- Faber and Faber
- Publication Date:
- 02 December 2004
Showing 1-3 out of 3 reviews.
Like other reviewers, I first encountered Charlie Brooker on TV rather than through his newspaper columns. However, that just means that as I read this book I found myself imagining Brooker reading it in his very ascerbic, sarcastic style, and this added to the hilarity.The book is a collection of television review columns dating from April 2000 to September 2004. Most of the reviews are bitingly negative, with just the occasional bit of praise thrown in. In the FAQ at the back of the book Brooker explains that it isn't that he hates all television, its just that he finds it easier to be funny about stuff that he doesn't like rather than stuff he does. I don't always agree with him on the programmes that he is positive about. He seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time watchin ITV, which I deliberately avoid. And he even admits to enjoying Pop Idol and all its myriad spin-offs. But I don't think you have to share a taste in order to enjoy the columns, its not even that important that you have an idea of what programmes the book is talking about are like. One other positive thing about this book was that, being a collection of newspaper columns, it provided reading material in little chunks, easily digestible on the fly. Useful for picking up and putting down when you've got a toddler running around.
Didn't watch much telly during the period covered here, so found this most interesting, and Brooker's always funny - contrary to what he says in his intro, one can never have too many references to shitting pine cones. He also mentions two of my must-see shows that no-one else seemed to catch - 'Buried' (quality) and 'Back to Reality' (car-crash).
This book, as well as the second volume (Dawn of the Dumb) collects Charlie Brooker's weekly columns which first appeared in The Saturday Guardian's entertainment supplement, The Guide. Unlike most television critics, Brooker tends to be scathing and is dismissive of most of the television programmes he reviews, but because television is almost always disappointing, falling so far short its potential, it isn't Broker's approach that should be surprising, it should be the fawning arse-lick simpering of the rest of them. Brooker tends to be quite funny as well, sometimes in a laugh-out-loud kind of way. I hardly watch broadcast television, so I am (happily) unfamiliar with some of the dross Brooker dissects, but even someone who isn't at all familiar with the medium will enjoy Brooker's justifiable rage. Apparently, Brooker has also managed to wangle a television programme out of this, so he now fulminates on screen; that might just be a tad ironic. As noted in another review, these collections are great for the bog which is also ironic, because that's where most television belongs.
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