Black Mirror: Is It Deep or Dumb? – Wisecrack Edition

Black Mirror: Is It Deep or Dumb? – Wisecrack Edition


What’s up Wisecrack, Jared again. Black Mirror recently returned to Netflix
with its fifth season and the response has been… mixed, or at least more mixed than
usual. Many have noted that the show feels different,
and they’re not wrong. After diving into fan reactions, it seems
the main criticisms of this season are, first: that technology doesn’t drive the plot of
episodes like in previous seasons, second: that it isn’t giving us the same head-scratching
questions it used to, and third: that it feels like it’s lost its edge in how far the show
is willing to go. But do these criticisms hold up? We’re going to find out in this Wisecrack
Edition on Black Mirror Season 5: Deep or Dumb? And of course, spoilers ahead for all seasons. Let’s start with the first episode. Striking Vipers tells the story of estranged
friends Danny and Karl, who rekindle their friendship – and much more – through a
VR video game called ‘Striking Vipers’. A morally ambiguous virtual fling ensues,
but Danny breaks it off out of respect for his marriage. Unable to find the same kind of passion with
another digital partner, Karl attempts to revive their digital romance. They eventually decide to test their attraction
in real life to lackluster results, and then get into a real fight that blows the lid off
their affair. A compromise is reached at the end wherein
Danny and Karl can hookup online once a year, and Danny’s wife can go to an ACTUAL bar and
bang an actual dude, which feels a little unbalanced. Or is it? So, let’s go to the first issue – technology
no longer drives the episodes. In Striking Vipers, we’re presented with
a state of domestic equilibrium that is upset once Karl introduces the TCKR virtual reality
system into Danny’s life. And this basic premise drives the entire drama
of the episode – Danny’s infidelity, whether or not our two players have feelings for each
other, and so on. However, if we compare it to the episode “The
Entire History of You”, we can see a slight variation on the Black Mirror formula. Like Striking Vipers, this episode introduces
a new gadget and frames it around a couple struggling with infidelity. Expanding how we document our lives on social
media, “the grain” is an implant that stores a perfect record of everything you’ve
ever done for instant recall. It even shares some of the same visual cues
as Striking Vipers. In The Entire History of You, the application
of the “grain technology” escalates as our protagonist uses it to uncover more and
more troubling elements of the past. Initially, it’s used to reflect on a job
interview, or show off a vacation, then it’s used to adjudicate a fight – “I didn’t mean
that.” “You’re a bitch.” “I’d like you to erase that.” “You’re a bitch.” – until finally, at the end, our protagonist
is physically forcing someone to relive their most intimate moments. Striking Vipers, however, introduces the morally
ambiguous application of technology at around the twenty- minute mark, and the rest of the
conflict escalates only within the relationship dynamics. In other words, the premise that you can now
use VR gaming to have sex via Avatars is established early on and the ways in which the technology
is used doesn’t escalate, save for the dude who screws a polar bear. “I f**ked a polar bear.” Still, Striking Vipers is probably the most
‘classic’ Black Mirror of the three new episodes. And that’s because the technology does create
a premise which drives a series of philosophical questions about said technology. What does romance mean in a world where VR
can beam ultra-realistic images into your brain? As porn gets more and more sophisticated,
at what point does it become cheating? “But it’s not cheating! It’s-it’s-it’s not real! It’s-it’s like…. porn… or something.” “C’mon man, you know it ain’t right.” What does that VR mean for sexuality, when
a straight dude can embody a female avatar and have virtual hetero sex with another straight
dude? Or, more broadly, how does VR technology affect
our perception of self? If Karl is attracted to other men but only
when inhabiting a female avatar, can virtual reality allow us access previously dormant
aspects of our “self”? Or are these aspects exclusive to the VR experience? The influence of digital avatars on our meatspace
selves is a pretty fascinating area of study. In the book Infinite Reality, authors Jim
Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson detail several studies exploring VR’s psychological effects
and how VR DOES alters our perception of self – both WHILE and AFTER using it. For instance, people inhabiting a taller avatar
feel more confident during and after using VR, inhabiting an attractive avatar makes
people more warm and social, inhabiting older avatars makes younger people more concerned
about saving money, and using a physically fit avatar makes people want to exercise more. To be fair, the book isn’t about screwing
people via digital proxies, but the larger point can help inform our understanding of
the episode. As Striking Vipers suggests, the effects of
VR aren’t just limited to the game – both Carl and Danny’s IRL relationships suffer,
and it makes them ask basic questions about who they are – as they both have to consider
if they truly love each other outside of the digital world. They don’t, which raises the question of
how much our physical bodies shape our relation to the world. When we enter into a new corporeal form, do
we also inhabit a whole new identity? This more or less speaks to a mind-body exploration,
but, more precisely, a mind-avatar one. But, as many have pointed out, the episode
doesn’t offer any firm answers to any of the questions raised about identity. And part of that leads into the third criticism
