There’s something strangely endearing about the professionally angry Charlie Brooker’s confrontational, half-arsed approach to making TV – something which was solidified with the opening episode of his new show in the Wipe franchise, Weekly Wipe.
Yes! We’ve had Gameswipe, Newswipe and Screenwipe but in Weekly Wipe, we now have an amalgamation of the latter two. If you’ve somehow managed to escape the increasing prominence of Charlton Brooker in our lives then let me explain the premise of this show (which you can then apply to almost every TV show he has ever fronted): Brooker sits on a sofa in what appears to be an untidy flat, criticising anyone or anything which dares appear on the TV screen in front of him. He has regular contributions from comedians you may recognise from Mock the Week or 8 Out of 10 Cats but the gems in the show come from the mouth of the man himself as he pontificates his acerbic opinions to the nation. I, and many others, absolutely love it.
As always, he pulled no punches in the first of his Weekly Wipes – especially with shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong.
In fact, only Charlie Brooker could get away with demeaning renowned diver Tom Daley’s Olympic efforts by dubbing his sport, ‘Falling into water without flapping your arms around and screaming “SHIT!”’. The fact that he was able to say this and not seem overly malicious demonstrates my point: he has an intangible charm which many commentators could only dream of possessing and which requires reviewers such as myself to point out: as Brooker never will.
JUST ONE THING…
My only criticism of Wipe would be that we see a little too much of American comedian Doug Stanhope – well, we did in this episode at least. I’m not a huge fan of American comedy anyway. I know I’m alone here but I don’t find Friends, Big Bang Theory or, in particular, Rich Hall very funny. I tune in to see and hear Charlie Brooker, not Doug Stanhope. The other contributors are quite entertaining and offer bizarre takes on often serious stories but Stanhope? I just don’t get it…
It’s going to take a lot more than Doug Stanhope to ruin my enjoyment of Weekly Wipe, though. Then again, I don’t think anything could stop me enjoying this.
Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe is on Thursdays at 10pm on BBC2 and BBC HD
What did you think of Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer
You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on my YouTube channel.