Netflix released a new look at its Death to 2020 comedy special from Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, the creators of Black Mirror.
The special features an array of celebrities playing various fictional characters in a mockumentary about a year that was beyond description.
The team also announced a premiere date: Sunday, Dec. 27.
“Those who only know me through Black Mirror may not realize that when not writing speculative sci-fi about people frowning at smartphones, I’ve spent years making comedy shows in the U.K. — including many topical comedy specials,” Brooker says. “So to me, Death to 2020 feels like the collision of several different strands. (Do strands ‘collide’? No. Apologies.) But the approach for this is quite different to most of the topical comedy I’ve done in the past. For one thing, I’m not on screen presenting it — a relief for anyone watching in 4K — and it’s more character-based. In the loneliest year on record, I got to work (remotely) with writers and team members from my previous comedies, as well as many sickeningly talented people who were new to me.”
Continues Brooker, “Death to 2020 features fictional characters discussing real events in a bombastic mockumentary, but quite a bit sillier than that makes it sound. It felt like an apt format for Netflix, which is known for high-end documentaries, but also like a good opportunity to create a different kind of comedy special that deals with the year head-on while also showcasing some brilliant performers. I don’t love the word ‘satire,’ but there’s some of that here, alongside some angry jokes, and some goofy jokes. And hopefully, viewers will find at least one joke to their liking — because let’s face it, in 2020, any laugh you can emit, no matter how fleeting, is a small but precious victory.”
Death to 2020 stars Samuel L. Jackson (as “Dash Bracket” – reporter, New Yorkerly News), Hugh Grant (as “Tennyson Foss” – professor of history), Kumail Nanjiani (as “Bark Multiverse” – CEO, Shreekr), Tracey Ullman (as “Queen Elizabeth II”), Samson Kayo (as “Pyrex Flask” – scientist), Lisa Kudrow (as “Jeanetta Grace Susan” – non-official spokesperson), Diane Morgan (as “Gemma Nerrick” – average citizen), Leslie Jones (as “Dr. Maggie Gravel” – behavioral therapist), Cristin Milioti (as “Kathy Flowers” – soccer mom), Joe Keery (as “Duke Goolies” – gig economy millennial), and Laurence Fishburne (as “narrator”).
Added Jones: “‘This year has been unusual in many regards but what’s unified this year is the main stories we focus on – huge global stories, stories that affect the whole world, so we knew what the structure of the show was going to be with quite a few surprises along the way!”