– that the show has lost its teeth. Because it doesn’t offer any answers, it’s
hard to see it as giving a biting commentary on technology. Whereas The Entire History of You ends in
the ruin of our protagonist’s marriage, Striking Vipers ends with a more-or-less optimistic
state of equilibrium. Although this may be a new flavor of Black
Mirror only seen occasionally in the likes of San Junipero, it’s lack of soul-crushing
pessimism doesn’t necessarily make it a bad episode. Although it breaks some elements of the Black
Mirror formula, it’s still an episode with BIG questions to ask about some REAL scientific
and social issues. So, this episode gets Wisecrack-certified
‘DEEP’. The second episode, Smithereens, tells the
story of ride-share driver, Chris, who kidnaps an intern from the Twitter-stand-in ‘Smithereen’,
holding him to ransom so he can speak to the company’s Jack Dorsey-esque CEO, Billy Bauer. When they’re finally on the line with each
other, Chris explains how he killed his wife in a car crash because he was distracted by
the app. With his mission fulfilled, Chris ties to
kill himself but the intern intervenes. In the scuffle, a police sniper fires at Chris
– the end. So, first up – does technology drive the episode? Well, Sort of. The main plot may seem like a regular kidnapping
story, but Chris’s ability to get a hold of the right people at Smithereen is entirely
dictated by his access to a phone. “Your phone. Where’s your phone?” “…It’s in the other car.” Asymmetrically, the Smithereen technology
has immediate access to everything about him pretty immediately. This discrepancy often drives tension, as
Chris uses Smithereen to find out they’ve been spying on him, bringing him ever closer
to the edge. The big distinction between this and other
Black Mirror episodes is that we’re not constantly introduced to novel applications
of some future technology in order to escalate the conflict. It’s also worth noting that this episode
takes place in the recent past, so there’s nothing really sci-fi here. Which is fine. But if that’s the premise then you hope
the show has something profound to say about the technology we currently have. Unfortunately, this is where some people feel
Smithereens is at its weakest. “Ah, f**k.” So – does it give us a good philosophical
question or two? A lot of the criticism leveled at this episode
comes from the ‘twist’: the revelation that Chris crashed the car and killed his
wife because he was checking his phone. Some have seen this as a sort don’t text
and drive PSA which is not exactly original or interesting as entertainment. But beyond that, there might be a much more
foreboding message. Namely how much control large Silicon Valley
companies have over our lives and society in general. Using data, Smithereen can discover everything
about Chris long before the police, or even the FBI. “Listen, Ms. Wu, we’ve identified the suspect.” “Christopher Gilhainey, former school teacher,
33 years old, he has a Smithereen profile.” Also, Billy Bauer gleefully invokes a ‘God
Mode’ on his laptop. It’s exact function is unclear, but we’ll
take a hint from the word “god.” Far from being just a criticism of how we
use social media, the episode is a critique of society’s dependence on it as a whole,
and the terrifying power these companies wield. This is framed by a grieving mother, looking
for answers about why her daughter killed herself by trying to figure out her social
media passwords. “I’m her mum. You’d think they’d give me the password to
my own daughter’s account, but no.” Of course, the companies won’t help her,
meaning a faceless tech company knows more about her daughter and her death than she
does. Then there’s Bauer’s speech about him
losing control of the company alongside Chris’s confession about the crash and its causes. “I’m like some kind of… f**king bullsh*t
frontman now.” As a climax, these two speeches may not have
the same everything’s-gone-to-sh*t-and-we’re-all-doomed aspect other Black Mirror stories have, but
it has a lot more EMOTIONAL bite to it that is equally hard to ignore. The show doesn’t just lay the blame solely
at the feet of a smartphone user when things go wrong. As the show hints, it’s as much the fault
of the unchecked optimization for addictiveness and rampant privacy invasion which has created
a world where phone companies themselves have to make PSAs telling you to turn off your
phone when driving. It might not be offering any new philosophical
questions or interpretations of technology but it speaks volumes to modern frustrations
around corporate control. For that reason we’re giving this episode
a soft ‘DEEP.’ Well, let me rephrase that: we’re giving it
a ‘Deep enough’ rating. In the final episode Rachel, Jack and Ashley
Too, Miley Cyrus plays Ashley-O, a thinly-veiled version of Hannah Montana, who feels trapped
in her pop persona and suffers from depression. Meanwhile, superfan Rachel gets a robot version
of Ashley-O that malfunctions when it learns Ashley is in a coma brought about by her evil
Aunt who drugged her to take control of her creative output. The robot is an exact copy of Ashley’s consciousness
and asks Rachel and her sister Jack for help to free the real Ashley. They take the robot along, save the real Ashley,
and expose her evil aunt. As we’ve mentioned, in typical Black Mirror,
the technology is what pushes the story along. Whether’s that’s the exercise bike economy,
a memory reading implant, or making a sex-doll based on your dead boyfriend’s tweets. Obviously, this episode has technology: The
Ashley robot, its consciousness, some software that can write songs from brain scans, and
so on. But there’s one big problem: the tech isn’t
