Has the Charlie Brooker backlash started yet?

Charlie Brooker has been the nation’s favourite TV critic for the best part of a decade, largely thanks to the small fact that no-one actually knows of any other TV critics. Still, that’s testament to him being able to make a name outside of writing about the idiot lantern. Of course, he’s much more than a simple critic as he’s consistently trod the path of game-keeper as well as poacher.

His CV is impressive. He wrote the wonderful Dead Set, gave us the acerbic Screen Wipe and News Wipe. He’s about to bring Games Wipe to BBC Four. He wrote for Chris Morris doom-sketch show Jam and was half of the Nathan Barley team. Along with his articles, he could pretty much do no wrong. That is, until he started smiling.

Brooker’s latest show, You Have Been Watching, has seen Everyone’s Favourite Grump actually enjoying himself. As a result, alt.fun fanboys have been spitting feathers and crying “SELL OUT!” at their screens without ever processing proper thoughts.

The fact is, Charlie Brooker hasn’t ‘sold out’. Rather, he’s doing what he always did… it just happens that his surroundings are a bit more glamorous. Okay, considerably more glamorous. However, this hasn’t seen Brooker donning a gold sequin jacket and sporting a dung-eating grin. He’s still appallingly rude about TV shows (just the way we like him, of course) and now he’s got guests on to egg him on.

Last night’s show saw Frankie Boyle and Brooker trying to out puke each other while Sarah Millican and Reece Shearsmith (writer of the wonderful Psychoville and League of Gentlemen) chipping in with their own lovely vowels.

The first episode of Brooker’s latest project starred Jamelia which invariably rubbed a few people up the wrong way, by virtue of the fact that she’s not very bright and has very shiny and sociable breasts… but so what? It’s TV right? It’s nice to have a toothpaste commercial in amongst the bile.

The real reason that people are struggling to retune their brains is down to Brooker having fun. He’s not supposed to have fun is he? He’s supposed to be miserable and holed up with the curtains drawn, swearing under his breath and hating absolutely everything in this fetid, rotten, arsecheek of a world.

Right?

Wrong. If you think that’s Brooker’s role on the planet, then you’ve been reading him wrong all these years. He’s clearly a man who doesn’t mean a lot of what he says… he’s clearly a human being who isn’t an objectionable idiot who slings handfuls of faeces at the walls everytime he sees another human.

As such, this show sees him showing what he’s really like. The Charlie who goes down the pub and jokes with his mates and smiles now-and-then. Can you believe it? And there’s you scowling away and leaving inert comments on forums about how he’s not as funny as he used to be…

About the author

I'm Mof Gimmers.

I've been writing about TV for a long time. I love it and loathe it in equal measures. I'm pretty sure the TV feels the same away about me too.
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