We live in strange times, with reality increasingly resembling a poorly-written TV show. But you needn't panic, because TV screenwriters are on hand to blur the distinction between fact and fiction even further.
But it doesn’t always work. Done right, an unintrusive meta joke rewards eagle-eyed viewers with a knowing nod from the filmmakers, giving the show a life outside of itself. Done wrong, it can derail a show and alert the audience to the artifice. It can be hard to suspend your disbelief when the script keeps actively discouraging it.
Here are 9 times that TV programmes have sailed too close to the sun in their attempts at edgy self-commentary.