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The official Black Mirror thread (spoilers!)
AJust finished "Nosedive." Damn, I love this show. I had been missing this sensibility in my life since the Christmas special.

God Bless you, Black Mirror.

Eta: Finished "Playtester" and currently watching "Shut up and Dance" I want to see the meme where they use the images of Bronn with the quotes from this episode.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 


Sepinwall, who I generally trust, was mixed, but "National Anthem" and "Entire History of You" didn't make his top three favorite episodes, so make of that what you will.


Ouch, I wasn't that high on "National Anthem" either, but "Entire History of You" is possibly one of the best episodes of anything ever. Absolutely brutal in the best way.



Just watched "Nosedive" and it's a solid start. Loved the casting, the aesthetic and the concept, which feels so freaking close to home. My one complaint really is that once you're on board, the entire episode's trajectory is pretty obvious. Could've used a twist or 2 to shake things up, though god knows what those would've been.

I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
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AThe thing about Nosedive is that the rating thing easily feels like one of the most plausible of all the Black Mirror scenarios. Social media presence taking over lives and people obsessively rating every single interaction like that really doesn't feel too far off, and if some kind of numerical value was introduced into the mix like in the episode, you know it wouldn't be long before it was as important (if not more important) as GPA, credit score, yelp rating, etc.

On a different note, is this the best acting Bryce Dallas Howard has ever done? She really impressed me.
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AIf you don't want some rain on your Black Mirror parade, don't bother reading this. But if you're a Black Mirror dissenter, know that you're not alone and that Kathryn VanArendonk has your back.

The case against Black Mirror.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Disciple_72 View Post

The thing about Nosedive is that the rating thing easily feels like one of the most plausible of all the Black Mirror scenarios. Social media presence taking over lives and people obsessively rating every single interaction like that really doesn't feel too far off, and if some kind of numerical value was introduced into the mix like in the episode, you know it wouldn't be long before it was as important (if not more important) as GPA, credit score, yelp rating, etc.

On a different note, is this the best acting Bryce Dallas Howard has ever done? She really impressed me.


BDH has had the misfortune of being really good in really bad movies/bad parts, like The Help or Jurassic World. I like her a lot. 

also she is not jessica chastian

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Jeez. "Shut up and dance" makes me want to burn the internet and everyone in it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

Jeez. "Shut up and dance" makes me want to burn the internet and everyone in it.


Alex Lawther as Kenny is so good in that episode. You really feel sorry for the guy



...at least until you find out what he was actually masturbating over. Even then, I honestly don't know if he deserved to be put through that. (Although, by releasing his information online, the hackers might have effectively saved a child from molestation if he had progressed from watching pornography to committing peodophilia himself, so there's that to consider I guess.)
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I had my suspicions about Kenny after things really got serious, because, even as a teenager, it's just jerking off, for crissakes. Plus the little hint at the very beginning.

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Something I only just realized about "San Junipero":



Yorkie hears the excellent "Girlfriend In A Coma" by The Smiths and turns it off immediately, for obvious reasons.
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Ooooohh, good catch.



This freakin' show.

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A[quote name="Jacob Singer" url="/community/t/152504/the-official-black-mirror-thread-spoilers/100#post_4158467"]I had my suspicions about Kenny after things really got serious, because, even as a teenager, it's just jerking off, for crissakes. Plus the little hint at the very beginning.
[/quote]

As things escalate, it does get to the point where you think there's no way this could all be worth avoiding some (admittedly pretty bad) embarrassment (of course this tends to be my attitude toward most blackmail stories and I roll with it). But then they have Jerome Flynn give that rundown of what Kenny's life would be like and it sounds pretty convincing (especially if you were a dumb teenager) so it reels you back in. So that really sets up the reveal as not only a gutpunch that changes your perception of the character, but the new context also makes more sense. It's awfully clever.

I'll admit I didn't see it coming at all.
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AAnother fun call back in San Junipero....

Spoiler...





[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]The tech used for San Junipero looks like it's a more advanced version of the egg program from the Christmas ep.


As far as timeline goes, would National Anthem be considered earliest and 15m Merits the furthest in the future?[/SPOILER]
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AOh my God, San Junipero.


