Black Mirror


Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. It's difficult to really know what kind of special interests are helping to steer the policies behind the facades we see through elections, though the episode at least seems to give the voters enough credit to know this and come off as jaded enough to consider Waldo as a sort of rebellious option. Although it's that very aspect that Waldo exploits, so maybe they don't get that much credit.

Even in the most recent US election, we had Obama and Romney retorting to each other on live TV that voters can Google the facts that each were accusing the other of misrepresenting, so it seems that technology is enabling the public to become a bit more informed, at least. Although those same avenues are enabling misinformation as well, so it's hard to say if any level of connectivity would help when sources can be fabricated so easily.


I think modern technology does help a bit. But the problem is really that to be a "fully informed voter" you have to judge someone on their track record more than on what they say about facts and statistics (because that's a minefield of possible interpretations of often complex data). Really, even with a candidate whose words you like and who isn't obviously lying on the spot, you want to know more about the fact of whether their actions have been consistent with their words over time. That's not an easy thing to find out even with Google (though it might get easier in the future with things like lifelogging and data squirting into the brain and stuff like that :) ).


So, on the latest movie podcast, Tom made a passing reference to having talked about a Black Mirror episode. Anyone know when/where he actually talked about it?


Good question. I Googled it and all I could find was a reference in a short review I wrote of Danny Boyle's Trance. On the podcast, I might have meant just talking to Dingus about it in person. We saw Her, and that brought to mind for me a couple of episodes of Black Mirror. The most relevant one is the slightly disappointing episode with Haley Atwell. But I also can't help but think of Entire History of You as a powerful expression of the interplay of love and technology.



So have people watched the special yet? About halfway through I wasn’t sure about it but it more than redeemed itself in the second half.
Don’t read unless you’ve watched it!

So, it was very White Bear-ish, wasn’t it? Mostly in a good way, but at times it felt a bit like it was going over old ground. The redemption, I guess, is that it ended up being extremely topical coming out within a week of the torture report. The casual brutality of the interrogator(s) at the end had a bit of extra bite that it wouldn’t have had a week earlier. I was a bit put off by the casualness with which the characters accepted the “well it’s not really real” twisted logic, both because it seems so obvious to me that a functionally equivalent mind is just as real for these purposes as the “original”, but also because it didn’t make sense in universe for the cookies not to be considered real - otherwise the confessions would have no evidential value. My other complaint about the episode, as hinted at above, is that it felt quite disjointed in the first half - the shifts from Jon Hamm’s story to the description of his job and then to Spall’s story were jarring and at first it was hard to see what the thread was supposed to be, both narratively and thematically. But it all fell into place fairly quickly once Spall’s story got going - perhaps a bit too neatly.


Overall I really enjoyed the Christmas episode. The first section of the story was easily my favorite.
do not open until xmas

I loved the twist with the girl at the party, and it was perfectly setup throughout without tipping the audience(well, me at least) off about where they were headed.

Although once they
do not open until xmas

introduced the concept of “blocking”, it got a little silly. Also the 1,000 year/minute thing still stuck with me. Very Twilight Zone freaky, in a great way.


These sorts of things are old hat to any self-respecting nerd, but Brooker has a good knack of dressing them up in fashionable garb and making them dramatically comprehensible to [I]hoi polloi[/I].

The series [I]is [/I]a sort of UK version of Twilight Zone :)


This is on Netflix (US) right now (though not the Christmas episode, I don’t think), but apparently all the BBC shows are going away after January 31. Unless they announce a new contract/deal at that point.

I’ve watched the first series over the last couple weeks. It’s interesting, but hasn’t quite grabbed me. I guess I’ll hustle and watch the rest before it disappears, but I won’t exactly be heartbroken if I don’t get around to it.


Black Mirror is Channel 4, not BBC. I don’t know the details of the Channel 4 contract (or even if it’s C4 that’s distributing the show in the US), but I think it only went up on US Netflix a month or two ago so I’d be very surprised if it comes off soon.


Oh, well that’s good news. My source was this AV Club article and I guess they made the same mistake:


To be fair a lot of Americans don’t realise Channel 4 isn’t part of the BBC - its exact commercial status is complicated. And several of Brooker’s other programmes are shown on the BBC. But his drama (eg Dead Set,Nathan Barley) has all been on C4.


Oh god, black mirror is real…


Unrelated, but since you bumped the thread again, I chuckled at this list: Next On “Black Mirror”


Just saw one episode, the White Bear one. Some interesting stuff, but I thought the production was extremely overwrought. The extreme implausibility of the situation seemed not to work with the production style. Honestly I prefer the fake setting to the real one. And that poor lead: I hope they paid her a lot, because she’s probably going to spend the next few months saying nothing at all and chain-sucking throat lozenges after all that screaming…


The rumor is that Netflix is wanting to pay for Season 3 exclusively for their service for 2016; apparently carrying Black Mirror did fairly well for them.

— Aaln


So, um, this happened.

The biography also makes claims about Cameron’s alleged exploits at university, saying an MP had seen photographic evidence that he put a private part of his body into a dead pig’s head as part of a dining club initiation ritual.


Oh come on. What aspiring member of the global elite hasn’t fucked a dead pig as part of an initiation ritual? There’s no story here.


At least twitter was having fun last night: #hameron #piggate #snoutrage


Watched S1, E1 on Netflix over the weekend. Oh dear lord was that fucked up and disturbing. I’m not sure I even want to watch Episode 2.

Are they all that fucked up?


Not quite. But the series is essentially about the dystopia of technology and modern culture.

Plus, it’d really weird how life imitates art in regard to The National Anthem.