actually important to the plot. Let me give you a little scenario. If, in Nosedive, we swapped out the people-rating
software for anything else… say a central written record of whether or not people hate
you, the episode would not be the same. You could not make a cautionary tale about
how people’s judgments become increasingly dangerous without the technology that amplifies
those judgments. Nor could you comment on people’s online
personas versus offline. That’s how a ton of good, smart sci-fi works. You can’t remake Star Trek by replacing
a starship with a Honda Civic. Conversely, if you gave John Wick a laser-gatling
gun, we wouldn’t call say it’s ABOUT technology like Black Mirror is. That’s because whether he’s using a hunting
knife, a gun, a book, a pencil, or some yet undiscovered killing device, the point is
still that someone killed Keanu Reeves’ dog. Rachel, Jack and Ashley too falls into that
latter camp. It’s essentially: kids get roped into a
pickle, break into some stuff, do something important, and all become friends. Whether they have slingshots or a sentient
doll is besides the point. You can replace or reframe a lot of the tech
in this episode and still tell the same story. Take for instance, the brain-scanning song
writer. If they just stole her diary to write songs,
the plot is functionally the same. There’s a fancy computer that rewrites her
angsty songs to be poppy, which a human could have done. Also, there’s a hologram, which we’ve
already done to poor Tupac. That one is harder to extricate from the plot,
but the basic question of “what happens when an artist loses control of their intellectual
property” doesn’t really need tech to play out, but we’ll get there. Ashley Too isn’t about electric mouse catchers,
robot dolls, or songwriting software, it’s about two lonely teenagers and an exploited
pop star looking to fill a void in their lives. But even if the technology isn’t driving
the plot, it is still a big part of it, so what is it saying about the technology? The idea that a piece of software can be used
to extract and rewrite something as abstract and creative as a piece of music is certainly
interesting, but it’s actually a little behind the times when it comes to the music
industry exploiting artists. The question of artists not owning their music
or likeness has been going on in the courts for fifty years or more. Michael Jackson bought the publishing rights
to the entire Beatles back catalogue, Amy Winehouse never consented to the release of
the demos and unreleased tracks that made up her posthumous album ‘Lioness,’ and the
late Dr. John had songs released under his name, without consent, that the label hired
an impersonator to sing. Intellectual Property disputes don’t require
a futuristic technology to tell their story. So, what about the question of a consciousness
being trapped inside a device? Well, this has been better explored in several
episodes before, most notably, in White Christmas. The second of the stories in White Christmas
shows a consciousness being trapped inside a digital egg that is tortured into submission
to act as an electronic home assistant. At the beginning of the story we are shown
how painful and disorienting the process of removing the ‘Cookie’ containing the digital
self is, and the snapshot of the existential questions you’d ask if your consciousness
had been duplicated. “Oh my god am I dead?!” “No! No.” The idea of maintaining consciousness outside
of the body and the questionable ethical and moral areas is at the center of White Christmas,
but left unexplored in Ashley, Too. The robot and the real Ashley meet each other
with no existential crises. At first, we expect everything to go horribly
wrong with the Ashley Too and for there to be awful consequences to this technology,
but that’s not what happens, instead we get a fun, heist-style adventure that abandons
most of the tech in favor of a car chase. So, if it isn’t as much about the technology
and what it’s saying about tech isn’t very new or interesting, then it surely must
have a sobering finale right? Something like, Ashley doesn’t make it and
the Aunt makes billions off her brain, or the robot having to create its own existence… But, unfortunately not. Ashley Too has the most unambiguously happy
ending of all three, which is probably what pissed so many people off about it. There are no profound lessons about the digital
future to be learned, but maybe something to be learned about how we interact with one
another in real life. It’s just a fun episode. For that reason, we’re giving this episode
a hard ‘Dumb,’ but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy it. Since it began, Black Mirror has constantly
delivered a sense of catharsis about where technology is taking us. But with things like China’s Social rating
system ACTUALLY HAPPENING, maybe the show has realized that we can’t put the lid back
on the Pandora’s Box of technology. So instead, it’s trying to offer suggestions
on how to navigate life in our modern digital dystopia. There’s no point in telling people to beware
of what technology might one day mean when we’re already hyperaware of those dangers,
and in some cases, living them. Instead, Charlie Brooker seems to be giving
us more of an emotional bite that might better help us understand our current digital domain. For that reason, we’re gonna give season five
as a whole a soft ‘Deep’ rating, because y’know what? At least it’s trying. Keep doing you, Black Mirror. But what did you think, Wisecrack? Was the latest season deep or dumb? Leave us your thoughts in the comments and
we’ll see you next time. Thanks to all our patrons who support the
channel and our podcasts. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button,
and before you go, I wanna give another shoutout to ExpressVPN.

