Tennyson Foss (Hugh Grant) gives his professional opinion on the year that was in Death To 2020 (Picture: Netflix)
The verdict is in on Netflix’s Death To 2020, from Charlie Brooker and his Black Mirror partner in crime Annabel Jones.
Moulded on Brooker’s Screenwipe and, more recently, Antiviral Wipe which aired in May, Death To 2020 tackles the biggest topics from the past 12 months.
The coronavirus pandemic, the George Floyd protests and the US presidential election are all covered in the 70 minute mockumentary.
It boasts some famous faces including Hugh Grant and Samuel L Jackson as bizarre fictional talking heads giving their take on the year that was.
The reviews are now in and the overriding opinion seems to be that Black Mirror, this ain’t.
Metro.co.uk’s verdict was it ‘ultimately feels like an overly extended SNL sketch’ which should have stuck to one topic ‘as it would have anchored the runtime a bit more’.
Lisa Kudrow was praised for her performance (Picture: Netflix)
‘Don’t get us wrong, it’s fun, but with a year where everything has seemed ludicrous, ridiculous and torn to within an inch of its life quickly, the mockumentary failed to provide us with anything new,’ it continued.
The Independent was harsher, calling the film ‘a complete mess’.
‘[Brooker] and his long time co-producer Annabel Jones have taken their unbroken idea and tried to fix it, with the usual results,’ said critic Ed Cumming, who also felt the Black Lives Matter commentary ‘shifts into honest crusading’.
Harsher still was Chris Bennion for The Telegraph who said: ‘You expect greatness from Brooker, but the jokes here are as predictable as the targets of the jokes, only occasionally rising above the quality of this year’s dreadful Spitting Image reboot. At least that had funny puppets.’
The Evening Standard said it ‘outstayed its welcome’ like ‘the year it reflected on’. However critic Nancy Durrant praised the female stars as ‘brilliantly chilling’ with Lisa Kudrow the standout as White House spokeswoman Jeanetta Grace Susan.
The view wasn’t that much better from across the pond, with The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg writing: ‘Death to 2020 is a generally hacky piece of recycled political satire and tired documentary parody reflecting on the year that was in a way that will feel fresh to you only if you’ve self-imposed a strict media blackout since February.’
It sounds like if you’re a fan of Charlie Brooker’s previous works, Death To 2020 might not be your cup of tea, but you can always draw your own conclusion…
You can read the full Metro.co.uk review here.
Death To 2020 is on Netflix now.