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Black Mirror


Nick R
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3 minutes ago, Silent Runner said:

I watched the Andrew Scott one first and it was pretty good but

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it felt like the least Black Mirror-y episode of the whole run. The technology was just a detail of the story not a clever piece of the plot. I thought there would be more to it than 'man gets addicted to social media and does something stupid' but that was it. Good acting from the leads and a few unexpected laughs but this felt like an episode of a different show they retro-fitted to be a BM episode. 

 

Spoiler

I thought the BM aspect was how the social media company were better, faster and getting more detail on people than the police and FBI. 

 

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Watched the first episode, which is apparently the best of the three according to reviews I’ve read and thought it was dreadful. Felt like a very loooong hour. 

 

If if the other two are worse than that I don’t think i’ll bother. 

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8 hours ago, bridger said:

Watched the first episode, which is apparently the best of the three according to reviews I’ve read and thought it was dreadful. Felt like a very loooong hour. 

 

If if the other two are worse than that I don’t think i’ll bother. 

 

My favourite was the third episode and thought the first was the weakest of the three.

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11 hours ago, JohnC said:
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I thought the BM aspect was how the social media company were better, faster and getting more detail on people than the police and FBI. 

 

 

That's a good point.

Spoiler

I did like the way the FBI were so deferential to the Smithereens staff.

 

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Confused, first episode for me was Ashley 2, perhaps it's different for people in different regions? (I'm in Canada)

 

Anyway, I enjoyed it, some parts had some very forced plot devices;

 

 

Like the way Cyrus adopts the doll

 

but it was entertaining. Not the best BM episode by a long stretch but it still felt like a BM episode. I have a weird feeling that this one is by far the best going by how much people seem to dislike the other episodes which would be a shame.

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This generally feels like Black Mirror light. It seems to lack some of that vicious streak it used to have. And the technologies are more often vague. Smithereens was more consistent in the tech aspect, but felt like essentially an old man yells at cloud commentary on modern life.

 

Weird aside - watched in HDR and was it just me or was the picture (for example the grass colour) in Smithereens really overly saturated? It looked like something that was filmed in SDR being shown in HDR.

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To be honest Striking Vipers has really dampened my enthusiasm to watch the other two if that's what they're presenting as the flagship episode. Compared to Nosedive and USS Callister kicking off seasons 3 and 4 it's just uninspiring.

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2 hours ago, grindmouse said:

Striking Vipers jumped the shark.

 

It was well-acted and well-produced, but there was nothing to it beyond:

 

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Imagine if you could play Streetifghter in VR but then shag! Imagine if that was your mate!

 

 

I thought there was a good thread about where pornography and fantasy may cross the line into infidelity. Though with someone on the other end, there isn't much of a line.

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Having given it some thought I think I can put my finger on why this latest season seems a bit unsatisfying: Black Mirror always used to be razor sharp and on point with its cautionary tales, they always seemed to be commentary both on current issues and extremely pressing upcoming ones. Unfortunately, I think what has happened now is the real world has very much outpaced the show, and the writing seems to have been left behind. Contemporary worries like climate change and the rise of fascism for example seem like subjects ripe for the Black Mirror dystopian treatment, but these new episodes feel a bit like they are treading old or now well worn ground.

 

EDIT: apparently Google Chrome's dictionary doesn't include the word "dystopia". Material in of itself right there.

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50 minutes ago, Loik V credern said:

Smithereens

 

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Couldn't the sniper not just move? 

 

 

Yeah, I thought this. It's not as if he was in a room in a building, there were loads of places he could have got a better angle. 

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Spoiler

I ended up fast forwarding the last third of Striking Vipers it was a neat idea that would have made a good short but was stretched paper thin over the hour episode. Smithereens was OK and it was the most black-mirror-ish out of the three and had the best acting but the story and ending was a bit meh. Out of the three I actually enjoyed Ashley 2 the most it was hokey as anything but was fun enough.

 

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They were all varying degrees of okay, but I expect more from Black Mirror. I was especially missing something a little more horror orientated, but that's just my personal taste. 

 

Ashley Too felt like it was from an unused script for a Josey and the Pussycats reboot. 