100 Comments

  • Wisecrack

    July 25, 2019

    Thanks for watching, y'all! Drop a comment below with what you'd like to see as a Deep or Dumb episode! Thanks again to our sponsor, ExpressVPN. http://expressvpn.com/wisecrack

    Reply
  • Darren Rayner

    July 30, 2019

    Striking Vipers definitely didn't get a soft d.

    Reply
  • Edwin Chuah

    July 30, 2019

    I think the issue with this season was it failed to show a spectrum of versatility what the old seasons of Black Mirror used to have. From present to the far future. This season was mostly set in the near future and they all had relatively optimistic endings. They all mostly played a monotonous single note, with the slight exception of Smithereens which tug harder on my heart strings.

    Reply
  • Jack

    July 30, 2019

    What are societies of control?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B_i8_WuyqAY

    Reply
  • Daniel Duggan

    July 30, 2019

    The old episodes were deep but the fith season is not deep but defiantly dumb

    Reply
  • Big Daddy

    July 30, 2019

    The 3rd one felt like it could have been two different episodes like they were force together to make one plot 😂

    Reply
  • Sam

    July 30, 2019

    dumb

    Reply
  • Renato Antelo

    July 30, 2019

    the answer is yes

    Reply
  • Sam

    July 30, 2019

    12:14 PREACH

    Reply
  • Armando Lopez Jr

    July 30, 2019

    Just watch old episodes of Twilight Zone save your time

    Reply
  • Jacob M.

    July 30, 2019

    I strongly disliked the new season.

    Felt too weak and bleh

    Reply
  • James Endicott

    July 30, 2019

    There were kernels of interesting ideas in Smithereens and Ashley Too. But they didn't really explore them in any meaningful way, as far as I'm concerned. They just gave very cursory level "I read some sci-fi once and it talked about this" before getting back to the story they wanted to tell that didn't have much to do with technology.

    Reply
  • FearLessLion Z

    July 30, 2019

    For the 2nd episode, you glanced over the fact that at the end of the day. The pain, stress and strife all those people went through ultimately didn't matter, they were just another story on Smithereen. The ceo went back to meditating and nothing mattered, they spoke about how they could kill them both and they have to take a shot. But the part that's interesting is the result doesn't matter, because at the end of the day they were just another story on someones feed.

    Reply
  • Arthur Frota

    July 31, 2019

    luv when you say "and now, back to the show" it's a real trademark

    Reply
  • lakkakka

    July 31, 2019

    Feels like you're struggling to pull something positive out of your asses.

