If you don’t already know, I love Black Mirror on Netflix. I have 5 Reasons to Watch Black Mirror, and the best part is you can start at any time with any episode because it’s an anthology. I normally don’t write reviews for individual episodes, but I”m willing to make an effort with Black Mirror. Here are the first three spoiler free reviews of season 4.
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: When people at his office begin making fun of him, Robert Daly develops his own Stark Trek world where he is the commander of the USS Callister and his co-workers / shipmates are at his mercy.
MINI REVIEW: So far, this has been my favorite episode of season 4. However, I can’t be sure yet because I still have one episode left. But, this one is definitely winning so far.
Let’s begin with the Star Trek parody / reference which happens to be the premise of the entire episode. Just so you know, I loved it. The opening of the episode looked exactly like the original show with the same screen dimensions, the outfits, and even the grainy film. I was even excited to watch the entire episode in this format, but they quickly changed it to modern standards.
Overall, everything was really great. The story and technology was unique and interesting. The plot was great. The characters were well developed, so much so that I couldn’t decide who the real villains are. Personally, I love stories with ______ villains.
Like most Black Mirror episodes, we learn something about technology, or should I say the misueses of technology by people like us. In this episode we are faced with clones and what free will means in a world that doesn’t exist. More than that, it’s about kindness as much in the real world as in the virtual world.
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: When a mother decides to implant a chip in her daughter’s head that allows her to monitor her life, they must face the consequences of her parenting.
MINI REVIEW: So this isn’t bad, but it’s no “USS Callister”. It’s clearly about over-protective parenting, or helicopter parenting as its called, and the dangerous consequences it has for everyone involved. The fictional technology is interesting and believable in the way that parents can now use GPS on their kid’s phones to track them down. The tech in this episode takes it a step further with the mother’s ability to control and censor what her child sees and hears at the touch of a button. By far this was the most interesting part of the show.
The second most interesting thing about the show are the consequences of so much restriction in the girl’s life. For one, there must be some developmental delays because the child didn’t know how to cope with something as simple as a dog or blood from scratch. I thought the results would be worse than they were initially.
The only negative thing I have to say is that the plot was a little bit predictable and I guessed a couple of things before it even happened. One can’t watch this and think the technology / parenting can be good for anyone involved. In spite of it’s predictability, this was another good solid episode of Black Mirror.
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: When a secret from her past resurfaces, a mother and wife must make decisions and sacrifices to keep it in the past.
MINI REVIEW: Without a doubt this has been my least favorite episode of the season. It had so much potential with the technology introduced in it, the story, and the characters but it didn’t deliver.
In the beginning I did have sympathy towards the protagonist even after her first victim, but the I stopped caring about her halfway. At some point all the killing stops making sense and starts feeling gratuitous. I get it, it’s a story of self destruction, but for it to work there needs to be more reasons to the character’s actions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sympathize with her anymore especially with her last victim.
What’s worse was that ending. It’s implied she’s been caught but it’s not enough for me. It’s not explicit and I need it to be so I could get the closure I needed after the horrific events of the episode.
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