Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe

Wednesday 10:30 PM on BBC Four Premiered Mar 02, 2006 Between Seasons


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  • A quirky little T.V. review show that raises the lid on the dark side of the industry...

    Burgeoning British broadcast journalist Charlie Brooker ("Nathan Barley" & "TVGoHome") takes his pop-culture critique out of the pages of the "Guardian" and onto the small screen in this fascinating little commentary series which follows in the wake of his "How to Watch Television" episode of "The Art Show" in getting under the skin of the medium.

    Charlie Brooker presents himself as a rather grumpy misanthropic character who sits alone in his pokey little flat shouting semi-coherent yet often amusing obscenities at the screen and occasionally takes time out to dissect elements of TV production with the assistance of a surprisingly compliant production team and irregular contributions from David Firth and Adam Curtis.

    The initial three-episode pilot season kicks off as it means to go on with reviews of various TV highlights, top-three DVD picks and analysis of such subjects as types of presenters, the culture of fear and where does all the bloody money go anyway, with the assistance of Robert Popper, Dr. Ben Goldacre and Simon Farnby.

    The five-episode second season continues with more of the same and tackles such subjects as aspirational television, the pursuit of fame and sex on screen before heading off to La La Land for an hour long special which looks at what we could learn from our transatlantic cousins and a returning for a Christmas special and a review of the year.

    The four-episode third season continues with little innovation as Charlie Brroker is looks at OFCOM broadcasting guidelines, BARB ratings and post production effects and editing with assistance from Doug Stanhope, Reginald D. Hunter , Stewart Lee and the ten biggest cocks in advertising before returning to telly school to brush up on his presentation skills

    The five-episode fourth season picks up following the television scandals of 2007 with an expose of the despicable fibs of the TV lie machine, the credit squeeze, and elimination competitions with assistance from Nicholas Parsons, Richard Herring, Matt Berry, Truthbot 2000 and the ten biggest cocks and she-cocks in advertising and returning for a compilation special and a review of the year.

    The six-episode fifth season pick up following the so called "Sachsgate" with an impassioned plea against censorship before moving on to TV advertising, mission shows, children's T.V. and a special episode comprised of interviews with T.V. writers as well as the annual review with assistance from Liza Tarbuck, Konnie Huq, and the ten biggest ever cocks and she-cocks in advertising.

    Following the fifth season the team decided to turn their hand to more serious fare and in good exercise in self improvement cultural affairs spin-off type show "Newswipe" was born and the flagging franchise flagship show was reduced to making only a one-off appearance examining TV appologies, tv collapses and the ITV2 schedule in its annual review of the year.

    The programme makers have put together a cheap and cheerful little packaged that rises head-and-shoulders above similar fair such as "Harry Hill's TV Burp" and even its spiritual predecessor "TV Offal" thanks to the often cutting wit of its insider talent as he takes the viewer on a journey to the dark side of television production.

    "It's just going to sit around and sneer at everyone, because that's what T.V. programmes do."
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