Black Mirror – Season Four (Part 1)

black-mirror-logo

Black Mirror – Season One
Black Mirror – Season Two + The Christmas Special
Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 1)
Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 2)

Welcome, folks! This is our continuation of reviewing Black Mirror together. There might be minor spoilers below, so be careful with reading it if you want to honestly go in blind to the episodes like we’ve been.

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


USS Callister

We can both agree that this was the standout of the bunch. Usually, we judge that by how much we chat during the episodes. And this one had a lot of chatter for things that were good. And it’s an odd episode that really makes you see things from all sides, not only tying in the tech in past episodes and the implications of the tech.

I think what I enjoyed most about this episode was the way your perception is turned on its head. This is something that happened in “Shut Up and Dance”, one of our favorite episodes, where everything you thought you knew was wrong. I loved seeing that unfold throughout the episode. It questioned technology’s impact on morality and people’s role in it.

The comparison you brought up about “Shut Up and Dance” is apt. At the end of “Shut Up and Dance”, we discover that things weren’t what they led us to believe. In this, you find out pretty early on. You’re drawn to Robert Daly, the main character, as a sympathetic figure and then it slowly changes.

Largely, this episode deals with AI through technology that was introduced to us in White Christmas. When do these intelligent things we create become human? One day, maybe, AI can be called human because it thinks like we do, we can’t tell it apart from humans (i.e. The Turing Test), it feels genuine emotions, it can use/make tools, etc. I really just loved how this episode was crafted, from the characters to the funny one-liners and to that unsettling knot I got in my stomach as I watched the story unfold.

I think there are a few episodes we’ve seen thus far about what is AI and what is human and I think it’s a fascinating question. Are they human when they are self-aware? Or is it more than that. There was a lot of humor in this episode as it’s an homage to Star Trek. I’m not a big Star Trek fan, all I know is mostly from the J.J. Abrams movies but Star Trek is something that is ingrained in American culture. I’m sure that most people know about Kirk and Spock and their dynamics. There are moments of Star Trek that were pivotal to what could be done and shown on television back in the 60’s. So, even if you aren’t a Star Trek fan I think the episode stands on its own.

Chantel and I are different with our experience of Star Trek. I tried to watch the first of the new movies and meh. But I love the old, 60s TV show. Love it. It’s my shit. And this definitely had the 60s feel to it while also being very modern. It was a lot of fun and this probably is in my top three favorite episodes because of the dialogue they created about humanity.

Arkangel

This is the episode we disagree on. In short, this is about the dangers of helicopter parents, which is how I think the past couple generations have been raised. Personally, I haven’t been raised that way to the fullest sense, but I certainly didn’t have the freedom to run and figure out life like other generations did before me.

And this takes that to an extreme. In this episode, a mother gets her daughter fitted with technology that allows her to see her daughter’s life. No joke. She can actually see what her daughter sees. She knows what she’s eating. What she’s doing. Where she is. And on and on. Because of that, she failed to actually parent her child. She constantly did things for her child rather than let her fuck up and figure things out on her own, leading to a child who was extremely ill-equipped for reality.

I think that the way we disagree on this episode is that I thought it was okay and Caidyn thought it was good. I found it a bit boring at times and unrealistic. For example, there is a scene where the daughter does cocaine. She’s fifteen years old. I would’ve believed pot, but cocaine? I thought that was a bit extreme, however, this episode shows what the extreme of overprotectiveness can do to a child.

Throughout the episode, Caidyn and I were scolding the mother for everything she was doing because she was doing everything wrong. She had to raise a child on her own and she wasn’t prepared in the slightest, so she had this device implanted into her daughter so that she could protect her from everything. From the beginning, she blocks her daughter from anything that raises her cortisol levels, basically anything that causes her stress. This starts from a barking dog to violent videos.

