Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 1)

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Black Mirror – Season One

Black Mirror – Season Two + Christmas Special

How can we describe part one of season three?

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Traumatizing in some way for us. Every single one of them messed with our heads and not all in a good way. I (Caidyn) love my head getting messed with from time to time, but it was a bit much since they really capitalized on being a modern Twilight Zone in the first three episodes we watched.

Netflix taking over the show was probably the best thing for it because the concept is the same, but on Netflix, there are no restrictions on anything as long as it’s not porn, I guess. But the show is able to go to darker places and despite it being a bit traumatizing it’s definitely a good thing.

Caidyn will be in blue.

Chantel will be in purple. 


Nosedive

I think out of the three, this one was the tamest. Which is hilarious since this one starts off the show with a bang and a rather strong start, even though I know we disagree about how good the episode was.

The episode was fine. I know my issues with it are my own personal issues, not necessarily because of the episode. Basically, this episode is what would happen if Facebook and Instagram meant a lot more than it does now. Now, you might be thinking that they already mean more than they should, but oh no, it could be way worse. If we aren’t careful we might end up at this point. I really hope not, but I kinda lost my faith in humanity.

This is a world where you get ranked by people for daily interactions, posting on social media, and anything else. Those rankings then get averaged together to create a total score for you. That score then dictates what you can and can’t do in life. It’s a ranking out of five, so if you’re a 4.5 you get a better housing deal. Or a better car. Or a seat on an airplane. If you’re 2.0 or below, then you’re just shit out of luck in life. You can even get locked out of your job if your ranking dips below a certain number.

The concept of this episode isn’t bad. I just couldn’t stand the characters and I wasn’t on Lacie’s side at all. She wants desperately to have a higher score so that she can move up in the world. She just wants people to like her. I understand that. I’ve been there. However, everyone is so fake in this episode so that they can get five stars from other people. I found it extremely frustrating and not appealing at all.

Lacie was a difficult character, I have to agree. But I could understand her since I was, in a way, that person. Desperately wanting to fit in. Trying to be liked. I could understand her, even if I stay the hell away from those people now. But, yeah, it was painful to watch since the only people I liked gave two shits about the system and chose to be apart from it.

I was just constantly frustrated. I know it’s a personal thing with me. Like I said, I’ve been that person too. I still want to be liked, but the desperation that she felt and demonstrated was off-putting to me. Still, this episode was better than fucking “White Bear”.

Yeah, we never will get over what “White Bear” could have been, but yes. I thought that the actress really portrayed the desperation well, though. She did a fantastic job as Lacie and she made it so believable that it was painful to watch her performance at times.

Playtest

Okay, I don’t have a lot to say about this episode. I could not concentrate on it and for a huge chunk of it, I was covering my eyes. I never actually finished this episode when I first watched it. Why? BECAUSE THERE IS A GIANT FUCKING SPIDER.

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I can’t even. I would’ve probably liked it a lot more if I wasn’t completely traumatized.

I agree with you about spiders. I actually went and warned my mom since I knew there were spiders in this so she would know there weren’t actually spiders in my room that I was battling. (Because apparently, I have some kind of noise that I make when there are spiders.)

However, I adore horror. I love it. Right now, I’m watching a horror movie to calm down because, as Chantel said in our chat thread while we’re writing this, I am demented.

Sherlock Nothing Wrong with me

It’s true. So, I really found the horror elements to this well-done. In what most could do in an hour and thirty to two-hour movie, they crafted a really creepy and well-thought out episode. Personally, I loved the manipulation of time in the episode because it just messed with me.

But, there are spiders and jump scares and weird creatures and a lot of other nope things that made Chantel freak out.

If I was into horror and wasn’t afraid of spiders, then I’m pretty sure I’d find this episode interesting. But alas, nope.

And that’s all she has to say about it because I could barely get her to talk about this episode after we watched it.

Shut Up and Dance

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I think we need a good primal scream for this episode.

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My original reaction to this episode?

FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK

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I can’t even function for this episode yet and it’s been like an hour since we’ve watched it. AND WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT OR WE’LL RUIN EVERYTHING.

What I really want to start with is talking about how masterfully they used music and dialogue. Can we? It’s a tame topic, right?

It’s a safe topic. Should be safe.

Nothing is safe with this episode. But, like we pointed out in “Fifteen Million Merits” and “The Entire History of You”, we pay attention to music. We honestly do. And this one had a distinct lack of music and dialogue to it that clued me in that something wasn’t right. It made a tension, especially when the only music played was harsh and sharp.

There was so much tension in this episode and it was done brilliantly. The acting, the music cues, the directing. All of it was so well done, even on a second viewing it’s still fascinating to watch.

Yes, the hints were fantastic. The basic plot for this is that a teenage boy, Kenny, gets blackmailed for doing something while filmed through the camera on his laptop. From there it’s a twisty and curvy mess all the way through to the ending. In short, it’s what we think “White Bear” should have been. And, in an earlier draft of this, I went into more detail, but Chantel pointed out spoilers so I completely erased all of it. What you need to know is that it’s an all-around mind fuck.

I think you summed it up well. Just go watch the episode and then come talk to us about it.

This is an episode that you’ll want to talk about.

Episode Rankings

Chantel’s rankings: 

  1. Shut Up and Dance
  2. Nosedive
  3. Playtest

My rankings are the same as Chantel’s.

Really? I thought yours might be different.

Nope. “Playtest” was good but wasn’t my favorite. “Nosedive” was better in the end, and then we both know how much we couldn’t stop gabbing after “Shut Up and Dance”.

I think all three episodes traumatized me in some way.

Yeah. “Playtest” didn’t traumatize me since I’m so used to horror, “Nosedive” was one I actually knew a bit about already because a coworker told me some about it, but I went into “Shut Up and Dance” blind.

Which is the only way to go into it.

And that’s why we gave no spoilers. We want all of you to watch it without knowing the bigger picture. Chantel found it hard to not give it away somehow, but I’m so glad she didn’t.

I felt like anything I said in regard to the episode would give it away so I kept quiet. I didn’t want Caidyn to figure it out because he’s good at that kind of thing.

Believe me. I didn’t figure it out. One bit.

3 thoughts on “Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 2) | BW Book Reviews

  2. Pingback: Black Mirror – Season Four (Part 1) | BW Book Reviews

  3. Pingback: Black Mirror – Season Four (Part 2) | BW Book Reviews

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