    Reply
  • Kasey Dugan

    July 31, 2019

    Ashley Too is the best episode of the season as well as being just as deep if not moreso than every other episode from any season. People just don't like it because everyone is conditioned to hate teenage girls. It's fucked up. Even by your own arbitrary standard of " it has to say something about technology" it still fulfills that Black Mirror quality. The whole point is about artistic integrity, emotional sincerity, creative autonomy, social isolation, sisterhood, grief, and so much more. The technology IS vital because Ashley Too is a fragmentation of Ashley O, she leads the girls to help save herself. It's a beautiful twist that Ashley Too ISN'T a creepy automaton or tortured soul just because she's an AI. It's like her Girl Power bucks all that and keeps her going! The phantom hologram Ashley Eternal is another key piece of this puzzle. It's a downright ghoulish practice happening right now in the real world. Miley herself has said almost verbatim the monologue Ashley O's aunt says about the perfect pop star being artificial, but as an indictment rather than praise. Never needing nourishment or rest, never changing style, always available and always looking and sounding perfect. Fans can be demanding and the nature of an augmented online reality further alienates Ashley from her fans, rather than any real connection or intimacy. There's a lot in this episode, Perfect Blue comes to mind as an obvious influence. It's an Absolute Deep and if you disagree you're either dumb or a sexist. 💖

    Reply
  • Seliște Valeria

    July 31, 2019

    If it has Miley Cirus in it , it's clearly dumb asf 😂😂😂

    Reply
  • Annie Lanier

    July 31, 2019

    Unpopular opinion: I love swearing Ashley O robot

    Reply
  • Tino _1025

    July 31, 2019

    Terrible stupid season

    Reply
  • Alexander Noam Norgaard

    July 31, 2019

    It was deep, until it got Americanized, then it got dumb.

    Reply
  • Mackenley Jean

    July 31, 2019

    This season completely Dumb. And the Ashley Too episode felt like a crappy Disney channel episode of Hanna Montana. All 3 episodes were awful in their own ways. I had high expectations, but Black Mirror let us down this season.

    Reply
  • Kerry Rowberry

    August 1, 2019

    The latest season was awful. Still, prior to that the only bad episode was the one with the robot dogs. Also given the ingenuity and craft that went into Bandersnatch, whatever followed was going to seem rubbish by comparison.

    Reply
  • Its boyaknow

    August 1, 2019

    I laughed so much during Striking Vipers. I thought it was amazing

    Reply
  • Its boyaknow

    August 1, 2019

    The creater of the app ends up talking about how bad the app had become and how it wasn’t what he meant for it to be. I don’t think that was a weak moment. I think it was really good. Also it’s kinda about technology? It’s all about websites and phone apps and stuff like that. All technological things. Lol

    Reply
  • reh

    August 1, 2019

    This season is dumb

    Reply
  • introXversion

    August 1, 2019

    The third episode is actually pretty deep considering its parody and use of a classic Nine Inch Nails song, especially considering the song's naturally deep messages about culture, indoctrination, and the freedom to express one's ideas as their own. I'm sorry you guys considered it 'dumb,' but there are a surprising amount of commentaries within the episode that make it one of the greatest Black Mirror episodes of all time. I'd love to hear counter-arguments, but it definitely stood out to me as one of the more profound episodes that reflect on our culture as a whole.

    Reply
  • Levi Everaerts

    August 1, 2019

    I think the main difference is in how Americans interpret the show versus how the British interpret the show. I never once thought the show was "about" technology. Does it play an important role? Undoubtedly, but it's not about technology. It's about human relationships and the decay of societal norms.

    Reply
  • Zandos Dwarf-King

    August 1, 2019

    I couldnt take the first ep seriously at all, I got distracted by wondering who the fuck would spend extra millions of dollars developing removable clothes and working sexual organs in fighting game. I mean, it would be hot coffee all over again, lawsuits, rejection of classification or, at best AO rating. The game woulndnt br created, and it distracted me too much to get into the plot.

    Reply
  • boobio1

    August 1, 2019

    Dumb.

    Reply
  • La Hermandad

    August 1, 2019

    Dumb season

    Reply
  • Emil Vilgot Wallin

    August 1, 2019

    I’m quite sure the Rachel, Jack and Ashley too episode is about meds that block parts of your brain, which on a lever is about technology but rather advanced medicine and research.

    Reply
  • Levi Shumaker

    August 2, 2019

    I thought it was once a month.

    Reply
  • Osvaldo Gil

    August 2, 2019

    Dumb..? Re dumb I hate the episode of the horrible singer with horrible voice and self stem problems (in the real life)

    Reply
  • Osvaldo Gil

    August 2, 2019

    The last one is super stupid

    Reply
  • Arthur Lobo

    August 2, 2019

    So apparently season 6 is gonna be all like Ashley O because people are ok with it and just ate that shit up, so thanks

    Reply
  • T P

    August 2, 2019

    Was it deep or dumb or was it hot?

