Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have researched the devastation of our year of COVID with deaths leading up to 2020. And their production company Broke. And Bones is back with the fake film Death to 2021 (Netflix) to find out more. The hour-long comedy special with the ensemble. Including returning members Hugh Grant and Tracy Ullman — is currently in the Netflix top 10:
Just in time for this lousy year to end gracefully.
“I’m assuming you want to know my favourite pronoun.” Who says one angry Tennyson Foss (Hugh Grant) as a team member prepares for a camera interview with him. “Well, I don’t. I don’t dance walkie-talkies.” The invisible producer said he just asked stupid professors to write “OBE” after his name.
With this introduction, narrator Lawrence Fishburne takes this year’s montage seriously. That “makes 2020 feel like sheer prehistory”, a year “weirder than any year in the story of these years”. We also meet scientists, tech entrepreneurs, journalists, TV presenters, and influential Tik-Tok people. Who will be with us on this journey. (Dead to 2021 includes Grant, Lucy Liu, Tracy Ullman, Christine Milioti, William Jackson Harper, Joe Keery, Samson Cayo, and Stockard Channing.) Fox News expert Madison Madison (Ullman) shares her thoughts.
“Did Antifa terrorists break into the Arizona census disguised as a voting machine?” Journalist Snook Austin (Liu) said he had never seen anything as crazy as the January 6 riots. “And I was in that room when Bush knelt before Zod”. Katie Flowers (Milioti) cringes as producers release a MAGA record of the writing in their shit smeared on the walls of the Capitol. “I write, and it actually counts as free speech.” And scientist Pyrex Flask (Cayo) admits he may have to work on a vaccine while working on the Bridgerton blockade.
Death continues into 2021, and the funnel hits the year of resurrection.
Wake up what celebrities managed to undo. My octopus teacher. And it won’t be long before spring comes. Fishburne noted that the response to a COVID vaccine “makes Democrats proud to assert their right to use guns”, while Republicans are starting to resist the sting. And the American mom and the wax sceptic Flower came back to tell us she was “doing her research”.
The rich explode on rocket ships in peak form, rampant climate change turns water into a raging fire, and confused technologists call truth and lies competing in the data stream: death in 2021 is killing everyone on the spit and even a return to geopolitics. back with a riff for the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan. (The influencer said he checked their social media and “actually the ban looks cool.”) And when it finally comes to the end of the year, “death in 2021” is pretty cool about its dire conclusion: that there are always two are states in America each. -each trying to kill the other.
“We have found that our customers remain preoccupied with boundless feelings of anger. And when they get engaged, let them have some fun. Even if they are hopelessly unhappy. Indeed, especially then. Because desperate misfortune also means greater commitment”. William Jackson Harper, tech entrepreneur and social media company speaking Poobah Zero Fournine in Death to 2021.
And that’s, of course, the problem:
We hear this regularly from real-life people cutting themselves on here. And in 2021 it’s multiplying by following Fournine with Mark Zuckerberg’s video clip about turning Facebook into a meta. As a joke, it’s kind of “Okay, ha” – of course, everyone knows that Zuckerberg. And his ilk are mega-capitalists who don’t touch us, mock us scumbags. But does it make a lot of noise to see a clone of the very dangerous army we load on this road? 2021 seems like it’s trying to kill us. Maybe all of this is in the form of a broad gag showing no way out of death before 2021, it seems.
Or maybe just as part of a year-end graduation pack running in the background while you and your friends play the Word Drink Game of the Day, Live What Happens, live. Death in 2021 touches most of what happens in 2021. But it can add to the humour of the whole thing.