2020 sucked and 2021 wasn’t much better. This is something that just about everyone can agree on and now we have a Netflix sequel to drive that point home. The Hugh Grant-starring Death to 2021 is releasing on Netflix this week to make our year just a little bit better. And if you’re excited about that, the good news is that you can literally hop on Netflix right now and start watching it. The special was released on December 27.
Death to 2021 is a comedy special that mixes real-life footage with sketches and commentary from various colorful characters. Hugh Grant was also in the Death to 2020 special that was released last year. In addition to the return of Grant’s character, other returning actors include Joe Keery, Tracey Ullman, Samson Kayo, Cristin Milioti, Diane Morgan, and Laurence Fishburne as the narrator. Although we won’t get to see the return of Samuel L. Jackson, Kumail Nanjiani, Leslie Jones, and Lisa Kudrow, we will get to see some new actors featured. The new cast includes Lucy Liu, Stockard Channing, William Jackson Harper, and Nick Mohammed. Fittingly, both specials are created by Charlie Brooker and his production company Broke & Bones. Charlie Brooker is also known as the man behind Black Mirror. Annabel Jones returns as writer, with Ben Caudell taking point as lead writer. The new special is directed by Jack Clough and Josh Ruben.
As for whether or not the show will be worth checking out, that probably will depend on what you think of Death to 2020. Last year’s special was met with unfavorable reviews from critics and mixed reviews from general audiences. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Death to 2020 got a 40% from critics and a 60% from audiences. The format of the special is mockumentary though, so it’s definitely plausible that they improved on the formula and that the jokes are funnier than last year. So, if you’re trying to decide if Death to 2021 is worth your time, it looks like your results may vary. At the very least, you’ll get some entertaining performances from Hugh Grant and company.
If you have a Netflix subscription and you’re a fan of Hugh Grant, then Death to 2020 and Death to 2021 are some of the only performances you can catch of his on the platform right now. The only other Hugh Grant film Netflix is streaming is Cloud Atlas. At least if you want to see him in that movie, you’ll get to see him play six different roles. For more new Hugh Grant content, you’ll have to wait until 2022 and beyond. His only upcoming acting projects look to be Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre in 2022 and Dungeons & Dragons in 2023. Of course, Death to 2021 was a surprise, so you never know if we’ll get more projects than expected!
Death to 2021 is certainly a comedy, but if you’re looking for something a little more dramatic that comments on modern-day society, you could check out Charlie Brooker’s most well-known series Black Mirror. Black Mirror is a sci-fi anthology series that has a dystopian, chilling tone. There are tons of episodes on Netflix with each episode featuring new and interesting concepts. The Netflix Black Mirror film Bandersnatch is also available and has the unique feature of letting you choose your own adventure with multiple different endings. The Charlie Brooker-created series had last aired episodes in 2019. With five seasons and a movie to catch up on, you might have enough to last you until a new season is announced, but don’t be surprised if you binge it in a matter of weeks. And when you’re done you can always try and lighten things up with the more comedy-tinged Death to 2021 and share some laughs with Hugh Grant!
As fun as these mockumentaries are, it would be nice if there wasn’t a need for a Death to 2022 special. But with the Omicron variant going around and the world being as crazy as ever, you never know. One thing we do know is that there are not many things that are safer, and cozier, than booting up Netflix and settling in for a night of movies and TV shows. If that kind of night is in the cards for you, maybe check out Hugh Grant and the rest in this special and try to get some laughs in before the (hopefully) more enjoyable new year.