Don't Like Bandersnatch? Make The Choice To F*** Off, Says Charlie Brooker

By Holly Brockwell on at

Charlie Brooker is getting a bit sick of people criticising Bandersnatch, it seems.

His innovative choose-your-own Black Mirror episode on Netflix has been huge, but divisive. Star Will Poulter, who plays Colin Ritman, the blonde-haired balcony-leaning games developer, has had to quit Twitter because of all the negativity he was getting about the show, for instance.

Writer Charlie Brooker has a simpler solution, though: telling all the people who don't like it to "fuck off."

Speaking to the Huffington Post alongside co-creator Annabel Jones, Brooker said:

"It’s been interesting that you get different reactions from different people, partly based on what they’re expecting, or what they want. So some people go, ‘oh, I’m shit at this’, and you sort of go, ‘no no, it’s alright, we’ve built in that you’re going to fail’. We’re trying to make you fail a couple of times so that you have to go around and do things again, and that’s sort of baked into the story.

There’s also some people that are like ‘I don’t wanna make decisions’, ‘I don’t want to do any of it’... well fuck off, then. Do something else! And then there’s some people who think ‘oh, it’s too simple as a game’ or ‘games have done this before’ – well this isn’t on a gaming platform, it’s on Netflix. I’m well aware of what a computer game is, thanks."

We can't fault Brooker's irritation. Writers, artists and creators dedicate their lives to making stuff for us to enjoy, and then have to spend unholy amounts of time being approached in the street by gammons who want to lecture them about exactly why they didn't like it.

If you've ever read the YouTube comments section, in which people who have never made anything criticise people who have for not doing it the way they'd have preferred, you'll know what this feels like.

Vexing. It feels vexing.

We've never understood the compulsion to tell the creator of something that you didn't like it. It's one thing to tweet your disdain for Bandersnatch, but why tag the people involved? Why bring your ill-considered opinion into their timelines? They don't need to know. Yes, you could argue that by making public art, they're inviting criticism as well as praise, but the thing is, you don't have to watch Bandersnatch. You don't have to watch Netflix. You don't have to consume anything at all that you don't want to, apart from the Queen's speech when you're stranded at your Nan's on Christmas Day.

Just like when you're controlling Stefan, you have the choice not to be a bellend. We're with Brooker in wishing more people would take it.