Charlie Brooker Black Mirror

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Bob The Skutter, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Black Museum has loads of call backs to other episodes apparently.

    I'm still not sure about the Metalhead dogs, they seemed to target humans and I can't imagine a security system would go to the lengths they did. Possibly a military application that went berserk. I don't always need backstory but this one is a little frustrating because I don't see those dogs being dangerous enough to wipe out humanity. One wounded, poorly armed human was able to outwit/destroy one of them. In my head cannon there'd been some other cataclysm and the dogs were just a by-product.
     
  2. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Something Skynet-ish, maybe?
     
  3. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Watching Playtest.

    I liked the episode but it was one of the more predictable of episodes. They wouldn't have established the exact time at the beginning if the entire thing weren't going to happen entirely in his mind in less than a second. Also I think they went a little darker than they needed to in the last twist, and also threw away a lot of the inherent believability in the premise when they had the interface work by airport landing gear rules.

    First two episodes of season 3 choreographed themselves completely early in the episode, hopefully that trend doesn't continue.

    As far as I am in the series I think I'd rank the episodes:

    A:
    1. Five Million Merits
    2. The Waldo Moment
    3. White Bear
    B:
    4. Nosedive
    5. The Entire History Of You
    6. White Christmas
    C:
    7. Playtest
    8. Be Right Back

    Not going to dignify pig****ing with a ranking.
     
  4. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah maybe, you can definitely see the military applications for subduing a population, and maybe the tagging isn't supposed to lead to killing but people being rounded up, it's just that without human intervention the dogs have gone haywire.

    Guessing you haven't seen San Junipero yet, you're gonna need a new category ;)

    Fifteen Million Merits is very good, one of the best BM episodes, if you can look past Brooker effectively saying "Oh woe is me, I'm sarky and tell it like it is and it's made me rich and famous and isn't it horrible"

    By contrast I always found The Waldo Moments one of the worst, very obvious and with a kindergarten level understanding of politics. White Bear annoys me also, I just can't quite see society ever going that far, and even if they did, well in the States when they execute people there are always groups campaigning against the execution as it happens, and if there'd only been some anti punishment campaigners waving placards as the next group of tourists went in I'd have bought the premise more, but Brooker's probably (for me anyway) has always been that he inherently sees the worst in everyone. National Anthem is another example of this, sorry but not everybody would watch that. You can watch beheading videos online but not everyone does, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to watch anyone fucking a pig.

    The Entire History of You was depressing as hell and I couldn't relate to anyone in it, they not a character was likeable or even understandable, and frankly I just didn't care.

    Conversely I thought Be Right Back was excellent, great performances from Atwell and Gleeson and the central premise that what we put online doesn't necessarily reflect our actual personality was more nuanced than the show usually is, plus it has a "happier" ending than most of the early BMs did.

    Nosedive was fun in a Bridesmaids/woman on the verge of nervous breakdown kinda way, but a bit forgettable. I do completely agree with you re Playtest, and I hate endings within endings like that. White Christmas I did see but can't remember much beyond it being depressing.
     
  5. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My impression of Fifteen Million Merits was a commentary on how the rich and powerful control the rebellion by marketing rebelliousness. He wasn’t saying ‘Oh woe is me’. He was given the opportunity to sell out and become part of the problem — and he took his opportunity.

    I agree Waldo Moment is a little reductionist. But I think it hits again on that theme of marketing rebellion in order to control it. Convert people’s political anger into pointless nihilism and get them to disengage.
     
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  6. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Shut Up And Dance I'd put in the B category.

    Frighteningly plausible, easily the most realistic episode. And how in the end you find out they didn't want the money, it was just a sociopath who wanted to manipulate and destroy people. I guess in real life it'd be difficult to orchestrate that because the odds are two high that just one person said "**** it, I'd rather face the consequences of this getting out than rob and kill people". But it's plausible. In real life it's more likely money was the chief motive.

    Also I wonder how the hell he won that fight against a guy bigger than him. I guess in the heat of battle you just need one lucky blow to the right place.
     
