From the makers of Black Mirror comes a black humour pseudo-mockumentary about the dumpster-fire of a year we're literally still living in (at time of release). It's... a really weird moment in media creation 😂 But, it is something that can meaningfully created during a pandemic, so hoo-boy what a cast list. Hugh Grant, Samuel L Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, Laurence Fishburne (narrator), plus (of course) Brooker-project alumni Diane Morgan, as brilliantly funny as ever. Everyone's playing a character, from the racist history professor (Grant) to the Trump propagandist (brilliantly done by Kudrow) to the tech billionaire (Nanjiani) to a whole host of scientists, journalists, members of the general public, and all the bits in between. It's a bit chaotic at times, as a result, but ultimately the format lets them poke a whole lot of fun at various people and groups, whilst interspersing the run time with genuine footage from the year (and end of 2019).
I'd say Death to's biggest issue is that it was released before the end of the year. It misses the whole insurrection element, election fraud fake news, antivax, QAnon... so much, really. And yet, at the same time, it skips over whole sections of the year without a mention. It's almost entirely focused on the US, with just a touch of Brexit-related UK/EU stuff sprinkled on top, so it somehow feels like it moves a little too quickly. Plus, I don't think it's as cathartic as they might have hoped; a lot of the humour is still a little too close to the bone it comes across as cringey (and some of it is just a bit by-the-numbers boring anyway).
Moments throughout are good fun, but I wouldn't say it ever really elevates itself beyond that level, and only Kudrow and Grant's characters really feel like they're given some genuine length to play with. The result is fine, but hardly must-watch.