I enjoy Charlie Brooker’s work very much, both on telly and in print, most of the time anyway. There’s a dark, brooding and explosive humour inside the sharp brain tucked under the slightly odd hairstyle. He’s a terrific and prodigious ranter, and there are moments when I snort tea out of my nose reading his column, and I can offer no higher praise than that. But there are also moments when the pleasure is tinged with anxiety, when I fear he will spontaneously combust.
Last night, a new series of his TV quiz show You Have Been Watching began, with panel members David Baddiel, Liza Tarbuck and Kevin Bridges. But being a ‘quiz’ is not really the point of the programme at all. Like The Bubble it’s a format which allows the presenter to banter amusingly with (hopefully) good value guests. In the case of The Bubble, about the absurdities of current affairs and how they are reported, and the format is similar here, but the subject matter is world-wide television programmes. Clive James also used to be very good at this, and for a view even darker than Brooker’s (tho’ they do work together I believe), the magnificent Chris Morris.
I love Brooker’s signature sign-off of to his audience of something like ‘that’s the end of the show so you can all sod off now’. My only criticism is that it feels like it should be a half-hour format, so I’m not really sure why they stretch it out to forty-five minutes. Amusing as it is, at that time of night my *attention span can’t quite make it to the end, which is a shame.
*It’s probably because I’ve wasted my life watching too much telly
Posted by Inkface