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  7. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Oh yeah that's exactly what 15 million merits is about.

    Much as I dislike the Waldo episode it has one spot of brilliance in it, where Tobias Menzies is in the back of the car and basically talks about how fucked up politics and democracy is but then says (and I'm paraphrasing) "But it built these roads, and these buildings." I guess I should give the episode another go in hindsight in a post Trump world

    Shut up and Dance was good but man it's depressing, and yeah I guess in the heat of battle you never quite know who'll come out on top, it's who wants to live more I guess. I did twig right from the start what his secret was but it was good that it still made him sympathetic, and yes I'd agree it's one of the most plausible Black Mirror stories along with National Anthem I guess. I think all of the others require some kind of quantum leap in technology.
     
  8. MadeIndescribable

    MadeIndescribable Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The thing that stuck with me about Shut Up And Dance, which shows how twisted humanity is, is that
    the paedo gets turned on enough to have some self love after watching the kind of sexualisation of teenagers/minors that has just become standard practice in the music/entertainment industry....
     
  9. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    ^I dunno, I got the impression he was looking at something way worse than what you'd find on TV. Judging by his reaction to the little girl in the restaurant he skewed very young in his proclivities :(
     
  10. MadeIndescribable

    MadeIndescribable Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, what was on his laptop would have been way worse, but it was the fact he was watching the sexualised performances on everyday TV that gave him the idea of wanting to go on his laptop in the first place...
     
  11. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About White Bear I agree it’s one of the less believable eps but so far it’s the series best executed mindfuck. I thought it was going to turn out to be some kind of spectator sport hunt.
     
  12. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    San Junipero is a beautiful episode. Also after a streak of extremely depressing endings, nice to finally get a happy ending thrown in there.
     
  13. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Men Against Fire: PLEASE nobody let Trump see this episode.

    Chilling metaphor for how dictators justify dehumanizing the 'Other' and get their armies to round them up and kill them. Last two episodes might be the best two yet.
     
  14. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Now watching Hated In The Nation. I like the idea of an army of mechanical bees used to spy on the nation, and it being hacked. This is very plausible for 20 years from now. I don't like the social media death vote thing being combined with it. Social media death votes have been done by a million crime procedurals and it's very close to other social media related premises in this show that were better executed.

    And frankly, their presentation of how the public would react to such a vote is just as unoriginal and uninteresting as all the crime procedurals that did it. And how come nobody has effective countermeasures to these bees? Seems employing a strong magnet should do the trick. Don't protect the woman by driving out to some cabin. Get a big ass magnet and put her next to it.

    This episode goes in the B category. Maybe a high C because it's pissing me off more and more nobody thought of magnets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  15. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was going to wait till I saw all the episodes of season 4 to comment, but I just started Arkangel. And could they have possibly picked an actor who looked any *more* EXACTLY LIKE STEVE BANNON?! Creepy.

    USS Calister is one of the really good ones, in the A category. Something which is just slightly an exaggeration of what most Trek fans would probably do if they had the technology. And it's also nice when you get relief and get a happy ending when such a vast majority of the endings are horribly depressing. They go on a quest for annihilation and find freedom. Only small criticism is, how the hell can they recreate a person's personality and knowledge base from a DNA sample? That only works by Star Trek DNA rules.
     
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  16. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A few more. Getting toward the end.

    Arkangel: The near future of parenting. Tracking chips, constant parental spying, total protection from anything adult or scary. I like the observation the episode makes that if you try to protect children from reality they'll only seek it out themselves and lean into it harder, without the proper context they could have had if they were less completely protected. Very good episode.

