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Nick R

Black Mirror

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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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Smithereens is said by some to a religious allegory , and when you look back at some of it I can see their point

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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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45 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

 

Sounds like you haven't seen The Virtues.

Will give it a try.

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I think Black Mirror is very far down the list of contemporary tv dramas.

 

It’s entertaining for sure, but that’s really as far as it goes.

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This season was entertaining but it really didn't seem like Black Mirror to me. It's lost something - perhaps bigger budgets, perhaps lack of new ideas..

 

Some of S4 was alright, but i think it peaked with S3.

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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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I'd not be surprised if his American masters at Netflix told him to tone down the depresso-vision, as these three don't feel like anything else he's ever done, really.

 

They were ok, though, if we're damning with faint praise. About the same level as Love, Death & Robots; better than the new Twilight Zone series.

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2 hours ago, Stopharage said:

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. 

 

There’s always been plenty of pap in the series though, early on as well as recently. The one with the android boyfriend, the one with the cgi politician etc - total shit.

 

Black Mirror has far more misses than hits if you look across the lot of them, no reason these ones should be any different. 

 

There are probably no more more than four or five amongst the whole lot that I’d say were properly decent.

 

You’ve identified the real problem though...Brooker’s writing and ideas aren’t good enough to support the extended budgets and running time. He’s mostly better when the production constraints of show forced him to keep it short.

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5 minutes ago, ZOK said:

 

There’s always been plenty of pap in the series though, early on as well as recently. The one with the android boyfriend, the one with the cgi politician etc - total shit.

 

Black Mirror has far more misses than hits if you look across the lot of them, no reason these ones should be any different. 

 

There are probably no more more than four or five amongst the whole lot that I’d say were properly decent.

 

You’ve identified the real problem though...Brooker’s writing and ideas aren’t good enough to support the extended budgets and running time. He’s mostly better when the production constraints of show forced him to keep it short.

 

More pap:

The Soilder one

The Killer Bees one

Metalhead

 

I really liked the Android Boyfriend one. 

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Even the Killer Bees one was better than that! And I rank Metalhead as one of the decent ones! :sherlock:

 

But those are all from the Netflix era aren’t they?

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10 minutes ago, ZOK said:

But those are all from the Netflix era aren’t they?

 

Yes good shout. 

 

Let's be honest, Bandersnatch was pap also. 

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The pig fucking thing was one of the worst. He should do an episode about the long-term effects of being a twat on the internet, with a 40 year old Nathan Barley being a social pariah and legions of Pingu-buddies annihilating his life.

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2 hours ago, ZOK said:

Even the Killer Bees one was better than that! And I rank Metalhead as one of the decent ones! :sherlock:

 

But those are all from the Netflix era aren’t they?

 

The android boyfriend one is widely regarded as top 3 of all time, so I think it might be more about individual taste. 

The show has hits n misses for everyone, but which ones are hits and which misses depends on who you ask.

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A preposterous story with an ending that is back of a fag packet, even by Brooker’s standards.

 

It’s nicely acted by the girl, but that’s all it has going for it.

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The Guardian put Be Right Back at number one on their Black Mirror list last week. Not saying that makes it right but you're definitely in the minority on this one I think.

 

Anyway, the correct answer to best episode remains The Entire History of You. Hang the DJ is the most purely enjoyable, stupid final minute aside.

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23 hours ago, Tequlia said:

You're all obviously wrong, best episode is Fifteen Million Merits :D

 

The correct answer. The first 40 minutes are perfect TV.

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I have just strated watching Black Mirror after years of not bothering (which is daft as i love Brooker)

 

Only watched 2 so far. The one with the death of the boyfriend and he becomes an android essentially and the one with The ratings out of 5 for population.

 

Both were great but what others would you recommend? Seen some lists online but theres seems to be no general consensus for the top 10. 

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