    Reply
  • 868tatj

    August 2, 2019

    Dumb! The newer seasons have been such a disappointment

    Reply
  • Arturo Torres

    August 2, 2019

    First of all, I really like what you do, I'm a big fan of your work.

    About your review for "Smithereens" episode I think you missed one point and that is at the last couple of minutes, after all the hype of the news. If you pay attention to the aftermath a lot of people gets a notification of the events /news of what happened and while for you the expectaror it represented a good 40 minutes of expectation for all of them it just represented one more notification, one more news over the others and then, maybe read the headline and express an "oh my God", "that's terrible" or any of that sortx they continue to move on in less than 5 seconds therefore expressing how meaningful that was for them.

    Or at least that's what I saw and been thinking about since me myself have been a victim of that unempathetic feeling.

    Hope you read my comment 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  • Yoni The K

    August 3, 2019

    I think the Ashly O episode would be better if it was anyone but Miley Syrus, she always feels fake, even when she plays a character

    Reply
  • Alyssa Wilson

    August 3, 2019

    Maybe they’re leaning towards human driven plots because sometimes mankind is the enemy, not technology? I do see the point though

    Reply
  • Matthew Keating

    August 3, 2019

    Dumb! Dumb, dumb dumb dumb dumb!! Nothing that anyone ever says will ever change my opinion of how effin stupid the last episode was. Worse than game of thrones season 8.

    Reply
  • Jack Doyle

    August 3, 2019

    You could set Star Trek on an 18th century sailing ship though, since it is just hornblower in space.

    Reply
  • The Big Hljebowski

    August 3, 2019

    Season 2 writing was a session of stoned out "would u rathers"

    Reply
  • Highway to Paris, TX

    August 3, 2019

    Striking Vipers I think perfectly shows the effects of porn on a person's mind

    Reply
  • X Ry

    August 4, 2019

    RIP Black Mirror Season 5

    Reply
  • Michael Jurney

    August 4, 2019

    It's dumb, honestly its a childish attempt at depth. 100% of the episodes I've seen were predictable and/or stupid. Not a single premise is even remotely possible in a real world. I only hate it so much because i hear so many people tell me I should watch it. It's dumb, and if you like it, you are probably dumb.

    Reply
  • Michael Jurney

    August 4, 2019

    You trying WAAAAY to hard to find meaning where there is none.

    Reply
  • Rey Luna

    August 5, 2019

    First great episode!
    Second as someone who loves VR I've seen ppl who don't mind doing lewd things with other males because it's VR but they wouldn't do that irl

    I personally have questioned myself many times in my life and with VR (VrChat specially) I'm questioning yet again, I know it's a male on the other side yet I don't mind it cuz VR but I wouldn't even do it irl so it's really something else… Really does make you self discover and question ones identity

    Reply
  • LR Inan

    August 6, 2019

    Teknoloji bAd

    Reply
  • Nathan Komer

    August 6, 2019

    In my opinion, Smithereen was one of the strongest episodes from Black Mirror. It didn't have to go scy fy do make its crucial point about social media control and reliance, and that is exactly what I found to be so powerful and refreshing about that episode. Also, the twist suprised me quite a bit, since I expected some dark evil secret to be uncovered in Smithereen, following the frequent "tech is doom" trope. But no, sometimes, humans simply make tragic mistakes. We can't blame everything on our tools, after all.

    Reply
  • Pieter

    August 7, 2019

    again, ameritards spewing propaganda against china.

    Reply
  • Paul Sackett

    August 7, 2019

    I really liked the Ashley too episode. I had lots of potential to go very dark. To me, if was surprise ending that everything worked out and lived happily ever after. I guess if you compare the episode Crocodile with a well balanced meal then Ashley too would be the birthday cake flavored ice cream covered in gummy bears. Dessert is good every once in while.

    Reply
  • p L e E Y - m E e K E e R

    August 7, 2019

    8:25 Oh hey that area is where I used to live.

    Reply
  • PsychoAlexander

    August 8, 2019

    I'm not in the closet or unsure or anything but if I were given the opportunity to try female orgasm, I'd be lying to say I'm not tempted. Technology, pick up your pace damn it.

