Season 1: Has stuff that doesn't work but is mostly very darkly funny and cutting
It is about time that Brooker returned for a fixed series of these show since his annual "wipes" around Christmas time are generally very good. This short run of weekly shows was on in the Spring and I was quite looking forward to more of the same, which is fortunately what I got. So the original series of Screenwipe had lots of very acerbic and funny observations around television and generally this continues in a way that is mostly very enjoyable and clever.
This series though matches the name change of the show because it is not just about the Screen but about the week, so although the media and television generally still plays a part, the remit is wider and there are elements of the show that reminded me of Newswipe. This allows Brooker to directly highlight things happening in the bigger news stories but in doing so the show gets more serious and at times this sits oddly with much more flippant and funny material which bookends it. It also isn't helped by these sections not being as good as the funnier bits. It all still works but there are some episodes where there aren't as many laughs due to the subject material but at the same time it isn't as cleverly attacked as Brooker has done in the past.
The series includes the usual sections and support from other characters. Mostly these are very good and work well. Stanhope is very funny in his sections but the really winner for me continued to be Barry Sh*tpeas and Philomena Cunk; these two characters play down and thus are able to dryly insult their subjects via their "normal bloke on the street" commentary. Their bit on Bruce Willis on The One Show is a brilliant example of this and in particular Diane Morgan's delivery there was great. The Points of View section was a nice idea and, although a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, I did find it very funny. The addition of a panel section of two people discussing things with Brooker doesn't really work, although to be fair in one of the later episodes there are in-jokes about "never really liking this bit of the show" and a few other comments that seem to agree.
Weekly Wipe is not quite as consistent or as funny as some of Brooker's other shows and I think that part of this is down to attempts to mix up the formula and keep it feeling fresh. It still works well because it still has its core strengths and there are only isolated bits that don't really work as one would hope.
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