Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe



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.

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51 Responses to “Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Yes, but (and I’m sorry to come over a bit Heat magazine here) he regularly boasts that he’s ‘good friends with’ (ie ‘had sexes with’) Aisleyne off of Big Brother. That means he is at one with the beast. He has ‘known’ a minion of satan.

  2. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’ve seen a couple of his shows, moaned about those ident things he does on BBC4, and haven’t caught any of this series as the news is on the other side. I don’t read The Guardian, so I haven’t read his columns either. I’m sure Brooker’s great etc etc, just nobody that figures very highly in my world. Now, if he was to write the mighty Last of the Summer Wine, that would be an altogether different story.

  3. Swineshead Says:

    Is that a refusal to buy the Guardian or just a general boycott?
    If it’s just the payment side all his articles are up online here:,,1280131,00.html

  4. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’m not boycotting Brooker … I’m just indifferent towards him. As for The Guardian, you know full well I wouldn’t piss on that piece o’ shit if it was on fire.

  5. Swineshead Says:

    I was only enquiring in case you might want to read some of his stuff. That’s why I kindly linked to him. There’s no need for potty talk at this early hour, y’tit.

  6. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I have no truck with this fucking potty talk nonsense you and him keep banging on about. Thanks for the link, and good day to you sir!

    *swishes cane*

  7. Dave Medlo Says:

    I think that’s a pretty fair assessment of the Brooker. Much like Ricky Gervais’ Extras he was at his best when he was on the outside looking in, now he’s half part of the system it’s harder for him to view the idiot box objectively. This series has slipped slightly, but as you say it’s still one of the funniest things on TV.

    Beside, I just straight like the guy… and TV Go Home was fucking brilliant in its day.

  8. Swineshead Says:

    ‘Just straight like the guy’???


  9. piqued Says:

    SH, you beat me to it

  10. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Medlo’s durn got hisself a darn-sight more ornary than he wus

  11. Swineshead Says:

    Goddamit, that Medlo boy don’t know sheeyit bout the speakin ah da Queeeeen’s English, y’hear?

  12. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAWWWW! We got usselves a Yankee boy heeya pardners! Hold onner yer britches, varmints, it’s a-lyncing time!

  13. Swineshead Says:

    Hot dog! Hold yer hosses there kid!!! This uns a reeeeeal livewire, ya can be darned tooting (S London) sure about that!

  14. Dave Medlo Says:

    I wish to formally state for the record that I, in a strictly appreciative form, like and am amused by the work of Charlie Brooker.


  15. Swineshead Says:

    Yes. Yes. Much better.

  16. Roszszssszzzzzzzzzz Says:


    You do the math.

    Oh. You’ve moved on.

  17. Swineshead Says:

    Yeah – yeah we have, PERIODS.

  18. piqued Says:

    I don’t have periods

  19. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I wouldn’t put it past you.

  20. Swineshead Says:

    I have big ones, the missus can’t stand being around me when the ol’ stomach cramps kick in.


    I just looked at our stats and traffic is being directed over from Aisleyne from Big Brother’s site. It seems she has followers who require Aisleyne updates. This is quite weird.

  21. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Well that’s something we can all be jolly proud of eh?

  22. Swineshead Says:

    What – being noticed by Aisleyne’s followers or the fact that she actually has followers?

    You’re very gnomic today. You bloody gnome.


  23. piqued Says:


  24. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I don’t know who you’re on about. Who are you on about?

  25. Swineshead Says:

    Len Davis

  26. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Len Davis. That’s a name from long, long ago isn’t it?

  27. Swineshead Says:

    Sure is sonny jim.

  28. Badger Madge Says:

    We don’t have digital here in Bath, but from what my mate said about the other night, he’s merely re-hashing his Guardian columns for the TV show… *snore*

  29. SOPHIE Says:

    aisleyne is the best..she has a HUGE fanbase..i dont no how people can diss her..people who dont like aisleyne are just morons and are just jelouse of her..

  30. Swineshead Says:

    Badger – not really, Screenwipe covers quite a different range of stuff…
    Why don’t you sign up to UK Nova so you can download digital stuff?

    Sophie – yes. Aisleyne is a goddess. She is my number one. Nobody else’s. She doesn’t really love Brooker. She loves ME.

    Do you like Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps?

  31. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I vaguely recall the name. The problem I have with you, Swineshead old man, is that you and your confounded brothers recorded half my childhood on your blasted tape-players and video cameras. Effectively, you’ve got the memories I’ve got rid of thanks to drink and the early onset of senile dementia. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about this state of affairs makes me uneasy. STOP USING MY MEMORIES AGAINST ME, DAMN YOU!

  32. Swineshead Says:

    My plan is to get one of those USB tape recorder things and siphon off some of those old recordings so I can post em up online.

    With your permission, obviously.

    Only the ‘decent’ ones. If you get my drift.

