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Thread: Black Mirror

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    Mistress of the Boards Posting tornado renae_d's Avatar
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    Black Mirror

    So Massfan and I were talking about the new Black Mirror episodes coming out (I can't find/remember the thread for the life of me). They set a release date for December 29th!!! Whoohoo! Excited for new Black Mirror episodes. If you haven't seen any, they are standalone episodes so you can jump in anywhere BUT its an awesome show so you've also got plenty of time for a holiday binge. I'm making this thread for pre- and post- discussion.

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    Yay! Thanks for starting this thread. Looking forward to discussing the new episodes. I know your pal Kylie H is a Black Mirror fan, maybe she'll join us here...

    In the meantime, let's talk favorite episodes. It seems like San Junipero is just about everyone's favorite, with good reason, since it's so clever and amazingly beautiful. It is sort of anomaly among Black Mirror episodes, though, and probably works better if you've seen the others and can appreciate the contrasts (trying to avoid spoliers for now if we're trying to get people to watch the show...). Among the other ones, I'd pick Be Right Back, which is so haunting and eerily plausible, and maybe the clearest illustration of the show's central thesis about how our lives can be warped by technology.

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    Until recently, I only saw the very first episode from the first season, which I enjoyed. Just saw the very next episode which was such a disappointment. I won't give up, though. They are all up on youtube, , so can watch anytime.

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    Mistress of the Boards Posting tornado renae_d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by massfan3 View Post
    Yay! Thanks for starting this thread. Looking forward to discussing the new episodes. I know your pal Kylie H is a Black Mirror fan, maybe she'll join us here...

    In the meantime, let's talk favorite episodes. It seems like San Junipero is just about everyone's favorite, with good reason, since it's so clever and amazingly beautiful. It is sort of anomaly among Black Mirror episodes, though, and probably works better if you've seen the others and can appreciate the contrasts (trying to avoid spoliers for now if we're trying to get people to watch the show...). Among the other ones, I'd pick Be Right Back, which is so haunting and eerily plausible, and maybe the clearest illustration of the show's central thesis about how our lives can be warped by technology.
    I agree with you about San Junipero. I enjoyed the episode for sure, but it didn't feel like Black Mirror. Overall I think the newest season wasn't quite as good as the previous ones. I feel like there was a little more optimism in them at times (which doesn't fit with the pessimism I associate with Black Mirror), or they were too far fetched to be taken seriously.

    Be Right Back is definitely among my favorites, and comes to my mind often, for perhaps obvious reasons. If it were available, I would do it. It would probably totally fuck me up, but I'd do it anyway. And we're getting ever closer to the possibility. I was reading about this on my flight to the US:

    https://replika.ai/

    In this case you chat with this bot and it learns you and becomes a reflection of yourself. I immediately thought of that episode.

    Quote Originally Posted by laktor View Post
    Until recently, I only saw the very first episode from the first season, which I enjoyed. Just saw the very next episode which was such a disappointment. I won't give up, though. They are all up on youtube, , so can watch anytime.
    The first two episodes definitely aren't my faves. I don't think I watched that season in order the first go around. But you're in luck because the third is exceptional, in my opinion, and is one of my favorites. It just felt so .... true.

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    After I posted about Be Right Back, it occurred to me that it's probably especially poignant for you, and I was wondering if I should have mentioned another one instead. I'm glad it's one of your favorites, too. That's some very intriguing technology.

    One the whole, I guess the last season wasn't quite as uniformly solid as the others, but the episodes are so self-contained I tend to compare them more to each other than season-to-season. How are you thinking of watching the new season? I don't think it's the kind of show I want to binge-watch all at once, in part because it can be so bleak and in part because I think it's more interesting to spend some time thinking about each one before moving on to the next new world. I'll probably space them out over a few days, then join you here to chat about them!

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    Okay I've watched the first four, but I'm going to write about each episode individually (and give everyone time to catch up).

    Spoiler Alert for Episode 1 - USS Callister

    Well first off I was amused by the obvious Star Trek reference since its the other show we have discussed!

    This episode had some good and bad things for me. My main issue was that I really don't see any way that you could replicate someone's consciousness digitally from their DNA. Create a clone? Sure. But our memories are not stored in our DNA, so I don't see anyway you could get them. Second, did Nanette really have to blackmail herself? (Also, as an Abby girl, it seems pretty silly to commit breaking and entering just so that someone won't post photos of you in your pretty panties on the internet!) Seems like theres something you could say to yourself to convince yourself that you're the real deal (and why didn't she realize she wouldn't believe her first message! Of course it sounded crazy!)

