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Thread: Black Mirror

  1. #51
    Wouter D's Avatar
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    Season 4 will launch on Netflix on December 29.

  2. #52

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    For reasons I can't articulate, I'm really looking forward to Metalhead (The black and white, Maxine Peake-starring episode).

  3. #53
    Gerontophile's Avatar
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    Maxine Peake, in it, innit?

  4. #54
    Femme Folle's Avatar
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    I've finished season 4 and discovered that I never watched season 3. Bonus.

    Here's how I rate the episodes of season 4, from best to worst:
    1
    6
    2
    5
    4
    3

    I didn't even finish watching ep3 because it was so bad. Ep1 and ep6 were almost a tie, but the Star Trek theme of ep1 gave it a slight edge.

  5. #55
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    They were all good. Which one was #3 that you didn’t like?

  6. #56
    Femme Folle's Avatar
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    That was the one where we were supposed to believe that a small woman could effortlessly move the dead body of a grown man by herself.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Femme Folle View Post
    That was the one where we were supposed to believe that a small woman could effortlessly move the dead body of a grown man by herself.
    Totally agree and the "twist" ending was laughable and not in a good way.

    The only thing that episode had going for it, IMHO, was that Iceland and Reykjavik provided a stunning background.

  8. #58

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    *SPOILERS*

    I thought it was quite a tense episode for the most part with a Hitchcockian undercurrent - part of me was secretly hoping the murderer would get away with it in spite of the mounting suspicions. But it pissed it away in the last third with an increasingly ludicrous body count, a daft twist and a complete damp firework of an ending. The episode looked beautiful - John Hillcoat is an excellent director - but it's among the weakest of the series.

    Oh, and Andrea Riseborough was superb.
    Last edited by Reginald Christ; 08-01-2018 at 13:56.

  9. #59
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    Going back to last season, here's an update on China's implementation of Nosedive.

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald Christ View Post
    *SPOILERS*

    I thought it was quite a tense episode for the most part with a Hitchcockian undercurrent - part of me was secretly hoping the murderer would get away with it in spite of the mounting suspicions. But it pissed it away in the last third with an increasingly ludicrous body count, a daft twist and a complete damp firework of an ending. The episode looked beautiful - John Hillcoat is an excellent director - but it's among the weakest of the series.

    Oh, and Andrea Riseborough was superb.
    Yep, agree, she was fantastic and, to be honest, even a bad episode of "Black Mirror" is better than 99% of stuff on TV.

    The very nature of an anthology series is that it'll be a bit hit and miss (see also the excellent "Inside No. 9").

  11. #61

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    I've caught up with everything bar Black Museum now. USS Callister is the finest episode to date and has all of the qualities you'd associate with the show at its best and is enhanced further by its similarities to Harlan Ellison's traumatic story I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. Hang The DJ is good, enjoyable but let down by the anonymity of the two leads. The actors gave it a good shot but ultimately these two people could have been anyone. Maybe that was the aim but the obvious comparison is with last season's standout San Junipero. That had two people at its fore who we felt we knew personally and were really rooting for. The second part applied to the characters in Hang The DJ but not the first.

    Metalhead was very good albeit not quite as relentless or intense as I was hoping. Arkangel was another episode with a good setup and some good moments but was underwhelmed by some predictable developments and the lingering feeling that it didn't go as far as it should have gone.

    None of this is anything to be worried about when it comes to the series' future. Anthologies, as tracteurgarcon has said, tend by their very nature to be uneven. Maybe next time around Brooker could bring in some other writers to help out?

  12. #62
    Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    I actually thought this season was the most even so far as far as quality goes. There weren't any duffers as far as I'm concerned, though some hit harder than others.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Femme Folle View Post
    That was the one where we were supposed to believe that a small woman could effortlessly move the dead body of a grown man by herself.
    She's strong.

    That was a really good one, I thought. Filmed in Iceland, apparently. I thought the ending was as good as any.


    I agree that Archangel felt like something was missing, but was still very strong.

    I didn't like USS Callister as much as everyone else. It was very reminiscent of The Twilight Zone with the kid who could do anything and trapped his family. And they never explained how he could recreate people with all their memories and personality just from DNA. Maybe he used that same program from that previous episode where a woman recreated her dead husband by mining all of his online presence.
    Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 08-01-2018 at 15:00.

  14. #64
    The 'Star Trek' episode was all kinds of excellent. The only other one I've watched of the new series is Metalhead which was gripping but considerably less interesting than most others. Think I'll go with FF's recommendation and try Black Museum next.

