Shitting crikey it’s good to have Charlie Brooker back and on-bile. Yep, the nicest grump on TV returned with his brilliant series, Newswipe with Charlie Brooker (BBC Four, Tuesday, 19 January, 10.30pm) to lance the truth-pus out of the boil that is The News.
As ever, this show was a sneering, withering look at the way the news tells us stuff about the world. Anyone with any sense looks at our news bulletins like they’re some cartoon show from some nightmare Mad Max style world, where absolutely everything that we encounter is a huge dangerous risk, ready to blow up in our faces and stab us right through the gristle in our chest plates.
We are a people under siege from everything, ever.
Of course, this is simply not true. How many times have you been stabbed whilst walking to your corner shop? How many people do you know have been attacked by terrorists? If you have been affected by either of these things, then you’re in the desperately unlucky minority. Our world, pretty much, is an OK place to be.
And this is what last night’s Newswipe focused on. The screaming hysteria of our news is probably the most terrifying thing in our lives. Brooker looked at the danger of the lack of grit which failed to aid us through 3cm of snow… he looked at the bloke who failed to blow his nutsack to kingdom come on a plane with a needle… and generally treated news anchors and reporters with the disdain they clearly deserve.
However, away from Brooker, we had a team of great cameos. Tim Key, once again, provided a skewed look from his tatty book of poetry (and subsequently provided the biggest belly laugh of the show – and if you disagree you’re clearly not worth talking to) and a fine spot from American stand-up Doug Stanhope.
A personal favourite of mine, it was great to see Stanhope on British TV again (we got him briefly a while back in Doug Stanhope Go Home). He sat theatrically half-cut in some trailer, ranting on about the many threats the news spews at the American public, before delivering the damning verdict that it’s easier to believe that over the truth. And why?
“Because nothing of any significance is ever going to happen in your boring life”.
And he’s right. While we are told of the dangers of killer eggs, Millennium bugs, snow and our youth, we’re usually sat at home after a day that resembled the thousands of days that went before it.
While that may seem like a relentless and hanging gloom, it’s actually very positive. We should be happy that our lives are boring. We Brits don’t live on a fault line, we don’t have a gun culture… we’re a nation that skips around in the snow behind news readers while they try to ram home the point that the extreme weather is killing us all.
Through the scowls, Newswipe may well be the cheeriest show on the box.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip