[Speaking of Russell Brand]
He's like a sort of cross between Jesusand Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. He said how rich people, like him, were shit. And we shouldn't listen to them. So I didn't know whether to listen to him or not.
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A bit less funny than previous years (understandably) but still funny, clever, bitter, informative, and delivered with great acerbic and inventive phrasing throughout
Although we are told the world is safer than ever and that in theory we are happier than previous generations and so on, the expansion of media coverage for almost everything means that we do tend to see more of everything bad, and more often. As such 2014 does seem like a particularly depressing year, where coverage of civilian airlines shot down in a conflict, girls kidnapped en mass, ISIS beheading individuals, and other such vivid stories and images, all combined to make the year seem depressing. Even for a comedian who embraces the acerbic and bitter, it is a hard job to summarize the year with comedy, because most of the main events were terrible to a point beyond satire.
I guess this is why so much of 2014 Wipe plays around the edges, with TV shows and national (UK) politicians featuring, and the events in Russia and the Middle East being mentioned but not as much as the other subjects. This is not to say that it dodges them and goes for softer subjects, but just that the show at least remembers it needs to be funny. As such it does a good job although I didn't think it was quite as good in terms of laughs as previous editions. This isn't to say it is totally depressing because there is still a lot of clever and funny moments to find in the way Brooker takes things apart and holds them up for mocking analysis. As ever his way with words is great and the flow of the material is very well done – credit to editors and researchers for their parts in making this work.
The supporting contributions are good as ever from Campbell and Morgan, with a bit from Curtis that is depressing and deserved more time (but totally understandably doesn't get it). The only thing I really felt was missing was Doug Stanhope – so great in other editions but not involved here. The film closes with a musical number featuring the Blockheads, which is cleverly written and delivered and makes for a good closing. 2014's Wipe may not be as strong as previous years, but this is partly down to the world rather than Brooker. Even with this though, it is still very well put together, funny, clever, depressing, intelligent, and with great phrasing and bitter delivery from Brooker himself.
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