  15. #65
    Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    That was a really good one, I thought. Filmed in Iceland, apparently.
    I thought as much. I couldn't figure out if it was some future Anglophone Iceland or filming Iceland for (presumably) Scotland.

  16. #66
    Hot Pepsi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger Yellow View Post
    I thought as much. I couldn't figure out if it was some future Anglophone Iceland or filming Iceland for (presumably) Scotland.
    Either/or, I think.

  17. #67
    Wouter D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artificial Hipster View Post
    The 'Star Trek' episode was all kinds of excellent. The only other one I've watched of the new series is Metalhead which was gripping but considerably less interesting than most others. Think I'll go with FF's recommendation and try Black Museum next.
    Black Museum is a bit better (for the purposes of spotting Easter eggs, mostly), though, if you've seen all the rest.

    Hang The DJ was my favorite of the lot, followed closely by U.S.S. Callister.

  18. #68

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    *** SPOILERS ***

    Arkangel is a difficult one because there's so much of it that I like. It's an intriguing setup: what parent wouldn't be at least interested, whether they'd admit it publicly or not, in a technology that would enable them to constantly keep track of their kid's whereabouts and enable them to see what their kid is seeing? Yes, such a technology would be fraught with the potential for abuse and possibly in violation of a host of civil liberties but as a salve for the anxieties of the single mother in the episode it's unparalleled. On the flip side, what kid, once they were old enough to realise what's been done, would want to continue to have their movements and experiences monitored by their parents?

    I liked the way the episode didn't provide any easy answers one way or the other and didn't portray either the mother or the daughter as the victim or the antagonist outright. The daughter is doing things that would concern almost any parent - experimenting with drugs, having sex with someone older who has a bad reputation, lying about their whereabouts, etc. At the same time these things are part of growing up and teenagers especially need to break boundaries if they are to stand a better chance of dealing with the world as an adult. The mother is doing things that would freak out any kid - spying on them without their knowledge, angrily confronting their friends or sexual partners, seeking to control them beyond what would be normal. But the mother is doing it from a place of concern and deep attachment. The one thing you could say that tilts the scales in the daughter's favour is that this mother is overprotective - maybe the fact she's a single mother has augmented her parental anxieties.

    And the ending is nicely ambiguous. When the kid clambers into the cab of that truck on the way out of town at the close, it's not necessarily a positive development. She could be about to embark on some epic voyage of self-realisation and adventure. Or she could end up bleeding to death by the side of a turnpike. There's no way to know.

    EDIT: I also liked the possibility that the daughter is a bit of a wrong'un at the back of it. Her first course of action once she discovers what her mother's been up to is to beat her into unconsciousness with the tablet. Okay, the filter technology maybe stopped her from seeing the full extent of what she was doing but she still snapped like a psycho when most people would have gotten very angry and run off.

    So in spite of all that good stuff, I don't really know why I can't say that it's great. Maybe we could have seen the mother become progressively unhinged but that would have damaged the ambiguous tone it was searching for.
    Last edited by Reginald Christ; 08-01-2018 at 16:49.

  19. #69
    Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    Maybe we could have seen the mother become progressively unhinged
    I mean, we did.

  20. #70

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    I mean even more so. She threatens the boyfriend but that's not the worst thing she could have done with what she captured using the Arkangel technology.

  21. #71
    Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    She, according to the show (I realise the description of emergency conception is wrong), secretly aborts her child's foetus. That's pretty damn unhinged.

  22. #72

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    True, I'd forgotten that part.

  23. #73
    Hot Pepsi's Avatar
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    It wasn't just that her mom was monitoring her, but that she was being protected from any remotely unpleasant experience. That was the more damaging part, I think.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    It wasn't just that her mom was monitoring her, but that she was being protected from any remotely unpleasant experience. That was the more damaging part, I think.
    That bit got dropped relatively early on, and only came back at the climax. I wonder if they felt it was too much like the White Christmas ending to emphasise that angle.

  25. #75
    Hot Pepsi's Avatar
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    I can't remember the plot of White Christmas, but perhaps you're right.

    On the other hand, it seemed like during the time when her mom turned the thing off, the daughter recovered a bit from that overprotection. For example, she made friends with the scary dog.

    Those girls were really bad at lying to their mom. If you're going to tell your mom that you're at so-and-so's house when you really aren't, you have to at least get that kid in on the caper and give them some incentive to lie for you. Even I know that, and I never lied to my parents about where I was.

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