    Crocodile: The themes of this episode don't really jive well together. A woman murders four people out of fear of being caught for accessory to manslaughter, and also we have technology to view people's memories. These two themes don't play well into each other, and the episode suffers from the problem common in crime procedurals of murder victims appearing to act without any real survival instinct. The investigator goes to talk to crime witnesses without telling anyone where she's going except her family and without bringing any means of self defense, then when her car won't start she doesn't fight back against the woman bashing her window in with a rock. Like, nobody has thought something like this might happen when you're looking at people's memories under threat of legal force? All that neglect of the obvious breaks suspension of disbelief and makes it seem the point of the episode, instead of "This kind of crime fighting technology leads to more problems than it helps", is "Abject stupidity leads to being murdered".
     
  17. JaffreyPanthosa

    JaffreyPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, now that I've seen every episode so far, I will give a final ranking.

    A+:
    Men Against Fire:
    Seriously, NOBODY let Trump see this episode. He'll order the technology be created and given to ICE agents.
    San Junipero:
    Great concept of mankind creating their own heaven.

    A:
    Fifteen Million Merits:
    This episode had a great world and a great resolution. The way the main character built up this whole public rebellion against the system that packages and markets all emotion, then agrees to package and market his rebellion.
    Arkangel:
    The future of helicopter parenting.
    USS Callister:
    Great parody of Trek fandom, also the most fun episode.
    White Bear:
    Not the most realistic episode, but a great mindfuck I didn't see coming, and great comment on public revenge fantasies.

    B:
    The Waldo Moment:
    Nice commentary on the influence of social media and vulgar comedy on political elections, and the way the rebellion against the establishment is coopted by the establishment.
    The Enitre History Of You:
    Nice insight about the implications of life without the ability to forget.
    White Christmas:
    The first episode with the digital duplicates that get super-overused. The episode has some flaws, but has a great performance by Jon Hamm, and has some great substories.
    Hang The DJ:
    Good episode, but one that made itself pretty obvious pretty early. The moment the guy questioned whether they were in an artificial reality it was obvious they were. The ending was clever but a bit of a believability stretch also.
    Shut Up And Dance:
    Another revenge fantasy, and a very plausible one for the near future.
    Metalhead:
    Great cinematography, great horror theme of escaping the mechanical assassin, and how she tragically concedes to her inevitable fate at the end, as people couldn't possibly defend themselves against an army of mechanical fighters.

    C:
    Black Museum:
    Hey let's tie all the episodes together into the same universe to justify our blatant overuse of digital consciousness and eye augmentations. If this is the last episode produced that would be perfect. More sadism and revenge fantasies, tying together all the series themes.
    Be Right Back:
    Good concept, obvious execution.
    Hated In The Nation:
    One episode where I think their speculation about human behavior is way off, and it pisses me off nobody thought of using magnets to defend against the bees.
    Nosedive:
    One of those obvious concepts that's an extension of current social media to the extreme. Fun episode, but doesn't work as well as comedy uses of the premise.
    Playtest:
    An episode where the fact it's all in his head is blatantly obvious from the beginning, and it ends up with one manipulative twist too much.

    D:
    Crocodile:
    Poor episode. One where the story required extreme stupidity on behalf of the murdered.

    F:
    The National Anthem
    Pig fucking.
     
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  18. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ★•* The Paper Men *•★
    Much more so than something like Black Museum. I just saw that one... and while I thought it had a lot of good elements, it was too blatantly sadistic for my tastes. That doctor with the neural connection who gets addicted to pain... it's way over the top, as is the whole revenge narrative. It's a shame, because it could have been a much better episode than it turned out to be. Conversely, San Junipero was wonderfully done and had a nice unexpected ending (I was half-expecting it to become a stalking situation).
     
  19. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ★•* The Paper Men *•★
    So I've binge watched a bunch more and have just one episode left. Some of these episodes are really disturbing and others extremely thought provoking. I really like it, a kind of darker Twilight Zone. But wow, the pace of episodes. It's like only a few per year. Is it going to continue with that pace or is there a chance it may increase?
     
  20. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft In Memoriam

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    Charlie Brooker had said 6 nearly puts him over the edge, so that's probably the right amount. So I wouldn't see it increasing. He also said filming had begun on series 5, and he's working on the scripts for episode 3 and 4.