The Best Episodes of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe
Last Updated: May 22, 2019
Screenwipe is a television programme about television programmes; the cost, the surprising amount of work and bureaucracy involved, how programmes are selected for broadcast, and, usually scathing, analysis of specific programmes and genres. Brooker often pays particular attention to more obscure channels on satellite, freeview and cable, such as those dedicated to gambling, shopping, horoscopes, and pornography. He explores the probable effects of television in society, and how often programmes can create in the viewer feelings of inadequacy, depression, fear, and anxiety. To balance things, usually one segment of each show is dedicated to positive reviews, with analysis on why the style and content is so absorbing.
#1 - Episode Five
Season 4 - Episode 5
Charlie Brooker turns his gaze to the state of kids' TV, giving a potted history of the genre and taking a look at psychedelic kids' shows both old and new. He also pays tribute to Oliver Postgate.
#2 - Episode Three (TV Writing Special)
Season 4 - Episode 3
In a writers' special, Brooker is joined by some of the best in the business to talk about how you make a TV programme actually happen. The people and pens behind Doctor Who, Father Ted, Peep Show, Life on Mars, Shameless and many more lead us through the joys and pitfalls of writing, with the added benefit of some of the best bits from the programmes.
#3 - Episode Five
Season 3 - Episode 5
Charlie hosts 'The Unloser', a rip-off of The Apprentice, to show the editing and production tricks used in reality TV shows.
#4 - Episode Four
Season 3 - Episode 4
Charlie sees what 'Yoof TV' has to offer today's teenage viewers and gives his view on Tara Palmer Tompkinson. Plus, a tribute to TV theme tune writer Ronnie Hazlehurst.
#5 - Episode Four
Season 2 - Episode 4
In the final episode of the series, Charlie passes judgement on more TV shows.
#6 - Episode Two
Season 1 - Episode 2
Charlie hosts his new competition, '40 Seconds Of Fame'.
#7 - Episode One
Season 4 - Episode 1
With the start of this new series Charlie examines the state of television in the current economic climate and, with now-redundant home sale programmes clogging up the schedule, he explores what we can expect in their place. Expensive dramas and the plethora of job-based shows are also in his sights, while there is light relief as he illustrates the penny-pinching tricks TV uses to meet budgets.
#8 - Episode Four
Season 4 - Episode 4
Charlie Brooker takes a scalpel to 'mission' documentaries, the shows that begin with the presenter uttering 'I am on a mission to...' only to finish with a daft gimmick. After reviewing the current crop of mission docs, Charlie goes on to make his own rather unusual version of the genre, highlighting the formats and tricks of the trade along the way.
#9 - Episode Three
Season 1 - Episode 3
Charlie looks at sex on TV in this very graphic edition of Screenwipe.
#10 - Episode One
Season 1 - Episode 1
Charlie looks at Britain's top soaps, feel good TV and more.
#11 - Episode Five (Screenwipe USA)
Season 1 - Episode 5
Charlie heads stateside to find out more about American television and to see what the USA thinks of British TV shows like EastEnders.
#12 - Episode Two (TV Advertising Special)
Season 4 - Episode 2
In an advertising special, there are reports from a mysterious insider dishing the dirt on all that is bad in the industry, plus a potted history of advertising. Brooker reveals the changing psychology used to keep people buying and how the portrayal of men and women in advertising have changed, while poet Tim Key gives us an advert-related verse.
#13 - Episode Three
Season 3 - Episode 3
In this edition of Screenwipe, Charlie Brooker focuses on TV news and how it has changed over the years, to see a plethora of stations now beaming the latest stories into homes 24 hours a day. Charlie gives his take on the techniques, style and content of modern news programming.
#14 - Episode One
Season 2 - Episode 1
Charlie Brooker establishes that TV is a hypnotic, overbearing, desensitising and ultimately bewildering force for shit that makes un-thinking slaves of us all. Horray for telly!
#15 - Episode One
Season 3 - Episode 1
This edition takes a look at 'TV fakery' scandals, The X Factor, Heroes and more. In this episode Charlie also takes issue with the new guidelines for end credits.
#16 - Episode Three
Season 2 - Episode 3
TV for men, what it's like being 'the talent', presenter school and more.
#17 - Episode Two
Season 2 - Episode 2
Why video games are better than telly. Plus, television ratings - what are they and how accurate are they?
#18 - Episode Four
Season 1 - Episode 4
Charlie dissects Hollyoaks, late-night gameshow The Mint, Dragons' Den and more. Plus, what the people listed in the credits of TV shows actually do.
#19 - Episode Two
Season 3 - Episode 2
Charlie looks at the TV career ladder in an attempt to show people a job in the TV industry isn't as glamorous as it looks. Street Doctor gets a bashing too. Plus, Brooker's war against the squeezing of end credits continues.