Steel yourself because it looks like Netflix is taking us on a trip down memory lane with the Death to 2020 trailer. Billed as a “Netflix original comedy event,” Death to 2020 comes from Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones. We first learned a Black Mirror-like special about this year was on its way when of its stars, Hugh Grant, let slip he was playing a “pretty repellant” historian whose focus is the year 2020. Earlier this month, we also learned who would be joining to 2020: Samuel L. Jackson, Tracey Ullman, Lisa Kudrow, Leslie Jones, Kumail Nanjiani, Cristin Milioti, Joe Keery, Samson Kayo, and Diane Morgan. And, in a bonus bit of news, it was revealed today that Laurence Fishburne would also be joining the cast.
The trailer for Death to 2020 teases a comedy special like none you’ve seen before because, well, 2020 is a year unlike any other. The general gist is this: A colorful cast of characters from a variety of backgrounds all find themselves the subjects of a documentary about this year. Glimpses of Kayo as a lab tech, Grant‘s historian, Jackson as a very unamused reporter, Kudrow as a conservative politician, and Ullman as Queen Elizabeth II are among the highlights of the trailer. Every character will bring a different perspective to this year as the documentary style of the special allows for sharp, satirical, occasionally off-the-cuff takes on this year to come through.
Death to 2020 might feel like new material from Brooker and Jones but, as Brooker points out in a statement on the Netflix event, this is a chance to showcase his comedic side to U.S. audiences. In a statement on Death to 2020, Brooker comments,
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. 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.”
Death to 2020 premieres on Netflix on Sunday, December 27. Watch the official trailer below.
Here’s the official synopsis for Death to 2020:
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.Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Samson Kayo, Lisa Kudrow, Diane Morgan, Leslie Jones, Cristin Milioti, Joe Keery, and Laurence Fishburne, Death to 2020 is the cathartic comedy event you’ll never forget about the year you really, really don’t want to remember.