really, REALLY nasty. Like however bitchy I may be on this blog, I’ve haven’t got shit on The Brooker. Therefore, what with Screenwipe having been off the screens for a while now, a new programme by him is to be meet with much rejoicing.
And so there is, “How TV Ruined Your Life”. The last series of Screenwipe had actually stopped just swearing at shows and started doing indepth looks at the different aspects of TV, rather than just individual shows, and that theme continues here. Any reviews of shows are just used as evidence, as citations in CB’s insane, rambling, genius essays.
This week’s opener focused on fear, and how these days you can’t turn on the TV without Alistair Stewart trying to scare the shit out of you with some tale about swine flu, or North Korea, or bird flu, or crime rates, or regular flu. Admittedly, this did mean that the programme as a whole tended to lean too often into the media-bashing material that anyone who has seen Newswipe will be very familiar with.
When he moved away from that area, was where he really shined. Always welcome is another look at the god-awful 70’s children’s Sesame Street rip-off “Pipkins” inhabited by the most moth-eaten rabbit I’ve ever seen and some creature that looks like the thing that drove the Millennium Falcon with Lando at the end of Return of the Jedi. Or drawing attention to the single most terrifying piece of television I’ve ever seen: “Threads”, A drama from the 80’s set in Sheffield during, and following, a nuclear attack, which, after a viewing in a GCSE History class, has left me terrified of a terrorist attack every time there’s a power cut.
Pretty much the only thing to put this apart from the “Wipe” series of programs would be the inclusion of small sketches, such as a morning TV phone-in for murderers and “What If… Pens Got Hot”. All lovely, but would have been nice to get some kind of warning you’re going into a sketch, as it can be a bit dis-orientating.
As it is, it’s a scathing, hilarious and frankly down right awesome attack on television. But not too attacking. However awful Charlie Brooker can be about it, you can tell he loves telly really. Especially Doctor Who, judging by his set. Which just adds to my very-much growing crush on him. Yeah, that’s right, I fancy him, and I don’t care who knows it. Fuck you, Konnie Huq.