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Death to 2020 reviews: Charlie Brooker’s ‘disappointing’ Netflix mockumentary torn apart by critics

The 70-minute spoof documentary was released on Netflix on Sunday 27 December.

In The Independent’s one-star review, critic Ed Cumming said the show was “a mess” that “can’t make up its mind whether it is for a British audience or an American one”.

“Death to 2020 is a mess and you’ll be glad when it’s over. In that sense, at least, it’s appropriate to its subject,” the review concluded.

Other critics have echoed the sentiment.

A review in The Hollywood Reporter called it a “hacky piece of recycled political satire and tired documentary parody… that will feel fresh to you only if you’ve self-imposed a strict media blackout since February”.

In a kinder review from Metro, the reviewer said Death to 2020 “stands out on its own”, apart from Black Mirror and Brooker’s Wipe shows.

”The writing team try to cover everything, it results in the film spreading itself a bit too thin,” the reviewer said.

“The most obvious argument for this is how criminally underused some of the guest speakers are – some being given only a couple of minutes of screentime – while others are used more than they’re needed.”

A two-star review in The Telegraph called Death to 2020 a “disappointing rehash of tired jokes and predictable satire”.

“It is a huge disappointment,” the review said. “You expect greatness from Brooker, but the jokes here are as predictable as the targets of the jokes, only occasionally rising above the quality of this year’s dreadful Spitting Image reboot. At least that had funny puppets.”

Overall, Hugh Grant’s role as the bigoted professor Tennyson Foss received the most praise, as he was described as a rare highlight in the otherwise disappointing production.

Read the full Independent review here.