Screenwipe: 2009 Review

Charlie Brooker provides a caustic look back at the most egregious rubbish on television last year.



Filed under Media, Pop Culture

29 responses to “Screenwipe: 2009 Review

  1. Ti-Guy

    Gee, I didn’t know Britain had so much dumb television.

  2. Okhropir rumiani

    Ugh, that Gary Glitter thing turned my stomach! Can you imagine anything like that airing here?

  3. OZs

    Visiting from Indonesia,
    Happy New Year 2010, have a nice day.

  4. Tomm

    Tell me this wasn’t publicly funded television?

    Let’s contract Brooker to do a 2010 show using the CBC.

  5. Ti-Guy

    Tell me this wasn’t publicly funded television?

    A lot of it wasn’t…

    Let’s contract Brooker to do a 2010 show using the CBC.

    …but you assume it was, and use it as an excuse to bash (what else?) public broadcasting, when everyone knows the worst, most God-awful crap is on the private networks, which Canadian networks don’t even produce, but just buy from the US.

  6. …but you assume it was, and use it as an excuse to bash (what else?) public broadcasting…

    Hey–it beats writing drivel.

  7. Tomm — It would be great if we had a media critic as relentlessly scathing as Brooker to trash many of our own television offerings, but most of the “popular” shows on Canadian TV are either: a) American; b) lame imitations of American shows (or British ones) ; and c) hockey.

  8. Ti-Guy

    Hey–it beats writing drivel.

    I’m sure there’s a distinction being alluded to here with respect to Tomm’s output that’s escaping me.

  9. Tomm


    Your trashing “hockey” is a real disappointment to me.

    The PM has asked me for a few names…

    But now, I just don’t think I could recommend you.


    I just enjoy pointing out the obvious, that we are forced to pay for what is essentially bad corporate TV and badly biased news when we can already get that for free.

    During these tough economic times…
    Some sacrifices are to be expected…
    Difficult decisions must be made…

    Plus, if (horror of horrors), CBC is forced to scale back, look on the bright side. Now you will have the opportunity to support your local public broadcaster personally. Even better, Al Jazeera is going to get licenced, so pundits/journalists at CBC may find a suitable corporate home.

  10. Tomm

    Sir Francis,

    You didn’t think I was writing “drivel” (i.e. speaking in a silly or stupid manner).

    I guess we disagree again. I’m pretty much just getting rid of my New Year’s turkey.

  11. Ti-Guy

    that we are forced to pay for what is essentially bad corporate TV

    Bad according to what standard?

  12. Ti-Guy

    Actually, don’t bother, Tomm. KEvron was correct when he described you as the type of passive-aggressive bully who retreats into a ball and grins shit-eatingly whenever he’s managed to piss people off thoroughly.

  13. Drake

    April 13th is the date of the next election if Norman Spector is to be beleived.

    Mark you calendars. It’ll have been 18 months of minority government.

    I think the Conservatives will keep the CBC when they get their majority, which is looking increasingly likely, but they’ll try to turn it into more of a PBS format. Right now CBC has such a hodge-podge of a mandate, it’s not surprising they seem to be listing.

  14. No, I wasn’t trashing hockey at all. It was inserted for humorous effect, but also pointing out that there’s not much to say about any of the categories I listed.

  15. Ti-Guy

    but they’ll try to turn it into more of a PBS format.

    You mean 24/7 begging for donations? I doubt that. Remember, CBC/Radio-Canada has to contend with a quarter of the population of Canada for whom it produces quality news and popular entertainment television, an Aboriginal population that no private broadcaster sees any market in, and a huge demographic who are very loyal to its radio broadcasting.

    I know Albertans hate the CBC, but they’re drunk all the time, so who cares what they think, really?

  16. Drake

    Radio is another ball of wax, I agree. Quebec is developing its own private networks which are getting as good (or bad) as English Canadian TV. Francophones in Ontario have TFO. If they don’t go the whole nine yards to a PBS format, and I agree they’ll still end up with a fair subsidy, they’ll go in that direction.

    CBC French already has given up broadcasting the Canadien games on Saturday night. If that didn’t get people in the streets, nothing will.

  17. Ti-Guy

    Francophones in Ontario have TFO.

    They could shut that down, for all I care. The only reason it’s there is that the federal government has allowed Radio-Canada to become so Québec-centric that it’s often insulting to francophones in other parts of the country. Like when they refer Gabrielle Roy and Antonine Maillet as écrivaines québécoises.

    In the end though, what I believe is required for a healthy democracy, in the era of a dumbed-down and fractured media is a renewed commitment to public broadcasting, not a retreat from it. I find it frankly astonishing that soi-disants conservatives have found that concept difficult to grasp, given the garbage private media has degraded our culture with.

    I’m all for more conservative (but not stupid, racist or hate-fueled) news and entertainment media. But that will have to wait until most conservatives realise that who they’re allied with are not conservatives, but radicals.

  18. Drake

    I’m nodding my head in agreement with a comment from Ti-Guy. What’s happening to me?

  19. Ti-Guy

    I’m nodding my head in agreement with a comment from Ti-Guy. What’s happening to me?

    And I’m still a Liberal and have always supported the ideas expressed in my last comment. I can show you the paper I wrote in high school…

    Maybe what’s happening to you is a crack has appeared in your oubliette.

  20. Okhropir rumiani

    Nice banner Red, it was time for a change.

    Let me be the first to ask… is it, or does it mean, anything in particular?

  21. Okhropir rumiani

    Oh, btw did the last one have any particular meaning? The madmen cussin’ one another…

  22. Tomm


    Like Okhropir, I too would be interested in any banner story line. Please share.


    KEvron is, of course, right. But that is only a small part of me. I am a complex man. Think of me as your conscience…

  23. Okhropir/Tomm — Thanks for asking.

    No meaning in particular… I was just delving through the Image Morgue and thought it would be fun to pull out something new and different every once in a while.

    Depending on how ambitious, what mood I happen to be in, or how much I’m procrastinating at the time, I’ll switch them every couple of weeks, or at least once a month or so.

    You can read anything into them you want.

  24. Tomm

    What I read into this is of a man who appreciates the sublime.

  25. That works for me. 🙂

  26. Okhropir rumiani

    Or some vague nod to classicism.

  27. jkg

    I tease the poor unfortunate millenials that it was their decade that formalized reality TV such that its mind numbing crassness is only rivaled by its ubiquity. I hate to be cynical, but I found very little that was of excitement culturally this past decade partly because of the oversaturation of media, resulting in a post-literate yet self-diminshing multi-tasking world.

  28. Culturally speaking, the last decade was, on the whole, “poisonously awful” (to borrow and expression from Brooker).

  29. Ti-Guy

    What I find worst about reality television is not how pointless it is, but how childish and humourless it is. Like listening to pubescent children squabbling. I don’t need to turn on the teevee for that.

    The only reality show I ever liked was The Osborns, which had the good sense to end.

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