Black Mirror: Season 4 Reviews
(Written after Season 4).
A series of independent stories, all centred around technology. Is it a help or a hindrance?
Brilliant series, created and written by English comedian and social commentator Charlie Brooker. Highly original in its concept ? examining possible technological advances, and seeing how these could be used, or abused, and how they can help us, or be the bane of our existence. Set at an everyday person level (mostly), so is highly engaging.
Plots are very intriguing and entertaining, drawing you in and keeping you locked in until the end. Often part of the intrigue is figuring out the innovation depicted in the episode and how it works.
In many of the earlier episodes, Brooker was happy to just make the revelation of the innovation the punchline, and then just let the episode run its course from there. These were not bad episodes ? the are no bad episodes (the worst score I gave to an individual episode was 7/10) ? but did leave me a bit disappointed. I kept thinking this series was going to be like Alfred Hitchcock in the 21st (or 22nd) century and the lack of a great twist towards the end or powerful conclusion made me wonder what all the fuss was about.
However, with time Brooker?s writing got better ? grittier, more daring, more profound. He found his formula and pushed the envelope in terms of his creativity. While S2 E2 ? White Bear ? was the first episode I gave a 10/10 to, it was really only from Season 3 (starting with the brilliant Christmas special between S2 and S3 ? White Christmas) where the series consistently delivered a punchiness to its endings. S3 E1 ? Nosedive ? was one of the scariest and depressing imaginings of future social interaction I?ve ever seen?and it was 100% plausible.
Things then went from strength to strength. The pinnacle, for me, was S3 E6 ? Hated In The Nation. A murder mystery combined with highly plausible technology, engaging, well-developed characters (well portrayed too) and a big swipe at social media and the types of people who inhabit it. You?re forced to think about your own moral view on issues, while not being lectured as to what is the ?correct? choice. Brilliant episode.
Many aspects of the series give a damning, and quite relevant, view on society, and possibly where it is heading. It?s not all doom and gloom though ? there are some episodes that are quite upbeat, even romantic (San Junipero, Hang the DJ) and in S4 E1 ? USS Callister ? Brooker makes use of his considerable comedic talent to deliver an episode that is wonderfully funny yet grippingly thrilling and action-filled.
2) Arkangel (?/5) - I didn't warch this 'til the end so I cannot judge. I just wasn't interested enough to continue but someone could be interested.
3) Crocodile (2.5/5) - This was decent to watch, though it doesn't look like a BM episode. The role of the technology is secondary.
4) Hang for DJ (4/5) - This was interesting and nice to watch. Suggested.
5) Metalhead (2/5) - This was simply unnecessary. Too short, and nothing you expect to know about the distopic world is revealed.
6) Black museum (4.5/5) - This is probably the best of this season.