At times, it does get a bit unbelievable, I agree with you there. But, then again, there were rumors about people doing meth when I was in middle school. Yay for small towns where there’s nothing else to do. We definitely had an issue with the overprotectiveness of the mother and how it could be interpreted as an issue against single mothers/parents. That they’re incapable of doing the hard things and need someone else there. But that’s just not true. It’s that this specific parent was incapable and they showed that from the beginning of the episode, being unable to even give birth. In the scene, she barely looked flustered or sweaty or like she had been at all.

But I think we differ with this episode because I was able to take away my dislike of the characters and their choices and found it an interesting meditation on helicopter parents. That’s what made it good to me. I enjoyed how that was finally addressed since it’s so prevalent as the younger generations grow up.

Yes, throughout the episode I felt like someone could watch this episode and take away the message that single parents have a negative effect on their children. As a child of a single parent who mostly has her shit together, I strongly disagree with that argument. I’m not sure if that was the intention of the writer, but it can be interpreted that way. That’s not to say that my mom wasn’t overprotective because she was.

I don’t know if anyone else remembers those “Stranger Danger” videos in elementary school, but I do. I’m only a few years younger than you and I remember a cop coming in about it, but I, apparently, didn’t think it was important enough to fully remember the message. Everyone was afraid of kidnapping when I was young and I get it. I get the desire to want to watch over your kids and make sure they don’t get hurt, but when you try to control what they do it’s not going to work out. Hopefully, they aren’t doing cocaine, but as a teenager, you want to experiment and try different things. I can only imagine how difficult that is as a parent.

Overall, I think the episode provided an interesting commentary on parenting but I thought it was a bit weak with the execution. Sorry, Jodie Foster.

Crocodile

This one really bored me. Straight up bored me. I mean, I can barely remember the plot I was bored so much.

Basically, it was about a woman who was involved in an accidental death and her and the other person involved hid the body. Then he wants to come out and say what happened while she’s become a highly successful person. It devolved from there into madness and pointlessness.

I agree. This one was dullsville. I kept shaking my head at every moment because I felt it was very stupid. I didn’t understand the main character’s actions and I didn’t care. She was stupid. This episode was stupid. I didn’t like it.

And that ending? It was so stupid. There were characters that had no point and then the end. Ugh. It could have been a lot better if handled a different way. And that’s literally all we have to say about this.

Our ratings

Caidyn’s ratings:

  1. USS Callister
  2. Arkangel
  3. Crocodile

Mine are the same. I felt pretty underwhelmed with the episodes except USS Callister.

And, I think we disagree there. For me, Crocodile was the least interesting and the other two came up with good commentaries, although I’d only really want to rewatch USS Callister.

The Brotherhood of the World Award

BHOTWA

So, we got awarded this in December. And it’s February. Oops. But, we’re close? Kind of? Just go with it and suck it up. We’re getting it done.

Like usual, it’s Emma from Thoughts of a Brown Eyed Girl who nominated us. Caidyn is the one who killed her because, apparently, he’s hilarious. And the way she phrased it made it seem like he killed both her and Chantel, but who knows. Last he checked, Chantel was alive.

But, a huge thanks to her! We always appreciate how she thinks of us for these things. It’s always sweet and they’re fun to fill out.

So, these are the rules for this thing:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions sent to you.
  • Nominate around ten bloggers. We probably won’t follow this one.
  • Create your set of questions for your nominees.
  • List the rules and display the Brotherhood of the World Award logo in your post.

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


1. Last book you read that lived up to the hype?

NONE OF THEM. But, seriously, IT and American Gods are the two I can think of. They both have tons of hype around them and I think they deserve it.

Caidyn and I are both jaded when it comes to hyped books, however, I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid last month. Geez, what a fucking mouthful. I can’t even contain myself when talking about this book. I’ll just link to my review where I gush about my Cuban, bisexual goddess. 

Also, I think Caidyn is planning on reading it soon so don’t be surprised if he hates it. 

I don’t hate everything that you like.

2. First thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “love”?

Family. Is that weird? Maybe. But when I hear love, I think of family since anyone I love is automatically in my family.

