The only watchable aspect of this mockumentary is its glittering ensemble of cast, otherwise, it is as bland as it gets
Do you remember some of the memorable events of 2020?
Parasite winning those Oscars, the whole world going into lockdown, the death of George Floyd, US presidential election, The Crown series, and what it felt like to spend a lot of time on Zoom? If you do, then there is no need to watch Netflix's end-of-the-year special mockumentary "Death to 2020".
At the beginning of this 70-minute-long year recap, The news reporter Dash Bracket (played by Samuel L Jackson) asks the film crew recording him why on earth anyone would want to make a show looking back on 2020. And this is perhaps the most sensible scene of this otherwise forgettable mockumentary.
A lot has happened this year and it comes as a shock to be reminded of all of it at once. The showrunners didn't succeed in making it funny due to 2020 being as rough on everyone as it was.
Starring an impressive ensemble of cast, Death to 2020 covers a miserable year through the lens of Black Mirror creator duo Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.
As far as production goes, it was kept simple enough. A series of guest stars playing various modern archetypes as Laurence Fishburne narrates a broad overview of the events of 2020 - starting with the Australian wildfire in January and ending with the development of the coronavirus vaccine.
Along the way, the special provides quick summaries of several major events, including Trump's impeachment trial, Boris Johnson's inept messaging in regards to the covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
There's no grand sense of humor or wit to the project, even if some of the cast members had fun playing their archetypes. It is a recap of the year peppered with charmless commentary and stereotypes which seemingly drudged up from the bowels of social media.
It is almost as if the creators decided that something had to be said about this year, but they could not land on anything uniquely clever.
It is not as if Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones did not put in the effort. The skit-filled satire boasts nearly 20 writers but not even 20 jokes could be found worth laughing at.
Maybe if you truly were not paying any attention to world news or social media during the last 12 months, you might get something out of this hit parade. Otherwise, you can sum up the special in two words - repetitive and exhausting.
However, the cast of "Death to 2020" makes the satire watchable.
Samuel L Jackson plays the role of a newspaper reporter who answers questions much like Samuel in real life might. Hugh Grant plays the role of a historian who seems to confuse the events of "Game Of Thrones" with actual history; Lisa Kudrow, a non-official spokesperson, who basically denies anything resembling the truth; Kumail Nanjiani, a selfish tech CEO that built a mountain bunker for himself and got absurdly wealthier during the pandemic; Samson Kayo, a scientist whose real expert answers are made interesting by the filmmakers with random footage like a rhino taking a dump; Cristin Milioti, a "self-described regular soccer mom" who ascribes to every conspiracy theory that plops onto her Facebook feed; Leslie Jones, a sociologist who thinks that pretty much everyone who's not her is an imbecile; Joe Keery, a billionaire YouTuber; Diane Morgan plays literally one of the five most average people on the planet; finally, Tracey Ullman plays Queen Elizabeth II, who's so annoyed over Harry and Meghan's leaving the royal family.
You might want to watch it just to see all of these stars perform together.
This mockumentary will mostly make you realize how much you want to forget this year. Although making fun of one of the most horrible years is tough for anyone to tackle, which is why we should give Brooker and Jones a pass for whiffing on "Death to 2020".