Netflix and Charlie Brooker's bitter send-off to 2020 gets a teaser, premiere date

Randall Colburn
·2 min read

Charlie Brooker loves a good Christmas present, doesn’t he? A few years back, the Black Mirror creator gifted us the interactive Bandersnatch. Now, following a year that makes 2018 look holy in comparison, he’ll ring in 2021 with another one-off Netflix special, Death To 2020.

A mockumentary with “unprecedented access to experts, politicos, monarchs, and average citizens,” it pairs real-life archival footage from the past year with commentary from a slew of familiar faces. Among them are Samuel L. Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Leslie Jones, Joe Keery, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Cristin Milioti, and Hugh Grant, all of whom can be seen in the project’s first teaser.

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Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones have shared the following statement ahead of the film’s release:

Charlie Brooker: ’Those who only know me through Black Mirror may not realize that when not writing speculative sci-fi about people frowning at smartphones, I’ve spent years making comedy shows in the UK—including many topical comedy specials. So to me, Death To 2020 feels like the collision of several different strands. (Do strands ‘collide’? No. Apologies). But the approach for this is quite different to most of the topical comedy I’ve done in the past. For one thing I’m not on screen presenting it—a relief for anyone watching in 4K—and it’s more character-based. In the loneliest year on record, I got to work (remotely) with writers and team members from my previous comedies, as well as many sickeningly talented people who were new to me.

Death To 2020 features fictional characters discussing real events in a bombastic mockumentary, but quite a bit sillier than that makes it sound. It felt like an apt format for Netflix, which is known for high-end documentaries, but also like a good opportunity to create a different kind of comedy special that deals with the year head-on while also showcasing some brilliant performers. I don’t love the word “satire” but there’s some of that here, alongside some angry jokes, and some goofy jokes. And hopefully viewers will find at least one joke to their liking—because let’s face it, in 2020, any laugh you can emit, no matter how fleeting, is a small but precious victory.’

Annabel Jones: This year has been unusual in many regards but what’s unified this year is the main stories we focus on—huge global stories, stories that affect the whole world, so we knew what the structure of the show was going to be with quite a few surprises along the way!’

Death To 2020 premieres Sunday, December 27.