Death To 2020: A Global Reckoning, A Massive Triumph
You’re on your way to your next existential crisis
“This is fine.” An anthropomorphic dog sits idly, engulfed in flames with a grim expression, defeated. It’s the timeless meme that encapsulates our collective experience of 2020 as a people. It’s the year we would all rather forget, but this global reckoning will be written in history books, as Barack Obama writes in A Promised Land, as a “relentless march toward an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide.”
2020 introduced us to one worst-case scenario after another, including real-life scenes from a Black Mirror episode—the dismal British sci-fi anthology series, which will make you question your very existence. Borrowing from Mark O’Connell’s Notes From An Apocalypse, a book that shaped our 2020: “The world would end neither with a bang nor with a whimper, but with a push notification—a buzzing I wasn’t even sure I’d felt, but figured I’d better check anyway, to see if it was real, and what it might portend.”
And so it served as a welcome surprise when Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, the creators of the dystopian series, announced the December Netflix comedy event special Death To 2020, the satirical mockumentary to give the indescribable year that was the sendoff it deserves.
Hollywood A-listers play fictional experts relaying the events of the year as they unfold. Narrated by The Matrix’s Laurence Fishburne, the TV special stars Samuel L. Jackson as blunt journalist Dash Bracket, Hugh Grant as prejudiced historian Tennyson Foss, Lisa Kudrow as brainwashed Republican spokesperson Jeanetta Grace Susan, Kumail Nanjiani as unfeeling tech billionaire Bark Multiverse, Cristin Milioti as Karen-like soccer mom Kathy Flowers, Diane Morgan as exceptionally average citizen Gemma Nerrick and more. It’s an unexpected pool of performers who work together extraordinarily well.
“I’d say it was a trainwreck and a shitshow, but that would be unfair to trains and shit,” Leslie Jones, as behavioral therapist Dr. Maggie Gravel, comments. The political satire, bound to leave you in fits of laughter, highlights social movements like Black Lives Matter, events like the US Presidential Election, one climate crisis after another and, of course, the unprecedented pandemic. Note: Don’t expect Death To 2020 to touch on the Taal Volcano explosion or Super Typhoon Haiyan; it zeroes in mostly on America—the Superpower home to an infantile president capable of a violent insurrection.
RELATED: The Strange Case of Donald Trump
2020 is so monumentally dreadful, that we still look back at it in utter disbelief. Death To 2020 is a much needed comedic reprieve, and is an intelligent explainer capable of rousing people from their deep social slumber.
Stream Death To 2020 only on Netflix.
Art Alexandra Lara