Right, we’ve been skating round this one for long enough now.
Early on in the days of WWM, some little tool piped up and, in other words, called we contributors ‘Brooker-lite’. Needless to say, he was subject to a written stream of abuse and pretty much to this day the names ‘Charlie’ and ‘Brooker’ have become WWM’s equivalent of paedophilia-scat. Piss.
The main issue here is that Brooker does pretty much what we do. He slags off telly using lots of hyperbole, metaphors, cynicism and witticisms e.t.c… for the sake of amusement and largely at the expense of genuine criticism. Yet we don’t mention him on here, which is a bit weird seeing as I’m betting that most of us watched Screenwipe on Tuesday night and found it fucking funny. Why do we dare not speak his name? A sense of pride? Jealousy? Competitiveness?
Brooker has two weekly columns in The Guardian, his own TV show and is turning into a bit of a celeb. He’s fucking won already. Pretending he doesn’t exist (and we do whether you acknowledge it or not) is bizarre.
Here I go then. Firstly, this series isn’t as good as the last one.
Already I am putting myself in the firing line by suggesting Brooker has lost it, is past it, is somehow not as good as he was, when I’m merely saying he’s going over similar ground from series one and the first time round it was funnier. That’s all.
In the first series there was something self-deprecating about the way he presented himself. Innocence, if you will. He was clearly uncomfortable being filmed yelling at the TV and couldn’t help smirking at his own overacted rages. There was something rather, well, endearing about it and about him, like Stephen Fry crying himself to sleep.
Now Brooker has had a second series commissioned and probably a third because it’s jolly good, it leads one to thinking that all of his ‘oh isn’t the TV biz awful’ stuff is a tad misleading, even divisive. I mean he whacks off in perpetuity about how shit it is getting into TV, yet there he is on TV after essentially getting known through a short Saturday column in one of the less popular broadsheets. Indeed, my brother was a runner for about a year before ending up with a great job at the BBC as an editor a few months back. Yes, it can be a bit shit but doing anything for the greater good is, right?
Brooker is now becoming a pastiche of himself. Now, this needn’t be a bad thing. To be frank it’ll probably work out well but at the moment I’m still watching the transition. He’s polarised between the real Charlie, a funny defamatory TV critic, and Brooker, the shouting TV comedy reviewer actor-clown. Christ - he even tried slapstick last night.
So, this series isn’t quite as good as the last one. So what? Despite a few niggles, it’s by far and away one of the best, and funniest, shows on TV.