One of the televisual treats of this year was the long-awaited return of Charlie Brooker’s ‘Wipe’ series on the BBC. For years, long before Black Mirror became a huge deal, Brooker would sum up current affairs and popular culture in his brilliantly acidic Screenwipe shows, which then gave way to the annual yearly-wrap-ups, the last of which was 2016 Wipe. Then, earlier this year we got the pandemic special Antiviral Wipe, proving the format was just as sharp as ever, and perfect for jabbing at the Coronavirus outbreak. But that’s not the only Brooker special coming this year – a mysterious advert has popped up, teasing something on Netflix that seems to be called Death To 2020.
“Event the creators of Black Mirror couldn’t make this year up,” reads the ad. “But they do have something to add.” It’s unknown exactly what that is, or precisely when it’ll be hitting the streaming service (the advert simply says ‘Coming Soon’). But it could be a starry bash, as teased earlier this week by none other than Hugh Grant, who blabbed about a secretive Brooker project he’s working on. “I’m doing a thing tomorrow, actually. Charlie Brooker has written a mockumentary about 2020,” he told Vulture. “It’s for Netflix, and I am a historian who’s being interviewed about the year. I’m pretty repellent, actually! And you’ll like my wig.” Going by this, it won’t exactly be a new Black Mirror and not exactly a Wipe either. Perhaps it’ll be along the lines of the Philomena Cunk spin-off mockumentaries instead.
Either way, 2020 is primed for the Brooker treatment – sure to keep Black Mirror fans happy (or, suitably unhappy) for a while. As for that show, the three-episode Season 5 debuted in summer 2019 following the interactive Bandersnatch special. There’s no real chatter about more episodes for now, with the show seemingly tied up in contractual wrangling, and Brooker himself telling the Radio Times that he’s not sure the show’s pessimistic visions are what people want or need right now. “At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those,” he said. “I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh.”
Either way, stay tuned for the likely Hugh Grant-starring, possibly Death To 2020-titled special coming to the streaming service at some point within the next month.