  33. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Oh for fuck’s sake! Here we go again! Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to WWM the endless roll-call of fuckwits who truffle round the internet like pigs looking for those that have dared – DARED! – take a contrary position against whichever flavour of the month idiot celebrity their moth-like brains have latched on to this week. Huzzah!

    Sophie, sweetheart, over to you …

  34. piqued Says:

    Hi Sofhie, what r u werring? xxxxxxxxxx

  35. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    She’s a bit young for that sort of nonsense Piqued, you filthy internet sex pest. She is an idiot, mind. And who is this beast she’s standing next to? She looks like a manky version of that what’s-her-face off Saxondale.

  36. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Badger Madge says: “We don’t have digital here in Bath …”

    Balls! You just mean you’re too stingy to get one of those Freeview box things. For God’s sake woman, steal one! You’re missing out on the shittest television revolution in history ‘ere.

  37. John Liddane Says:

    I agree with Sophie. Ash is the greatest.

  38. Swineshead Says:

    She’s the greatest what?

    Human being alive?

    Be specific…

  39. Dave Medlo Says:

    Greatest at what? Vapid and vacuous celebrity appeareances? Best at getting her pointy fake tits out on the beach? Best at standing around trying to convince the world we should pay attention to her because she’s, like, totally great, and stuff…?

    Or, John, are you saying that because you’d quite like to fuck her, and you think that by defending her reputation on an obscure blog somewhere she might notice you and one day put out…?

  40. Swineshead Says:

    To be honest, she’s not that bad when it comes to popping up on TV uninvited. I’ve nothing against the girl. But I think John is mentally ill if he actually thinks she’s ‘the greatest’ at anything.

  41. jasonspaced Says:

    Aisleyne is the greatest at saying “You’d better know yourself.”

    She is fucking amazing at that. It’s mentioned 43 times on her CV and so far, her talent for saying it has lead to a plethora of spreads in Zoo and Nuts where she gets her plasticulated norks out and tells people about how they “better know themselves” before they can “get with her”.

  42. Dave Medlo Says:

    “…tells people about how they “better know themselves” before they can “get with her”…

    Aren’t they lyrics to a Spice Girls song?

  43. Badger Madge Says:

    Actually Napoleon, we did have Freeview. It was attached to our ‘recording and rewinding live TV’ type thing we had. *sob*

    But Bath is notoriously bad for digital signal. It’s because we’re in a bowl you see. So I’m not miserly. I desperately want digital. But Bath is shit. So we had to give our ‘recording’ thing away and cope with just analogue (and no Five either).

    It’s cack.

  44. jasonspaced Says:

    I used to live in Bath and have been considering a move back there. All this talk from Badge of a rank digital signal is making me have second thoughts. I can remember how disappointed I was that we didn’t get Channel 5, even though it only showed soft porn at the outset. Or should that be, especially because it only showed soft porn at the outset. I can remember wistfuully reading billings for ‘The Red Shoe Diaries’. Damn the valley!

    So Madge – would I have to resort to getting a dish to get proper telly back West?

    And Dave – regarding the Spice Girls.

    They were insistent that “If you wanna get with me, better make it fast”, rather than any interest in whether you knew yourself or not.

  45. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Can’t they move your magazine to London, Badger? They did it with mine and they’re all riding the bloody gravy-train now, the bastards. Laughing and slapping one another on the backs with their fancy fucking awards shows full of free booze and loose women. Well I’ll tell you this for fucking free – they won’t be laughing so fucking hard when Al Quieeeda and his boys drop a dirty bomb on their awards show, will they? THEN who’ll have the last laugh? THEN who’ll be sitting pretty up north knowing that ungrateful bunch of back-slapping …

  46. Juk Says:

    Can’t stand that cheap whore TRASHLEYNE & how sad is Brooker for making out there mates – she must suck his cock well !!!

  47. Luke Says:

    TRASHLEYNE – how sad are her few fans, they are OFF KEY wierdOs who spend their sorryful lifes looking for any tiny mention of that misfit, fake tart!!!

  48. Notassadasjukandluke Says:

    …though clearly not as sad as those who spend the wee small hours of the morning finding places to flaunt their illiteracy and obsessively irrational hatreds.

    Brooker was spot on again last night, and Aisleyne’s links admiably demonstrated her comedic talents – long live the Ghetto Princess!

  49. Notassadasjukandluke Says:

    Yes, I know that “admiably” is a typo and should be spelt “admirably”.

  50. the poet laura-eate Says:

    Charlie’ll have a lot of pressure on him to become a caricature of himself – television always kills its golden geese with
    a. overexposure
    b. forcing them to make ever increasing fools of themselves in the name of ratings chasing.

    Unless of course Charlie just plays along until such time as he can expose what is happening to himself in the most searing episode of all and how he is forced to become as much a part of the media machine as anyone else who engages with the media

  51. piqued Says:

    I beg to differ ma’am

    We’re only mid way through his second series at 10.00pm on BBC4, hardly ‘primetime’

    Brooker made a fool of himself from the outset, that is why it works

    He’s already self deprecating about his relationship with the media

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