This isn’t a loaded question at all. Anyone else feel like they are being interrogated? For me, the first thing that comes to my mind is the people that surround me and support me. That doesn’t mean those are the only people I love, just the first thing that comes to mind. 

Also, Watson.

But Watson wants to kill you.

Maybe. 

3. A book that you think deserves a better movie/TV adaptation?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That movie sucks ass. It left out so many important things that carry into the next movie and then it was the worst.

Goblet of Fire was so much worse. THE FUCKING HAIR. Ugh. I can’t get into it. Yeah, this hard for me because I don’t really have any issues with adaptations. I guess if I had to pick one it would be A Monster Calls because I was really disappointed with the movie. It didn’t even have close to the same impact despite having Felicity Jones in it. 

THEIR HAIR WAS GLORIOUS AND AWKWARD IN THAT MOVIE.

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Bask in the gloriousness.
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Thank you for agreeing, Harry.

 

Nope timon
Harry looks a bit unsure. Maybe he’s being coerced. Well, Cedric/Edward is there soooo…

Feel free to let us know in the comments who’s right and who is clearly wrong. 

She’s wrong.

4. Favorite holiday?

Halloween!!

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I wish I could say this is me in the gif, but it’s not.
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Yeah, this would be me, tho.

Thanksgiving. Because food. 

5. Favorite badass male protagonist?

Dumbledore.

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He totally counts.

Why it gotta be a dude? Is it bad that I can’t think of anyone other than Evelyn Hugo? Okay, let me think…Thomas Lynch. There, done. 

Because poor men feeling bad about not being included.

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Male tears
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That’s all I have to say about that.

 

Q&A Questions Request

Hey everyone! This is going to be a short post, but it would mean the world to us if you’d read and comment on it.

March 26th is our 1-year blogiversary!!

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I know, I know. That’s crazy, right? It doesn’t feel like a year to us at all. And we appreciate every single one of you for following us, liking our posts, commenting, and generally interacting with us.

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And we want to put together a Q&A post. However, we can’t do that without your questions for us. They can literally be about anything. How we met, why we started the blog, food, animals, the esoteric meaning of our name, etc.

Feel free to comment here or to message us on Goodreads if you want it to be a bit more private. You can find Caidyn’s profile here and Chantel’s here.

Thank you all so much for following us and making this first year great!

Podcast review: Serial Killers by Parcast

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(Caidyn)

1.5/5

Much like with my review of Lore, I have a history of loving dark things. Serial killers are among them. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a criminal psychologist and perhaps a profiler. Those days are long gone. But, my interest in them still remains to an extreme.

However, this podcast… No. I wouldn’t do it.

For one, they’re speculating on the mental state of these serial killers without being trained in psychology. That’s not always a knock. There are people out there who know their shit about the topic without being trained. But when they’re relying on outdated beliefs and not using the correct definitions that anyone who was trained in the area would, it’s a problem.

Such as, psychopathy (a topic that most serial killers fit into) is not synonymous with sociopathy. Sorry guys. They kept using the words interchangeably.

Another point that pissed me off was the case of Donald Gaskins, which was actually the last one I listened to before I called it good and decided to be done with it. Gaskin was a serial killer who had a rough upbringing, much like most serial killers did. His mother was an alcoholic. His father was not around. His mother had a revolving door of boyfriends who abused him. His mother sexually abused him by making him watch her have sex with those boyfriends.

Yet, the hosts of this podcast had the gall to suggest that Gaskins was the way he was because he lacked a strong father figure. I’m sorry, but are you seriously suggesting that a lack of a father figure causes people to go and commit the horrendous crimes that he did? I’m friends with people who were raised by single parents and turned out amazing.

There were more comments like that where I found myself frowning and scratching my head because they were literally talking out of their asses about things they obviously were parroting. Not only that, but there was no bibliography — trust me, I searched around online — where you could follow the sources they used to see the faulty trail.

In short, if you love learning about serial killers and want to do so through a podcast, don’t choose this one. For all the things I agreed with, there were times where I was literally frowning because what they said was so wrong. And that makes everything they said suspect to me.

