14 January 2016 | bob the moo
Brooker is a bit more restrained, and the amount of awful stuff in 2015 means the easier material tends to come to the fore
With Netflix meaning Charlie Brooker must be fairly focused on delivering a huge amount of Black Mirror episodes to them for some point in 2016, I did wonder if he would have the time in his schedule to be part of the annual Wipe. I was happy to see he did (although I doubt Screen Wipe will do its usual short run early in the year), although the headlines this year have really given him little to work with in terms of comedy. Perhaps this, or his recent entry into married fatherhood, has contributed to him coming over a bit more restrained than he would have been in the past (although a restrained Charlie Brooker is still pretty bitter).
For the majority of the hour, the review of the year tends to focus on the material which is a little bit easier to laugh at, or is perhaps at least a bit less horrifyingly awful. As a result we have coverage of the elections, politicians, 50 Shades of Grey, adverts, terrible TV shows, and so on. All of this is done with wit and is pretty funny, although it does feel a bit like the lead is being buried. ISIS comes up towards the end of the hour, and it is well handled by virtue of being funny but also having some brief element of discussion in there too – with Barry Shitpeas commenting on the American terrorist shooting (as opposed to all the other ones) and the refugee crisis being the most on-point.
I was pleased this year that I had managed to never see the adverts or crappy reality television shows that the special featured, so it does seem I was doing something right during 2015. As well as these shows though, it does seem that the content of 2015 has meant they have gone for some easier material and as a result we don't really get to see Brooker in full-on acerbic bitterness mode as much as usual, even if it still is a pretty funny show.