It's been a bad year for Brooker fans as Screenburn has burst into flames and the grumpy loner of TV has been made an honourable man of. So following January's second series of Newswipe we finally have the - hopefully annual - Screenwipe review of the year.
Brooker wanders on screen with fancy oh-so-cool stubble and that floppy fringe he sculpted for You Have Been Watching a short time before tempers rise and stomachs undulate with nausea. Sixty minutes through of Brooker brandishing his knife above irresponsible news footage of major events such as the snow and the Raoul Moat incident. He also waved that blade at every reality show that's been including that horrendous BBC show featuring Andrew Lloyd 'Admiral Akbar' Webber that was worse than punching a child in the face.
Charlie didn't disappoint, adding his usual brand of daft similes and wanking jokes, back to normal then. Lovely.Tom Eagles, Geeks.co.uk, 1st January 2011
The viral blockbuster award of this week definitely goes to Charlie Brooker. "It starts here with a lacklustre establishing shot of a significant location," is the first sentence of Brooker's spoof news report for BBC Four's Newswipe showing, of course, no significant location but some random dirt-brownish looking skyscrapers in the London Docklands.Mercedes Bunz, The Guardian, 5th February 2010
Charlie Brooker - the British writer, satirist and grumpy television reviewer whose regular skewering TV's more inane moments has made him a cult figure in the UK - has now gone global, after a two-minute clip from his show Newswipe became the top rated clip of all time on YouTube less than a week after it was posted.Tom Phillips, Metro, 1st February 2010
Charlie Brooker's Newswipe came close to being made redundant by the earthquake in Haiti, a news story of such horrifyingly tragic proportions that even the reporting of it was almost beyond satire. Brooker promised a review of the Haiti coverage next week, presumably to allow time for a considered and sensitive response.
Meanwhile, there was more than enough other rubbish on air to keep him busy, belligerent and brilliant. Highlight of a consistently amusing show was a parody outside broadcast constructed entirely from the visual cliches so beloved of television news reporting.Harry Venning, The Stage, 1st February 2010
A welcome return of Charlie Brooker's Newswipe, which is essentially a more incisive and, well, necessary version of his Screenwipe series, intent on exposing the bullshit of global news gathering. This opener was all about the media's history of scaremongering to churn up material; from the '80s (nuclear war, AIDS, salmonella, acid house music) through the '90s (the flesh-eating virus, road rage, Y2K) to the present day (terrorism, of course.)
The show is basically a slap to the face for anyone who believes whatever the press tell us, without questioning motivations and taking note of biases. It's wrapped in the guise of a more acerbic Daily Show-style comedy, but it gets its message across far louder and clearer than John Stewart could ever dream. I was particularly struck by the segment about the outbreak of Ebola in Zaire; it killed 250 people and was given extensive coverage around the world because "killer viruses" were in vogue at the time, but when Zaire fell into a civil war that killed 3 million people just a few years later, that atrocity went shamefully ignored because it didn't fit any established "storylines" or feel like a threat to westerners.
I heartily recommend you tune into Newswipe, if you're not doing so already. I think international readers would also enjoy this eye-opening, polemical series - particularly Americans, home of the execrable joke that is Fox news.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 21st January 2010
There's a strong tradition of savage ripostes to the madness of current events - chiefly from America. With Have I Got News for You still providing the spikiest satirical take on current affairs in the UK, such shows are undoubtedly up for Daily Show-style rejuvenation, a service the second series of Newswipe - a reliably savage Charlie Brooker production - looks certain to continue. Journalists such as Marina Hyde will comment on news events, there will be authored pieces and a poem, but it will be the presenter's eye for the monstrous and absurd that will provide the moral focus.The Guardian, 19th January 2010
Much as we dislike the cult of Brooker (not everything he says deserves to be parroted, you middle-class gits), his onanistic obsession and the use of his name in the titles of his shows, this is probably going to be the best show of the evening.
At least, unlike his Screenwipe 'isn't Wipeout stupid?' with Charlie Brooker, Newswipe with Charlie Brooker seems to have a purpose that's slightly above pointing, laughing and making a joke about self-love or monkeys flinging excrement. It mainly seems to be 'all a bit scary', but there's always a good film from Adam Curtis, Ben Goldacre or - in this series - anything-goes Yank stand-up Doug Stanhope to help matters along. And as we hypocritically say, there's a lot of annoying rubbish on tonight.TV Bite, 19th January 2010
Charlie Brooker's Newswipe, and Brooker's sudden, dramatic appearance in a neck brace last week, explained the end-of-series chaos, with a 'best of' running last week, and the last 'new' episode finally running this week - presumably around outpatient appointments and physiotherapy.
Newswipe has, after an oddly muted start, been like a shotgun in a field of crows - more adept at countering the 21st-century media slide into goonery, retardation and witchcraft than almost anything available, including Jeremy Paxman's sneer.
Newswipe's great gift has been to dispel the idea that current affairs is so huge, complex and about Israel that we can never hope to get a handle on it - something that even Brooker himself seemed to believe, despairingly, at the start of the series. Instead, it gently illuminated the fact that simply thinking about what you've watched, and then asking yourself what your true opinion of it is, is more than half the battle.
The other half is, of course, laughing at Newswipe, and then writing down all of Brooker's elegant, angry perspicuity in a jotter marked "Good points well made". The News, Brooker pointed out, used to be a factual programme, to which we would then have an emotional response. But, since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, this has become reversed: the news has taken to first asking us for our emotional opinion, then covering it as a "factual" event - as with Baby P "public outrage", Jade Goody "public sorrow", etc.
And that's if there are any "facts" at all: in the following show, Brooker furiously flicked between footage of bleeding Thai protesters, and then viewers' pictures of snowmen from the recent Big Snow, while shouting "News! Not news! News! Not news!", like Matthew Broderick shouting "Learn! Learn!" at the rampaging supercomputer WOPR in War Games.
Brooker is the nearest this country has to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the US programme that has single-handedly dragged the collective American IQ up ten points since the start of the recession. It's neither here nor there if Brooker's in a neck-brace and unable to put on his own trousers without help from a nurse. We just need him to crack on with another series.Caitlin Moran, The Times, 2nd May 2009
There's generally three responses I have to Newswipe with Charlie Brooker. One is admiration at a piece of witty insight. Two is a belly laugh at a funny. Third, and possibly most important is a mixture of outrage and disbelief.mofgimmers, TV Scoop, 30th April 2009