February Recommendations

Another month, another set of recommendations prompted by the Goodreads group Monthly Recommendations. February’s recommendations are graphic novels/mixed media!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


Chantel, being the way she is, actually banned me from choosing a book. Thanks a lot, Chantel. So, here are my recommendations.

1. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Yes, I know that this has been made into a movie. But I don’t like the movie and have no plans of watching it all the way through. This book follows a boy who has been orphaned and his job is to wind the clocks at a Parisian train station. He has to find his own way in the world, really.

This story is such a touching one and one of my favorite quotes comes from this book:

“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

Now, it might not be immediately clear why this is a mixed media book if you don’t know the book. Basically, Brian Selznick illustrates his books. Hundreds of hand-drawn pictures that he made especially for the work.

2. The Marvels by Brian Selznick

The Marvels

Yes, another book by Selznick. See a theme appearing? I just love him and this book is no different. It covers the journey of a family from 1766 through today. Another gorgeous one, that also has HIV/AIDS and gay relationships. And, even better, the book just shows how accepting kids are. As I put in my review of this, you don’t have to explain gay relationships to kids. They get it.

3. Hark! A Vagrant series by Kate Beaton

Hark! A Vagrant

Step Aside, Pops (Hark! A Vagrant, #3)

I’m choosing a whole series. Sue me. Please don’t. I’ve read the book Hark! A Vagrant! and Step Aside, Pops. The former actually has pictures that I took of the comics in the book that I loved. The other one has just me describing it.

But, they’re really just comic interpretations of history, literature, superheroes, and anything else that Beaton thought would be hilarious. Really, I loved them all. Perfect coffee table books, tbh.


I would just like to state for the record that I did not ban Caidyn from anything. I simply called dibs. By the way, I absolutely loved all three books I picked so I would highly recommend them. If you know anything about me, you will not be shocked by the recommendations.

  1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness & Illustrations by Jim Kay

A Monster Calls cover

This is the book I called dibs on when Caidyn and I were talking about this topic because Patrick Ness is my favorite author and this book is amazing. I’ve talked about this book multiple times and Caidyn is the one who told me to read it. The premise of this book is there is a young boy named Conor whose mother has cancer. Yeah, pretty heavy but it’s so good. The book also features illustrations from Jim Kay who also illustrates the Harry Potter illustrated editions, this guy is talented. If you haven’t read this book already, what are you doing with your life?!

2. Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

Honor Girl cover

Last October, I participated in my first readathon called GetGraphic Readathon which took place over a weekend. This was the first and best book I read during the readathon. It’s about a girl who goes to camp and has a crush on a camp counselor. It’s really a great memoir and maybe I liked it more because I had crushes on camp counselors when I was young, but you know, it’s really good.

3. Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Blue is the Warmest Color

Okay, so I know that the movie based on this graphic novel is controversial. I get it. I think I’m in the minority as someone who really enjoyed it. Despite being three hours and entirely in French. I digress. However, if you want to read a story about two girls who fall in love when they are young and discover as they get older that they may not be the best for each other but does not include long sex scenes directed by a man that goes on so long it becomes hilarious, then this graphic novel is for you. It’s really good and if you didn’t like the movie, I think you’ll like the graphic novel.

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Chantel will be in purple.
Caidyn will be in blue.


A demon was knitting outside the hospital. 

Dee Moreno froze. The smokers’ area was where she always took her lunch break; she didn’t smoke, but it made for a good place to eat – at least, when it wasn’t already occupied. 

If she returned indoors, she would have to eat her lunch with the other high school volunteers, and that thought made her stomach shrivel up. It was the kind of afternoon one could only find in Oregon – grass still doused with last night’s rain, lit up by what sunlight managed to escape the cloud cover. 


This is a book I hope to read this month. No promises, but I will definitely try. I’m slowly getting back into reading after taking a bit of time off. It’s better not to dive in too quickly. I immediately got more excited about this book when I found out it took place in Oregon. I’m totally biased against books from my home state by that I mean I usually love them. I hope this book is no different. 

