Cynical metropolitan elitists such as myself have one thing to hold onto at the end of this abysmal year: Charlie Brooker tearing it to bleeding shreds.
Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe was almost too easy really wasn’t it? The year that brought us Brexit, Trump, war, famine, terror and all-around terribleness has given Charlie Brooker a plethora of material to condescendingly mock. Boy is it great!
The shows format (if you’re not familiar) is that of a fast-paced documentary-splicing patronising narration from Brooker with news footage, TV clips, political speeches and satirical sketches. A month-by-month summary of the year light-heartedly reminds you of how generally awful it’s been whilst Brooker looks satisfyingly fed up and/or sarcastic. The show is a genre of its own really; that feels almost like a suicidal YouTube vlog with an incredible budget.
2016 Wipe hilariously lampoons many of the year’s events – though the most prominent unsurprisingly prove to be Brexit, celebrity deaths, Donald Trump and Pokémon Go. A Brexit segment brilliantly dissects why the Leave and Remain campaigners were equally unappealing, and a Trump segment mocks him simply by showing footage of him at any given moment.
Hysterical Wipe “regulars” Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) and Barry Shitpeas (Al Campbell) make a glorious return to the show. The undereducated Northerner and Jack-the-Lad Londoner provide the perfect canvases on which to paint the nation’s ignorance. Philomena scores one of her infamous interview segments, this time with Professor Brian Cox. As they have a very one-sided conversation about the inevitable heat death of the universe… I imagined Brooker wishing the sun really would hurry up and explode already. Or whatever it is that’s going to kill us all one day. I’m not a scientist.
2016 Wipe inevitably ends on a high as it attempts to convince us that the entire year has actually been a dream and that Donald Trump is just another persona of the still-living David Bowie. If only eh? Nevertheless, Charlie Brooker’s irreverent send-up of the year is as entertaining, relevant and cynical as ever.
Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe is on BBC iPlayer.