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Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker talks about his jealousy of Succession and helping introduce The Wire to British viewers

  • Before his massive Black Mirror success, Brooker was a TV critic writing and filming video segments about reality TV, TV news and The Wire. "It was one of the first shows that did things where it didn’t hold your hand; it didn’t patronize you," Brooker says of The Wire. 'You’d see a random scene – the mayor having a chat to his adviser or something – and then the story for that episode would just carry on. And you’d think: what was that about? That was about nothing. I don’t understand what was going on there. Then it might pay off in three episodes’ time. It was rewarding your attention; it wasn’t ambient noise with pictures, which a lot of television can be. It also had that realistic tone to it, where, you know, a lot of the time the problem is they need to get a f*cking piece of paper signed by somebody so that they can do the wiretap. But it would take them like four episodes to get the fucking wiretap up and running. Because they have to deal with a load of paperwork, bureaucracy and internal politics. It was frustrating sometimes but it wasn’t spoon-feeding you the same stories over and over again. I can’t think of many other things that were of that tone and calibre at the time. But all I did was write: 'You should be watching this show. It is good,' over and over again." As for Succession, Brooker says: "The jealousy does ruin things. Succession was so good it made me furious with envy. Even if I enjoy your show, I don’t really enjoy it any more. That’s awful, isn’t it? But to be honest I have those feelings all the time, it doesn’t have to be watching TV. The other day I had to use a jet washer on the patio. Have you ever used a jet washer?"

    TOPICS: Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror, Succession, The Wire