Have you figured it out yet? 

Probably. 

It’s…

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Hearts We Sold cover

When I got this book in my first Owlcrate, I hadn’t heard of it. As a result, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it. However, now I know it takes place in Oregon and I’m definitely more excited to read it. I hope it’s good. 


I have been acquainted with the smell of death. The sickly, sugary smell that wafted in the wind towards the rooms in this palace. It is easy now for me to feel peaceful and content. I spend my morning looking at the sky and the changing light. The birdsong begins to rise as the world fills with its own pleasures and then, as the day wanes, the sound too wanes and fades. I watch as the shadows lengthen. So much has slipped away, but the smell of death lingers. Maybe the smell has entered my body and been welcomed there like an old friend come to visit. The smell of fear and panic. The smell is here like the very air is here; it returns in the same way as light in the morning returns. It is my constant companion; it has put life into my eyes, eyes that grew dull with waiting, but are not dull now, eyes that are alive now with brightness.


I’ve actually started reading this book a long time ago. Sometime mid-January, but I sort of got burnt out on audiobooks and made the switch to podcasts. Since I was absolutely loving the book, I very quickly got on the hold list for a physical copy and it just came in. The writing is gorgeous. The story is amazing. And it’s by an author who might become one of my favorites.

So, what is it?

It is…

House of Names by Colm Tóibín

House of Names

Tóibín is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. A couple of years ago, I read his book The Blackwater Lightship, which was about a family in the 1990s struggling through a death in the family due to AIDS. I was impressed by how he balanced the harsh reality of the final moments of AIDS with the compelling family story. Then, this year, I read Brooklyn, which was a glimpse into the struggles of immigration. Another one I was super impressed by. 

This book is a different one for him. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth, one we know the beginning thanks to The Illiad but not one we would know the end to. I don’t want to give too much more away than that since I have a review yet to write, but I haven’t touched this book in weeks and I still remember it vividly. That says something about the author. He made me remember it by how beautifully the story was told.

Lore – The Podcast

(Caidyn)

4/5

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When I was a kid, I always found a way to convince my parents to let me sleep downstairs in the basement. Now, we never had a TV in our living room like most families. We keep ours in the basement. So, Fridays or Saturdays, I would convince them to let me sleep down there so I could watch one show.

What was that show?

Truth or Scare.

You don’t have to watch the whole thing, just around 30 seconds of it. This show was my shit. It basically took scary stories — haunted castles, weird creatures, hotels, etc — and had creepy music that combined with Michelle Trachtenberg’s really (to kid me) freaky voice. My mom remembers, to this day, me bursting outside and shouting about how I watched it all by myself and didn’t get scared.

There were more things like this, too. I also loved the shows Mystery Hunters (which Discovery Kids also did), Martin Mystery (a TV show also aired on Discovery Kids), and basically anything else. If you want links to some of this stuff, hit me up. I was young when I first watched a horror movie. I was around nine when I convinced my parents to let me go to The London Dungeon. If you don’t know what that is, Google it.

So, when Amazon came out with Lore last year, I got excited. But, I watched some of it and found it kind of dull and campy. Last month, I got bored of listening to audiobooks at work since I split my attention and find it hard to write meaningful reviews for all of you. Now I’m listening to podcasts.

Let’s just say I binged this podcast within three weeks. Over 80 episodes. And I binged it all.

I loved Aaron Mahnke’s voice. It was super soothing despite the creepy topics that he covered. Haunts, creatures, werewolves, animals, etc. Even though I loved his voice, I knew a lot of the lore he brought up because of my weird childhood interest in those things. That or just random research I did when I was curious after drinking a teensy bit too much and thinking of the fae or mermaids.

The music attached to the podcast really enhanced everything. It was beautiful music and fit with the soothing theme so well. It never got too creepy, although there were a few times where I felt sick to my stomach over something or had a chill go down my spine. Certainly doesn’t help that I work in a cave and have fears that he brought up.

