Brooker's imaginative writing and great turn of phrase makes his Guardian great and also works on TV
Those of us who read the Guardian on a Saturday (in my defence, my girlfriend buys it) will know whether or not they will enjoy this short series that premiered on BBC4 in the UK. Within the review section is a weekly page called Screen Burn where Charlie Brooker reviews a couple of TV shows that are on in the coming week; although his reviews tend to be rather funny and contain such great turns of phrase that I can't help but laughing. For example we can all say that we think the people on Big Brother are horrible but it was Brooker that described one of them as having a voice that is "like listening to rainwater seeping into your own coffin".
I wish I had that imaginative phrasing and it is the reason that I enjoyed the TV version because he never just says things are good or bad but rather presents everything in the same way. Not wishing to infuriate anyone who has seen it but, for those that have not, imagine if you took Harry Hill's TV Burp, gave it a late night slot, turned off all the lights, took away the audience, cut Harry with a knife till he was enraged and bloody and then started the show then you'd pretty much have Screen Wipe. The formula is basically the same Brooker talks about the shows in between clips but it is very funny just because of his writing and delivery. His reviews include 24, The Apprentice, breakfast TV and so on but no matter what it is or whether he likes it or not his delivery is funny and very imaginative.
The only downside is that regular readers will recognise some of the material and the fact that the series is only 3 episodes long reflects the fact that Brooker's weekly column really only takes 4 minutes to cover. In other words he wrote an entire column on the new series of 24 but in episode 2 of his show he did all the jokes in under 4 minutes. Likewise I recognised his Apprentice material from his column as well. Of course this isn't a problem for me because it was all still funny and Brooker never comes over like he is struggling to find the material but I reckon this is why the series was so short.
Brooker himself runs the risk of annoying some viewers because he is a rather smug and acerbic guy who could easily be taken as a smart-arse but, as long as I was laughing then this didn't really bother me and his intelligence and imaginative dialogue were the things that stuck in my mind. It isn't like he is Giles Coren (who also ventured onto TV recently with his movie review show) who is privileged, posh, acerbic and sarcastic but, because he doesn't do a good job presenting, all that sticks in the mind is that he is a bit of a posh tw*t.
Overall a great find that I really enjoyed. The writing is as good as his Screen Burn column and his ability to put together phrases is impressive as he does it with wit and imagination. Not to everyone's taste because Brooker's targets will often be TV that some people love but I was laughing whether I agreed with him or not.
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