Black Mirror

Started by Chris L, Jun 23, 2017, 05:14 pm

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Leighton

I am looking forward to a few more - though I also started GLOW last night and binged three episodes of that.  It is also excellent - very funny, a bit sad, and it feels like a properly lived-in world.

I am a big wrestling fan, so that appeals, but if you like OITNB you'll probably like this - many of the same team.
Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!

Chris L

Black Mirror Season 4 comes out on December 29! This AVClub article attempts to discuss it without spoilers but still gives away some of the subject matter, so I've only skimmed it. I'd already heard about the Star Trek episode (with Jesse Plemons, of all people, in the William Shatner role) and am curious how the show can squeeze the subject matter into its general theme. I can only assume that it takes place on the set of a Trek-like TV series. Given that all Black Mirror episodes supposedly take place in a shared, near-future world, that's the only possibility that makes sense.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

DiveMilw

Hooray!!  What better way to ring in the New Year with a positive outlook than by binge watching Black Mirror on New Year's Eve?!?   ;D :)) ;D :D
I no longer long for the old view!

Chris L

We just finished watching Season Four. This is probably the show's weakest season, but with something as good as Black Mirror that still leaves room for it to be pretty great. The main problem is that some of writer/producer Charlie Brooker's writerly quirks are becoming obvious. There is, for instance, an episode where someone is subjected to repeated, even eternal, punishment for the same crime, something Brooker did earlier in "White Bear" and "White Christmas." There's an episode that begins with a pair of people doing something that seems increasingly inexplicable until you get the explanation at the end and it makes perfect science-fictional sense, which could also describe earlier episodes like "San Junipero" and "White Bear."

On the plus side, there's an episode that consists of three tenuously related mini-episodes, which Brooker also did in "White Christmas." This is something I hope Brooker continues to do in the future, because it allows him to take ideas that really aren't sufficient for a complete episode and still base a clever vignette around each of them. And there's an episode with numerous references to other Black Mirror episodes (also previously done in "White Christmas"), proving once again that all Black Mirror episodes take place in a common universe.

Star Trek fans (I know we have at least a couple of those here) will probably like the first episode, "U.S.S. Callister," about a virtual reality Trek-like MMORPG. (For non-gamers, that stands for "massively multiplayer online role-playing game.") And Twilight Zone fans will probably like "Metalhead," which reminded me a lot of that TZ episode where Agnes Moorhead spent the entire half hour fighting a tiny spaceship, except the robotic enemies in this one are a lot more interesting than Twilight Zone's flying saucer and miniature spacemen. It's even filmed in black and white to look like an old television show, with an oddly cheesy (but very effectively jarring) musical score that sounds like something from The Outer Limits.

Not the show's best year, but still well worth watching. (Okay, there was one episode that seemed confused and fairly pointless, but I won't say which one it is.)
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

mrssondheim

I agree that this was Black Mirrors weakest season. I did love a couple of episodes. Though most people didn't care for it, Crocodile was my favorite. I think I just like really dark shit. Black Museum was back to the feel of traditional Black Mirror and I enjoyed the homages to other episodes from the season. The others were fun, but not that great for me. Hang the DJ was sweet. USS Callister, was fun, but not very Black Mirror esque. 

Ready for season 5 now.
A blank page or canvas. My favorite.

Chris L

I'm one of the people who didn't care for "Crocodile," mostly because I felt the two plot threads (the murderer and the woman investigating insurance claims) didn't mesh very well. They come together in the end, but in a very forced way that made the episode seem clumsy. I'd like to see Brooker use the memory-reading technology again, though.

For some reason AVClub hated "Black Museum" while I actually thought it was one of the best episodes of the season, if only because it pulled together so much of the Black Mirror world into one story. And, unlike the AVClub reviewer, I was actually surprised when I realized what was actually going on.

And I did like "U.S.S. Callister." You're right that it felt a bit different from other Black Mirror episodes, but I loved Jesse Plemons' impression of William Shatner. My theory is that he did that impression in front of Brooker at a party and Brooker wrote the entire episode around it.

I'm glad that Brooker seems to be including one episode per season that has a happy ending. (I'm not going to say which episode it is so I won't spoil it for people who haven't watched this season yet, though last season's was the wonderful "San Junipero.") It's a relief from the general bleakness of the show and I hope he continues doing it.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

Black Mirror is back, with a special episode for the holidays (though it doesn't have anything to do with the holidays). This one is seriously gimmicky. It takes a Choose Your Own Adventure approach that requires you to use your TV remote to make decisions at branching points in the story, from what cereal to have for breakfast to whether you should murder your father. There's a lot to like about it, but it gets repetitive at points and there's clearly a throughline that writer Charlie Brooker wants you to follow, whether you choose to follow it or not. Still, it's worth watching just to enjoy the rather unusual ride.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

Returning June 5 for only three episodes. (I guess Bandersnatch counts as the rest.)
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?