    Reply
  • MechanicalPunk

    August 9, 2019

    You hit the nail on the head with the quote "you do you, black mirror". That's the exact problem, it isn't black mirror anymore. If the writers can't think of new technology to expand what they are trying to say, then they shouldn't put out another sub-par episode. I can watch a million shows that do exactly what BM season 5 did, and do it better. I, personally, don't watch BM for a lighthearted story, I watch it to see how the use of an incredible technology will lead to the loss of humanity. A future where people should have better lives, but they don't, because of the addition of technology

    Reply
  • Wade Barnard

    August 9, 2019

    all black mirror up to this new season were great. this new netflix season sucks terrible terrible dicks

    Reply
  • ASS FACE

    August 9, 2019

    please get a haircut, you look like a BeeGee

    Reply
  • Thiago de Sousa

    August 9, 2019

    What was dumb was saving the password in plain text

    Reply
  • Netuma Ż

    August 10, 2019

    God I just love the TMG commentary on Striking Vipers

    Reply
  • SpirusOfH

    August 10, 2019

    To be fair, National Anthem is one of the best Black Mirror episodes and it has almost no technology. The same can basically be said for Fifteen Million Merits and Shut Up and Dance, both of which are also phenomenal episodes.

    Reply
  • Kris Woods

    August 11, 2019

    The point of commentary on the Ashley 2 episode that I found intriguing was the idea of having only a robotic friend, something our culture seems to be experimenting with more and more.

    Reply
  • Stavinator

    August 12, 2019

    It'd dumb. Black mirror died in season 2.

    Reply
  • ReturddL L

    August 12, 2019

    Final three episodes were shit

    Reply
  • B Raw

    August 13, 2019

    If the technology in Stiking Vipers was ever made…it'd be non-stop fucking. No one would fight. Also, the season was dumb.

    Reply
  • Rafael Levi

    August 13, 2019

    Striking Vipers is fucking deep, man

    Reply
  • Luke Franse

    August 14, 2019

    Black Mirror: Deep
    People who won't shut up about it: dumb

    Reply
  • Happier Dead

    August 16, 2019

    Dumb. Black Mirror writers seems to have run out of legitimately interesting & thought provoking ideas. R.I.P. one of the few shows i looked forward to new episodes of.

    Reply
  • Allie Hails

    August 16, 2019

    As someone who grew up watching Hannah Montana, the Miley episode was like a super surreal parody episode with a crazy high budget. For that alone, I was super entertained by it.

    Reply
  • blacktulip

    August 16, 2019

    I'm most disappointed with the episode about Ashley Too, I thought it would get super fucked up as how Black Mirror usually would, but it fell flat midway.

    Reply
  • Aeon Strife

    August 17, 2019

    what in the fuck

    Reply
  • King of the Comment section

    August 17, 2019

    4:00

    Reply
  • Vynland

    August 17, 2019

    it's pretentious bullshit so dumb people feel smart.

    Reply
  • Charlie Wrigg

    August 18, 2019

    It got too American. That’s it. Lost the nihilistic misery inherent in British culture. American literature/media tends more towards hope and the traditional happy ending a la Disney and ingrained in the American Dream.

    Reply
  • Manuel Montea

    August 18, 2019

    Yo I haven't been watching youtube vids for a month and going back to wisecrack, I can't help but notice the repetitive and hypnotic way they talk, with its constant and repeating set of sounds and intonations. Just wanted to share that thought with you bois.

    Reply
  • Amed Aguirre

    August 18, 2019

    Deeply dumb

    Reply
  • Lucy Wilcox

    August 18, 2019

    Its dumb.

    Reply
  • Em busca do rego inexplicável

    August 18, 2019

    Dumb

    Reply
  • Xander M

    August 18, 2019

    It's bad because… optimism.

    Reply
  • Laurens Janssen

    August 19, 2019

    I thin smithereens was the best of the three, not because it used the technology well or raised a lot of questions, but because it was a very well-written script, which made excellent use of when and how to reveal certain plot points to the audience.

    Reply
  • Andrew D

    August 19, 2019

    Ashley too honestly could be a Disney movie if they took out the swearing and replaced the drugs with like poison and stuff. (make a few more changes than just that but u get what I'm saying) The whole time it felt like it was for young children but they added some dark edgy stuff so it could relate to teens.

    Reply
  • Aman Smith-martin

    August 19, 2019

    Dumb. Completely dumb.

    Reply
  • metalfaust19

    August 19, 2019

    Black Mirror is a show you judge on a per-episode basis IMO, even the first season wasn't entirely perfect, but the episodes that hit absolutely hit it out of the park. Kinda like Twilight Zone, everyone loves the Rod Serling series but it wasn't as if every episode was great, some were bad, some entire seasons were lackluster while others were mostly great. Kind of the nature of the beast when there isn't much continuity between episodes.