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I wonder if people who took a dump on the previous season of Black Mirror are thinking they were maybe being too harsh. I loved season 4 just as much as the others, my only disappointment was that after 6 episodes that was it and I had to wait for more. I liked the increasing variety so appreciated Metalhead's minimalism and was excited for what else was to come. I didn't feel like the show was running out of steam, only that maybe Brooker should allow other writers a go at writing a script. Given the peep show guy's effort still remains one of the best ones, and given that was at the very beginning I always thought that was the intention with Brooker having never really written scripts before and the anthology aspect meaning it's perfect for different interpretations and angles. Brooker could still shape the overall ambition of the show. There are loads of tv creators who do have a background in writing yet write the pilot and then nothing else in the 10 seasons of their mega successful show. Also given that it's more popular than ever and now there are given free reign and probably a near unlimited budget within reason for what they want to do, there can't not be writers who'd love to contribute. But nevermind! With all those interviews Brooker does let's never ask him about that. The only thing they do is bring in big name directors and cast big name actors. Even Frankie Boyle has said he's written a story for Black Mirror that he shared in his book. He's written comics, his monologues on New World Order are brilliantly dark and twisted. Why not? Or get Chris Morris involved. Brooker nabbed a story from a magician and that's about it. It's inevitable Brooker would run out of ideas if he's tasked with writing each one, then spending time on production.

 

We didn't get an end of year wipe for 2017, 2018, and likely won't for 2019, something i was sad about cos i love them.

 

It's taken 18 months to make 3 episodes. 3 episodes only works if each one is among the very best the show has to offer. I think ep 1 and 2 are among the worst. While the ideas in early seasons were prescient i watched episode 1 and 2 of this in sheer boredom unable to get my head around what the idea/hook even was because it was so lame or nonexistent.

 

Because it's established that quality, of introducing you to a character and then how use of technology fucks with their life, layer after layer of horror. A hook doesn't mean something cheap, it is the point of the show, it is.

 

I hope Brooker realises how shite this season is and asks in writers to re energize the show. We get better Black Mirror, perhaps more quickly and Brooker has more time to do end of year wipes. Everyone wins!

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I really enjoyed all three episodes.  I like going into Black Mirror without knowing what it's going to be.  Will it be comedy? Horror?  The Ashley Too episode was a bit of knockabout fun, and the other two had me thinking about them the next day.  

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Quite enjoyed Smithereens really, it was just let down by the fact that the point it was trying to make was so bloody basic. But simply taken on its merits as a hostage drama it was decent.

 

The little speech by the CEO at the end made me want to slice my ears straight off though. Won't someone think of the poor social media CEOs? It was only redeemable if it was meant to be self-serving/deliberately bullshit but I'm not sure that was Brooker's intention. I hope it was though.

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I’ve watched Striking Vipers and Smithereen. SV was okay, certainly as good as the average Black Mirror (ie competent but hokey), but as has been observed critically overlong.

 

I thought Smithereen was pretty good, one of the best ones I’ve seen. Obviously the point was lumpen, but that’s the hallmark of Brooker’s writing really.

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Smithereens was one of the best BM episodes for me. I thought the brooding atmosphere and acting were first class but like a lot of Black Mirror's once you know where it's heading it loses momentum. At least in this one the reveal was pretty late on. I thought all the stuff about the social media company overriding anything the law enforcement agencies could do was at its heart rather than the 'other' theme.

 

Striking Vipers and Miley Cyrus were very watchable but not classics. I was rather glad my expectations were lowered because I still think this series is better than pretty much any drama out at the moment. Chernobyl excepted.

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8 hours ago, Mawdlin said:

Smithereens was one of the best BM episodes for me. I thought the brooding atmosphere and acting were first class but like a lot of Black Mirror's once you know where it's heading it loses momentum. At least in this one the reveal was pretty late on. I thought all the stuff about the social media company overriding anything the law enforcement agencies could do was at its heart rather than the 'other' theme.

 

Striking Vipers and Miley Cyrus were very watchable but not classics. I was rather glad my expectations were lowered because I still think this series is better than pretty much any drama out at the moment. Chernobyl excepted.

 

Sounds like you haven't seen The Virtues.

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I’ve only seen the first 2 of this run but they both feel overlong and really labour the point at the heart of the drama. The denouement is fairly obvious early on and whilst they’re well acted, look great and have some great lines the overall feeling is of disappointment. 

 

In part, that’s down to the standards the series has set itself previously. Go back to an episode like White Bear and there’s so much intrigue, interest and emotional punches in its sub-30m running time. The new episodes have the gloss but they lack the intelligent and insightful stories of what came before. I still enjoy watching BM but think Brooker and Jones need to get some other writers on board. 

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