    All that aside, I did enjoy the episode, and it was nice to have an ending with some suitable karma.

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    Hey there, I just got around to starting the new season after being sick for a while, but I thoroughly enjoyed episode one! I thought it was a really intriguing nightmare scenario to be trapped in a simulation controlled by the creepiest jerk you know. Jesse Plemons was really convincing as the real-life guy and a monstrous riff on Captain Kirk, and Cristin Milioti made a very cool and capable hero. (TV nerd alert: the two of them both starred in Fargo season 2, although I don't think their characters ever met, and their co-star Kirsten Dunst makes a cameo in this episode as well!). I also thought the episode worked as a Star Trek space adventure-type show as well: I was really invested in whether they'd make it to the wormhole in time.

    I bought it all so much that I didn't think about the nonsensical DNA science until after it was over I read reviews online, but yeah, that wouldn't work. I wasn't sure the blackmailing yourself thing quite landed either; there may have been a better way to approach that, but it didn't take me out of the episode (and I think the implication was that there were other more explicit photos than just her underwear, but your point stands.). As for the her first message, I thought maybe (in-game) Nanette didn't realize it would come from Robert and didn't plan for what would happen when (real-life) Nanette approached him? But yeah, it would sound crazy either way.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next episodes! In particular, episode three, which features a cameo from our very own AW model Lulu! A character in the show is apparently seen watching one of her XConfessions shoots: a porn blog interviewed her and her male co-star about it. Lulu sounds thrilled, he is...the opposite, ha. After Game of Thrones and Black Mirror, where will AW models show up next?

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    I was wondering when I'd hear from you! I'm gonna hold off and let you post when you've watched the next one (I've seen them all already )

    Yeah I definitely noticed that little cameo! Pretty cool! Tbh I noticed Lulu, but couldn't pick the guy she was with out of a line-up to save my life!

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    Just watched episodes 2 and 3 back-to-back, and found them kind of underwhelming. Arkangel suffered from a scenario I've found about a few episodes: the negative repercussions of imaginary technology are so overwhelmingly obvious that I find it impossible to believe the characters wouldn't see them immediately. As soon they showed the parental monitor being directly implanted in the kid's head, I could pretty much see where it was going: overprotective mom drives kid mad with obsessive monitoring. Also, the idea of blurring out things that upset the kid is just crazy, even though it was kind of forgotten plot-wise: it made me think of those people who are born without pain receptors and end up burning their arm off or something because they can't feel pain. I'm actually pretty sure this would be a popular technology if it was real, given some of the crazy helicopter parenting stories I've heard, but a lot of those parents would probably meet a similar end to the mom in this one. That said, the acting was pretty good and the show's trademark queasy feeling of growing dread was effective as usual.

    I liked Crocodile a bit more, but it wasn't one of the better ones. Mainly because I didn't really buy that she would kill that many people to keep her secret. Before long, I figure she'd realize she was screwed and give up, with the all-knowing technology is hot on her heels. But writing about the law for a living made me intrigued by the legal implications of the memory collaborator, especially how they talk about how it's required by law. I can see law enforcement types seeing that as a good idea, but like the last episode, situations like this where someone doesn't want to share their memories at any cost seem obviously bound to crop up. The creepiest part for me was when the insurance adjuster tells the dentist: "don't worry, your memories will be sealed and private, as long as you're not hurting anyone else." Yikes, I thought, at least in reality my memories belong only to me. For now.

    P.S. The driverless pizza truck is real, and the show's Twitter has a snarky comment. Lastly, shout-out to the soundtrack of Lulu's moans!

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    I liked Arkangel. I know the repercussions are obvious, but I don't think that stops people. Like if you look at facebook, for a while every update seemed to lead us closer and closer to what people were calling 'stalkerbook'. People complained about the changes, then they just became normal, and we all kept using facebook. The blurring feature was f-ed up, but the mom came to her senses and stopped using it. She wasn't a perfect mom, but I really empathized with her. I think it would be a normal reaction to check where your kid was (and if they were safe) if you thought they were missing. Then she starts getting alerts that her daughter is pregnant and doing narcotics. That's a lot to deal with in a short span of time. I felt really sorry for her. She seemed like she was trying to do her best and protect her child. But you can of course understand the daughters feeling of being violated too. I thought it was a good balance.

    Yeah with crocodile you really start thinking, surely this woman wouldn't just keep killing people. It's way too much. It was an interesting premise though.

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