Charlie Brooker has been providing scathing and satirical insights into the twisted machinations (oh, how I love that word) of the media since, well, whenever he started doing it. Below, see him lay into television news with, um, scathing and satirical insight.
( via 23narchy in the uk. )
Several dozen moons ago my friend Matt would often clue me into the latest of Mr Brooker’s brilliant Guardian column Screenburn, in which he takes a rusty hacksaw to the banality of television and dismembers it’s corpse with disturbing glee. You can find an archive of the column here.
Below, an excerpt from his latest piece where he goes to town on vapid and soul-destroying ITV dating show ‘Take Me Out’, something which I was planning to do myself, offering a poor facisimile of his writing style, after accidently catching the opening credits and first 30 seconds. Thank fuck I don’t have to now, because it would of actually involved having to watch it.
Anticipation is everything. If someone tells you to close your eyes and open your mouth while they feed you a slice of the most delicious chocolate gateau you’ll ever encounter, only to spoon a pawful of dead mashed mouldering cat on to your tongue, chances are you’ll vomit. You’d vomit anyway, of course, but the contrast between what you were expecting and what you actually got would make you spew hard enough to bring up your own kidneys.
This also works in reverse. Over the past few weeks, several people have emailed imploring me to watch Take Me Out (Sat, 8pm, ITV1), ITV’s new Saturday night dating show. They described it using the sort of damning language usually reserved for war crime tribunals at the Hague. I rubbed my hands together, like a sadist approaching a car crash, settled in to my sofa and watched an episode. And you know what? It’s not bad.
Okay, it is bad, obviously, but only if you compare it to something worthy or suave or less shrieky. On its own terms, as a raucous chunk of meaningless idiocy, it succeeds.
( read the rest of that column here )
But Brooker is no mere columnist, oh no, for surely that would be a waste of his talents. He created the brilliant zombie/big brother parody/horror/drama (the reality show, not the orwellian concept of surveillance society) Dead Set, which was screened over 5 consequitive nights on E4 in the UK. I actually tuned in eagerly for every single part, which is a rare occurance indeed. He only wrote the first episode though.
He’s also worked quite extensively with another british satirical genius Chris Morris, co-writing the absolutely hilarious satire of London media-type assholes, Nathan Barley. The show featured alot of the Mighty Boosh/IT crowd bunch and was no only insanely quotable, piss-yourself funny and largely ignored, It also managed to ring disturbingly true, as if this was what these people are like in their vapid cocoon of popular-culture and fad fed idiocracy. For weeks after seeing it on DVD I had nightmares that I would become one of these people. I still fear that I will wake up one day and, finding this to be true, ride my miniscooter screaming under a double-decker bus.
A click from episode 5 of deadset:
And the only two clips from nathan barley that I could find that hadn’t had embedding disabled by request. It’s worth a trip to youtube to check out the other stuff though. There are whole episodes to be seen in bite sized parts.