Brow Beat

Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker Looks Back on a 2016 As Dark As Any Dystopian Future

A year so bad Charlie Brooker had to invent a new word to describe it.


Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker is best known for exploring dystopian futures, but in Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe, he looks back at a year that was as dark as any future he’s envisioned. It was a year so bad, in fact, he had to coin a new word to describe it: shitmongous.

An annual tradition since 2010, Brooker’s Wipe is both a skewed take on and a parody of year-in-review programs, as pseudonymous commentators with names like Philomena Cunk and Barry Shitpeas provide authoritatively voiced but comically misinformed summaries of the previous 12 months. (The former, portrayed by Diane Morgan, laments the loss of David Bowie and his various public personas, including Ziggy Stardust and Prince.) Some of the subjects are narrowly U.K.-specific, like the on-screen suicide of a character on the long-running soap opera Eastenders, but the Wipe’s extended commentary on Brexit and its consequences at least offers an opportunity to ponder a differently shocking and cataclysmic electoral result. Besides, where else are you going to hear Donald Trump described as “a clingfilmed parcel of hamburger meat that’s been kicked through a yellow cobweb”?