Monday, June 13, 2016

The Review: Black Mirror Season One

Black Mirror 10/10

Its so hard to describe this series other than saying that it is one of the best series I've ever seen. Kiyoshi mentioned it to me a long while back and I just got around to watching. It is so strange, creative, and original. The creator of the series Charlie Brooker has said regarding the series “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy.” The first season has three episodes where neither are connected. It has been compared to The Twilight Zone and I can see that. I'll recap each of the three episodes and there will be some spoilers from this series that's been out for years. Ya babies.

The National Anthem

This was the first episode and all I knew about it was that a pig was involved. Oh, how a pig was involved! A princess named Susannah was kidnapped and held hostage. The video is played for the Prime Minister played by Rory Kinnear and his staff stop it part way through and he is like “What do they want?” Well, the hostage takers will kill her unless he fucks a pig live on national TV. They send teams to look for the killers and even hire a porn star to fuck the pig and digitally add his face on it. His wife doesn't want him doing this shit either. The kidnappers find out and send the Princess' finger and a flash drive to them letting them know that they know. I won't say what happens in the rest of this episode but it will make you feel terrible for watching things you know you shouldn't watch.

This episode made me think one thing would happen, then think they couldn't possibly do it, and when it did I felt bad because I kinda wanted it to but didn't at the same time. In forty something minutes this show managed to say a whole lot about society and the way we watch terrible things online which I am very guilty of. Kinnear's acting was amazing in this and I believed every emotion he displayed from anger, horror, disgust, and regret. And his poor wife. Jeez...

Fifteen Million Merits

The second episode had me guessing where things were going the entire time. This guy named Bing played by Daniel Kaluuya lives in this weird world where everything is automated. Everything he does is paid for with what are called merits. You use these to buy food, use water, skip ads on your TV wall, and purchase items. The way you earn them is by riding this bicycle and constantly being pumped with information and watching commercials for this show like American Idol that will save you from boredom. Everyone has avatars like a Wii game that socializes for them. Bing has fifteen million merits from the death of his brother. One day he falls for this girl Abi played by Jessica Brown Findlay and he uses all of his merits to get her a ticket onto the show to perform and somehow makes things worse depending on your dreams.

This episode fucked me up. Yeah, the last episode did too but this one did for other reasons. This made me realize how attached we are to technology and how it guides us and makes us feel important. Bing questions why they are powering something they can't even see or use to earn merits t buy more things they don't need. Its an endless cycle until you are dead and someone else replaces you. I feel that way about a lot of things in life that many find important (expensive items, wealth, power) and this episode pushed it to the extreme. Great acting by everyone involved.

The Entire History Of You

When this episode started and about ten minutes through I started to think that it would be the weakest in this season. Mostly because I had just been mind fucked watching these back to back so I was like “Okay, what do you got for me?!” Patience was needed but as it picked up I was on board. Toby Kebbell plays a guy named Liam Foxwell that wonders about his wife's sexual history with a guy. She tells him that it was for a week. Then a month. It was years ago. Stop asking about it. Well, in this crazy ass reality everything you have seen is recorded and you can play it on screens nearby for everyone to witness through your eyes. Yes. So fucked.

If you tell a story the reaction of everyone is to say “Show us” the way today people ask “Did you record it/take a picture?” When Liam and his wife get home he can not stop asking questions about his wife's past with this guy and stays up getting drunk until he heads to his house and drunkenly attacks him. Of course its all recorded. Of course he finds out things he didn't really want to know and it gets way worse when he get home and confront his wife. I was sitting on my bed saying “No! Oh, no. Don't ask her that. Don't show him that! Dude, just don't!”

I can't pick a favorite episode from this season because they were all so different from one another but enjoyable in their own way. If you get a chance to check this show out you really owe it to yourself if you're a fan of sci-fi, drama, or just like questioning your life choices.

Click here for previous The Review.

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