Black Mirror


#143

Huh. I think I liked Black Museum more than Metalhead, to be honest, at least, as a Black Mirror episode. The latter was fine, very good, even, but it didn’t really have anything to say about society, or even technology really (subject to later spoiler filled discussion, perhaps). It was just a cool sci-fi short, well executed. Black Museum wasn’t perfect, but it was making a point (in many ways, the same point(s) as White Christmas, ironically). And it had the whole anthology vibe going too, like the Twilight Zone Movie, or Cat’s Eye.

I think my main criticism of the current season is that most episodes weren’t doing much in the way of social commentary, or even current tech trends taken to extremes. They were “just” personal stories with a tech angle. Nothing wrong with that, but not really what I’m looking for in Black Mirror. Still, I think it was pretty strong overall - no duffers, unlike previous seasons.


#144

Right, it was no different than the other stuff they’ve already shown us, really. At best a simple revenge story. Also why was his establishment called the Black Museum, because I could not suss that out?

And for that matter why is is Crocodile called that, too?


#145

We just watched Callister. I thought it was only OK, although I liked the It’s A Good Life vibe it gave off.


#146

Arkangel was prolly my fave or tied with callister as my favorite. Then Hang the DJ and Metalhead tied second. Crocodile tears was just ok, but liked the chilly scenes and atmosphere (iceland im guessing?). The last one was gross and we already seen most of the premise in other episodes.

Arkangel worked alot for me primarily because it felt the most real of all the episodes. Its predictable but i really felt that dewitt played perfect as the somewhat paranoid mom. Theres alot of subtext of how much crap is exposed to kids in the media/internet these days… its the one episode that stuck to me most, also of how much we can be desensitized and really not know it.


#147

Well, I have to agree. Black Mirror spokiness skyrocket when uses near real technology in a real environment and people react in a real way. Arkangel was that. We can fully imagine today a mother installing a app in his daughter phone to spy on every email / sms / photo he made in realtime. Maybe somebody reading this is already doing it and is infuriating to me comparing it to Arkangel.

Callister was so a good reverse of tropes, then made science-fiction fans the bad guy and they used the type of person that is “weak” the evil guy, and thats really something necessary. Visually it was brilliant, colorful, impactful…even the hair design. From a ideas point of view it was a remake of “I have no mouth and I have to scream” but I don’t care about that, because how well made was and was able to surprise me. Having played VR recently, the idea that you want to exit the game and the game don’t respond has already happened to me. VR games tend to integrate the controls in the game, so if the game is not responding the controls are also affected.

I did not liked Metalhead much, did not think was a bad episode, just not my thing. Not a very ideas-dense episode. Kind of undersells humanity ability to adapt and be creative.

Hang the DJ was a good love story and I like it because that.

Crocodile was elegant. I like it very much and was good TV.

Season 4 was good, if a bit tame, but still had something for everyone with good quality and believable/spooky stories.


#148

Arkangel was kind of Meh. I get the problem with it, but there just wasn’t that twist to the dark side in the end.

Crocodile was great, fairly simple but well done. Love how the tech makes us all unwilling participants in big brother. And it was all over a petty dispute over a pizza delivery vehicle accident.

Hang the DJ was an interesting story and great fun.

Metalhead was bad. Why was this in black and white? How did that choice aid the storytelling?

So I guess we all deserve to be killed by aibo because we are stupid enough to risk our lives for a teddy bear. I laughed out loud at the ending, and not in a good way. Again this was without any sort of hook. Like if the book Frankenstein was about some crazy monster that went around killing people.


#149

I like the Callister episode… the ending in particular,

where the guys checks to make sure he has his trouser trout back… which insinuates that they’ll go on to populate the game universe with their progeny, inception style…


#150

I agree that it put forward a technology that I can see being invented in the next thirty years (if not a direct implant connected to the eyes then something through their phones/tech) and will also get alot of use. The potential for technology to lead to invasive government surveillance has been done to death (even outside of fiction!), it’s also been considered between partners in an earlier episode in the show. Intrusive parental surveillance is just as natural an application as the other two.

Nevertheless, even though I liked the premise the episode never really went anywhere for me. I liked that they set up the reasons why parents would want to do this (e.g. child going missing one day, seeing execution videos at a young age), and that psychologically she couldn’t resist going back to it even after realising objectively that its use was harming the daughter. The climax or character arcs just didn’t have any power for whatever reason.


#151

Totally non related, but watch this VR video with 3D googles if you have them:


#152

Freaky (contains early-in-episode spoilers)


#153

USS Callister. Can anyone explain to me what happened in the end? Not for the crew. What happened to Robert Daly?

Why did he die?


#154

There was a line in there that said something about how he can never unplug. I interpreted that to mean that he would eventually starve to death. I figured he went limp because he was either giving up early, or his consciousness died in the game and didn’t have anywhere to go.


#155

I believe the explanation was that since he was detected as being in a “rogue universe” that was deleted, his consciousness was essentially trapped in the compute with no way to escape.


#156

Hmm. Okay. Kind of lame either way. I guess it wouldn’t be Black Mirror without some tragedy.


#157

For anime “character trapped in mmo” is old news, is a whole genre. Usually the players want to logoff, but the button do nothing or is not on the ui. For total inmersion to work, you have to put the body in a cathatonic state so you cant feed yourself and can die that way.


#158

In not sure there’s anything tragic about that asshole’s fate.


#159

I get the sentiment as “just desserts” since the episode clearly set him up to be a scumbag, but he’s guilty of torturing video game characters. If I had my karmic rewards based on my videogame behavior - yikes.


#160

The episode writers are clearly of the perspective that once brain simulations / AI become that advanced it is unethical to mistreat them.


#161

It established them as sentient entities.


#162

See also White Christmas, where what is effectively an AI is tortured.