A few hours before New Year’s Eve, the creator of Black Mirror is making the news on Netflix with a special, which pokes fun at the terrifying year which is drawing to a close.
10,9, 8 … More than ever the whole world will count with one voice, next Thursday evening, to go to 2021. Turning the page of a painful year 2020 in more than one way, qualified by Time magazine for “worst year in history”. Just that ! A dreadful and surreal year that the creator of Black Mirror himself would have struggled to invent. So to mark the occasion, Charlie Brooker decided to stage a satire shot like a documentary. Death to 2020 , which is aptly named, thus compiles testimonials from world-famous fictional personalities (embodied by Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Lisa Kudrow, Leslie Jones or Cristin Milioti), mixed with archive images of these last twelve months.
A caustic and quirky exercise that Charlie Brooker has mastered for quite a few years: “People mainly know our work through Black Mirror around the world. But in Great Britain, we have done a lot of comedies, on social issues. We mostly did end-of-year shows for the BBC, called “2013 Wipe” or “2014 Wipe.” It had a little “Late Show” side, of which I was the presenter. Each time, I had I felt like I was reviewing the worst year in history! And then 2020 arrived … It put everything in perspective “ , tells the English designer to Première, before explaining that he wanted to”think something different for 2020. Something character-based, without me being onscreen as a host. So it took the form of a Mockumentary on the past year, a format that seemed well suited to Netflix, which is used to offering this kind of programs. “
The idea of doing this special does not date from the reconfinement. It’s been several months since Charlie Brooker and his usual mate, Annabel Jones , have been working on this idea: “We started thinking about this show in about July. We pitched the idea to Netflix and we started writing the first script in stride. Finally a draft, because I’m not Nostradamus and it was hard to guess what was going to happen between now and December! So we wrote several versions. It was quite tricky, we haven’t stopped changing.
Annabel Jones specifies that the duo have chosen to focus the plot of the Mockumentary “on major stories, universal, international things. Those which have impacted the whole world in 2020, such as the pandemic, Black Lives Matter or the American presidential election. . We knew what was going to be the structure of the show, but we had a few surprises during the writing … “
The US election, in particular, was “so polarizing that it was interesting to bring in an outside, non-American point of view. It was truly an international phenomenon ,” says Brooker.
To succeed in talking about these dramatic and sensitive subjects, Death to 2020 is therefore talking about “somewhat absurd characters. Because it was important for us that Death to 2020 did not take itself seriously. This is not a show. purely cathartic. There’s a lot of absurdity in it. Silly jokes. “And Charlie Brooker crossed his fingers:” If we manage to get even the slightest laugh, it will be a small but precious victory. “
Death to 2020 – watch on Netflix from this Sunday, December 27, 2020.