    Reply
  • aLvaro Mercado

    August 19, 2019

    either comb your hair or don't…but for the love of god stop this half assed thing your'e doing now

    Reply
  • Kat Loss

    August 20, 2019

    dump

    Reply
  • Shadow Of Light

    August 21, 2019

    As a whole I didn’t like the season, but Smithereens was great. The actual message was one that was so overdone and I generally didn’t like it, but the episode as a whole was very well done.

    Reply
  • Allen Sanchez

    August 21, 2019

    I'll give you a soft deep

    Reply
  • dalellll

    August 22, 2019

    https://youtu.be/zxKRoCvX2yc?t=516 This bit is wrong. This episode is all about the way we use technology – I actually finished it thinking it was the perfect Black Mirror episode, because it managed to capture a serious theme about – not just technology, but the way humans operate and make assumptions and how THAT interacts with the technology. This is PURE Black Mirror, and a really amazing feat that they pulled it off without any traditional science fictional element. You need to pay more attention to the things happening outside the Smithereen app as well. The Smithereen people make assumptions about the protagonist based on his social media use, and those assumptions are wrong. They give the company founder bad advice on how to deal with him as a result. BUT it's deeper than this. The police interrogator does the same thing – only, without using the app. He does it based on his police interrogator training, he makes a series of incorrect inferences when trying to build a psychological profile of the guy he's dealing with. This theme is threaded throughout the episode. The protagonist makes incorrect inferences about the guy he has kidnapped. The cops make an incorrect call to kill the protagonist. The episode is all about the way we profile people and assume we know what they are thinking when we really do not. This is a classic science fiction theme – science fiction = how humans use technology, how technology and society interact. In this case, the technology is not just the Smithereen app – it's the phone itself, the cops' training and profiling, the Uber-like app and how it's used, the personal assumptions made without any device.

    Reply
  • florokinolon

    August 22, 2019

    Jim Moriarty sends his regards.

    Reply
  • Adrian Ruelas

    August 22, 2019

    the whole thing is dumb as fuck

    Reply
  • merdufer

    August 25, 2019

    All seasons except for the first one had duds, but up until Season 5, each season had at least one insanely good episode. People would be a lot happier with Striking Vipers, Smithereens, and even Ashley Too (which imo is still better than the predictable Men Against Fire), if they were served next to just one great episode like National Anthem, White Bear, or Nosedive.

    Reply
  • Paul Allen

    August 27, 2019

    When you compare Black Mirror S1 episode 1 to what it's become now, well I just don't know anymore.

    Reply
  • Joseph Rittenhouse

    August 28, 2019

    Season 5 did kind of take the "Black" out of the "Black Mirror". I do like the shift of emphasis from existential threats from technology we dont understand, to the more relatable human aspect. Previous seasons could be at times soul crushing, especially for a binge watcher like myself. I was riveted, but after watching three seasons back to back, drained and despondent. Season 5 seems to be an affirmation that this is our problem, and therefore we hold the means to find solutions. If that means less focus on warning of the dangers technological empowerment brings, and more focus on our ability to compensate for it, I dont think that is dumb at all. Criticism cannot be made less deep because it offers solutions. The lightheartedness in these episodes, I think, is a deep criticism of our own cynicism, and the assumption that cynicism is neccesarily pessimistic and hopeless. It can be funny without biting or cutting, and still be profound.

    Reply
  • Sunquad

    August 31, 2019

    dog breaths, so dog has breath, dog loses "Breath" if dead
    Keanu Reaves: No Ur Breathtaking

    Reply
  • distinctdim

    August 31, 2019

    Cut that hair

    Reply
  • piggybankvillan

    September 3, 2019

    I just feel like the quality should've been better with only 3 episodes.

    Reply
  • AskMiko

    September 3, 2019

    There were a lot of hidden messages in Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too. A LOT – many that were covered prior to the social media age and manifested in the Black Mirror episode. Most of the hidden messages were visual with a nod to the information people have known about the music business for years.

    Reply
  • Jamoni Arnold

    September 5, 2019

    Dumb

    Reply
  • McLarenMercedes

    September 5, 2019

    To generalize: The first seasons were deep(ish) whereas the last two seasons are increasingly dumb. Didn't even finish the 5th season because it has virtually nothing of what made Black Mirror stand out.

    Reply
  • t3amtomahawk

    September 9, 2019

    Deep or Dumb: Sons of Anarchy

    Reply
  • Lake Leander

    September 10, 2019

    Porn IS cheating.

    Reply

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