“Black Mirror” masterminds Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have dreamed up an even more horrifying way to end 2020 than with a new batch of “Black Mirror” episodes: a mockumentary about the year we all just suffered through.
Netflix dropped the trailer for Brooker and Jones’ “Death to 2020” special on Monday featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Samson Kayo, Lisa Kudrow, Diane Morgan, Leslie Jones, Cristin Milioti, Joe Keery and narrated by Laurence Fishburne.
Of course, those big-name actors aren’t playing themselves, but rather versions of people who have become the “stars” of 2020: Jackson as Dash Bracket – Reporter, New Yorkerly News; Grant as Tennyson Foss – Professor of History; Nanjiani as Bark Multiverse – CEO, Shreekr; Ullman as Queen Elizabeth II – Monarch and Figurehead; Kayo as Pyrex Flask – Scientist; Kudrow as Jeanetta Grace Susan – Non-Official Spokesperson; Morgan as Gemma Nerrick – Average Citizen; Jones as Dr. Maggie Gravel – Behavioral Psychologist; Milioti as Kathy Flowers – Soccer Mom; and Keery as Duke Goolies – Gig Economy Millennial.
Watch the trailer above for a little taste of what you’ll see in “Death to 2020,” which Netflix dubbed “the cathartic comedy event you’ll never forget about the year you really, really don’t want to remember.”
Here’s Netflix’s official description for the “Death to 2020” special, which launches Dec. 27: “2020: A year so [insert adjective of choice here], even the creators of Black Mirror couldn’t make it up… but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a little something to add. Death to 2020 is a comedy event that tells the story of the dreadful year that was — and perhaps still is? This landmark documentary-style special weaves together a chorus of narration from some of the world’s most (fictitious) renowned voices with real-life archival footage spanning the past 12 months.”
“Death to 2020” is created and executive produced by Brooker and Jones, and produced by Alison Marlow. Al Campbell and Alice Mathias directed the special.
Brooker wrote the special along with Tom Baker, Kemah Bob, Ken Bordell, Munya Chawawa, Constance Cheng, Alan Connor, Erika Ehler, Charlie George, Eli Goldstone, Mollie Goodfellow, Jason Hazeley, Angelo Irving, Kae Kurd, Ali Marlow, Thanyia Moore, Joel Morris and Michael Odewale.
“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 UK – including many topical comedy specials,” Brooker said in a statement. “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. ‘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.”
Jones added: “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!”
“Death to 2020” launches on Dec. 27 on Netflix.