[spoiler]Loved everything about this episode. The central love story, the heartfelt performances, the evocative dreamlike 1980s packaging, the way it ever so subtly teased the viewer about what was really going on without ever rushing it. In a way, the real twist was technology being the good guy for once. Washed the taste of Shut Up and Dance right out, that's for sure. I'm quite fascinated with the whole idea of human beings transcending mortality through tech (all started with an article about the amazing Martine Rothblatt), and though I won't be around when it becomes a reality, I'm glad I was alive to see some of those ideas represented in such a beautiful and life affirming way. Need to watch the episode again as soon as possible. Wow.
[/spoiler]
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Yeah, will definitely make my top ten favorite television episodes of 2016.



*Heads off to listen to "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" for the tenth time*

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

Another fun call back in San Junipero....



As far as timeline goes, would National Anthem be considered earliest and 15m Merits the furthest in the future?


I still think that Brooker means it when he says "it's a true anthology" and the Easter Eggs are just that, but I showed my wife the entire first two seasons yesterday, and we wound up talking about this quite a bit. I think the accepted headcanon chronology goes: 

National Anthem
White Bear


Waldo Moment


Be Right Back


Entire History of You


White Christmas


Waldo Moment (epilogue)


15 Million Merits 

One of the things my wife pointed out is that there are a lot of echoes and reflections of the show in different places, things that suggest that certain episodes could be taking place at roughly the same time. White Christmas' last story suggests the passage of at least five years or so, and there are references to characters like the National Anthem PM or the MP from Waldo Moment and the main character of White Bear throughout.She also mentioned that National Anthem makes reference to places being abandoned, and so it's possible that White Bear Justice Park is a repurposed council house block in that regard. Additionally, the sense of justice meted out in White Christmas is not dissimilar to that in White Bear, but also suggests a move towards the totalitarianism and dystopia of the end of Waldo Moment and 15 Million Merits. She also theorized that maybe 15 Million Merits is happening at the same time as some of these other episodes, but what we're seeing is class differences - maybe the system in 15MM is some solution for the poor/working class to earn a fixed income, at the same time Oona Chaplin is running her fancy smart house.

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AOh man, that's the waif from GoT in the last episode?
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I really enjoyed "Hated In The Nation" and "San Junipero", but for much different reasons.



"Hated In The Nation" is the perfect X-Files episode. Forget the obvious bee's reference, it is exactly what the recent reboot should have aspired to, but failed to be.



And "San Junipero" might be my favourite hour of television all year long. It's incredibly re-watchable especially when you have a full understanding of the backstory. It's also veers away perfectly from the most common criticism of Black Mirror as an anthology series. That it only offers a single underlying theme which can be boiled down essentially to technology often acts as accelerant with regards to our most vile and despicable impulses. A great thoughtful chance of pace episode. Loved it.

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Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones did a Reddit AMA where they reveal the scene they considered "too bleak even for Black Mirror" and give out a set of Nosedive ringtones! 

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5...jones_the/



Also this ("Hated in the Nation" spoiler, kind of): 


Brooker: They [the episodes] take place in the same psychological universe, certainly. There are sometimes explicit links, eg in Hated in the Nation, Blue worked on the Rannoch case (he was Victoria Skillane's boyfriend, mentioned in White Bear).
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I love how they'll answer anything "as long as it's not sport related".

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Watched "Play Test" (yes, I'm proceeding very slowly). It's not an upper-tier episode, simply by virtue of not having very much to say and being pretty formulaic - there's also perhaps one twist too many - but on the whole I enjoyed it a lot as a nasty, well-made bit of ironic fiction. I also thought Wyatt Russell killed it.

I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
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AThe one episode I haven't liked is Hated In The Nation. I found the Robeez too much. A different, less fantastical mechanism would have made a huge difference in how I felt about it.

I liked the very Playtest-ish Men Against Fire, but I kept hearing the Outer Limits narrator interrupting throughout the back half of the hour. Also, wasn't the a short film with the same plot a year or two ago?

And yeah, San Junipero was the goods.
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Jesus, "Shut up and Dance"...

I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
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Is it possible 'San Junipero' isn't quite as uplifting and hopeful as we think?  I thought the episode was crushingly beautiful, easily one of the most emotionally affecting hours of television I've ever seen.  And holy shit, the Belinda Carlisle song is so perfect.  But because Brooker is a cynical genius, he's gotta throw The Quagmire (?) into the works, the club where everyone goes when they've been in San Junipero so long that they are so desperate just to feel anything at that point (I think Kelly's previous hook-up used those exact words).  How long before Kelly and Yorkie get bored living out their perfect day over and over again?  There's an slight undercurrent of melancholy at the end that makes it that much more affecting; I can't stop thinking about it.  Its really a masterpiece.

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A"Shut up and Dance" and "Hated in the Nation" would make an interesting double feature. The last episode (movie?) may not have been the best episode out of the batch but had a pretty neat ending. Also, Benedict Fucking Wong.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by fuzzy dunlop View Post
 

Is it possible 'San Junipero' isn't quite as uplifting and hopeful as we think?  I thought the episode was crushingly beautiful, easily one of the most emotionally affecting hours of television I've ever seen.  And holy shit, the Belinda Carlisle song is so perfect.  But because Brooker is a cynical genius, he's gotta throw The Quagmire (?) into the works, the club where everyone goes when they've been in San Junipero so long that they are so desperate just to feel anything at that point (I think Kelly's previous hook-up used those exact words).  How long before Kelly and Yorkie get bored living out their perfect day over and over again?  There's an slight undercurrent of melancholy at the end that makes it that much more affecting; I can't stop thinking about it.  Its really a masterpiece.



I went away with the same impression. To me the episode is about fear of the unknown,  and the viewer is given the choice between embracing an artificial construct (religion) or the sweet release of oblivion (atheism). Think about the last third of that episode, and play it in your head without the comforting, poppy, nostalgic soundtrack. It's pretty bleak. Hell can be described as a stagnant, repetitive cage, and that's where they are.



Also, if this is Brooker's intent, I reckon he's been reading Philip Pullman.

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AMaybe it's because I've seen more than my share of "immortality isn't all it's cracked up to be" messages in vampire stories/edgy sci-fi etc, but I just can't go along with that reading.

I think the point of San Junipero is that it's not for everyone, and it's a choice. If you're lucky enough to find what Kelly and Yorkie share, it's awesome. Those two have a special appreciation for the place because of everything they experienced in their old lives (tragedy, homophobia, paralysis, cancer) so it will never get stale or repetitive for them, especially given that little touch at the end with Yorkie changing her clothes instantly, which suggests that every day there can be fresh and different with a little imagination. The Quagmire is for the ones who don't have that, for whom nothing matters and it probably is sort of a "graveyard" as Kelly calls it in anger.

Still can't believe that cynical, sarcastic bastard Brooker came up with such a stunningly beautiful love story. Despite all the fancy future tech stuff, there is something wonderfully old fashioned and soul-matey about it.
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AAlso, finally finished the new season. "Men Against Fire" is as strong as concepts get with Black Mirror, but there was something lacking in the execution and I found it a tad predictable. Weakest episode IMHO. Finished strong with "Hated in the Nation", though. Nifty little cat and mouse serial killer thriller movie throwback with a techy twist and a good dose of commentary. Great stuff. Benedict Wong's car was a hilarious bit of gratuitous gadget wankery.

What an amazing season overall. Bring on S4.
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Has there been any announcement on when we'll be getting season four?

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ABroker mentioned that they're getting ready to start soon.

Quote:“We’re about to start shooting one so as soon as we’ve finished that bit and shot another five, and then given them all a good polish. 2017 almost certainly, in other words.”

(http://www.slashfilm.com/black-mirror-no...ore-381112)
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Yeah, they've already announced that Jodie Foster is directing one that stars Rosmarie De Witt.

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ooooh, great pairing!

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Dream directors for Season 4: 


Zombie Mike Nichols


Matt Weiner


Tom Ford


Robert Eggers


Kelly Reichart

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APeter Strickland and Ben Wheatley.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Disciple_72 View Post

Maybe it's because I've seen more than my share of "immortality isn't all it's cracked up to be" messages in vampire stories/edgy sci-fi etc, but I just can't go along with that reading.

I think the point of San Junipero is that it's not for everyone, and it's a choice. If you're lucky enough to find what Kelly and Yorkie share, it's awesome.


Yeah, I think Brooker has even said wanted to subvert his own formula with San Junipero.  I think you're right about his intent, and it does work wonderfully.



But then again, I still can't completely shake that feeling; if something is too good to be true, it usually is.  The previous 10 episodes conditioned me to feel that way!

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Henry D View Post

Peter Strickland and Ben Wheatley.


Wheatley seems like such a natural fit.

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