Overall, I really enjoyed the podcast and can’t wait to listen to even more of it.

 

Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Kathryn Harkup

Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

(Caidyn)

4/5

I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my rating. Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the advanced copy!

When I saw this book on NetGalley, I basically jumped at the chance to read it because I, admittedly, really enjoy Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I wasn’t raised watching the original Boris Karloff movie, but I loved Young Frankenstein and anything horror related. I was in high school by the time I read the book and was very impressed by how much I could still feel the impact of it.

In short, I love Frankenstein. So I had to read this once I saw this book was a thing.

The title, in a way, is a little misleading. It’s not just about the science that was going on at the time Frankenstein was written. That is a huge part of the book, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also focused on Mary Shelley’s upbringing, her affair and later marriage to Percy Shelley, her miscarriages, the political upheaval going on around her, and, of course, Enlightenment ideals with personhood and the advancement of the sciences. It’s quite a dense book, one that weaves in a very close look at the text and what Victor Frankenstein did with Mary Shelley’s life and the scientific advancements around her.

With all of those things going on, it could have come off as very dull and hitting me over the head with dates and people and facts to the point where I went cross-eyed and wanted the pain to end. But, I didn’t. I never felt too overwhelmed with names and dates weren’t a huge focus for me.

Harkup wrote this book to provide context to a story that is very well-known in today’s culture. She does that in many ways and you can see how they link into the story very easily. All in all, a well-done nonfiction book that accomplished what it aimed to do.

Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 2)

black-mirror-logo

Black Mirror – Season One

Black Mirror – Season Two + Christmas Special

Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 1)

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


San Junipero

So, Chantel loved this episode. Because it’s gay. Is that a spoiler? I don’t think so since Chantel told me she only watched this episode because she knew something about it, so I assumed it was gay right away.

*taps mic* Ahem, first of all, sexuality isn’t a spoiler. Second of all, yeah this episode is queer as hell with two ladies who end up together and it’s ahmazing. It’s beautiful, the music is fantastic, the setting is fantastic, and it’s unlike any other Black Mirror episode. By that I mean, it’s not about the dangers of technology. It isn’t set in a world that’s some kind of dystopia. It’s just a beautiful love story and my queer heart cannot take it.

Yes, yes. No need to remind about your most famous Goodreads update where you ranted about how it’s not a spoiler or whatever. I get that, obviously. I want to know if a character is ace or trans, so yeah.

I did love the music because IT IS SET IN THE 80S. And it was a very tame episode compared to the one we had just come off of, something I appreciated personally. It was a very sweet episode, a lot like “Be Right Back”.

That’s correct, I am an internet sensation. Bullshit. You just jealous.

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Yo, I don’t need your attitude.

As soon as I heard this episode had two women falling in love, my interest went from non-existent to 1000. That happens frequently in my life. It’s just a scale of meh to YAS.

Anyway, this episode is set in the 80’s and I’d like to talk about that for a moment. Neither of us grew up in the 80’s we are too young for that, but whenever I see the 80s portrayed in any kind of media it’s very nostalgic. Stranger Things, anyone? We remember the music, the clothes, the hair. These are things that defined the 80s and they are symbols we recognize from the 80s, but I think there are a lot of things that are glossed over. Like Reagan, like the AIDS crisis, and a lot of other things that aren’t coming to me. Instead, we always get a version of the 80s that has a bit of sheen to it. While this make sense in this episode, I think that’s safe to say without giving too much away, but it was just something I thought about. Sometimes when we look back at something, we see the good and not the bad that came with it.

Anything straight is meh. Queer is YAS. Especially queer women. Your little homosexual heart.

Oh, I love 80s music and the setting of this was mostly in that period, along with some others. I don’t want to go too far into the plot since it gets a bit spoilery when we start going further, but it’s a really sweet episode. No twists that will slaughter you or anything like that. Two women deciding to start a relationship against, literally, all odds.

I think the thing I appreciate the most about this episode is how smartly they paired it with the last episode. I don’t think I could have handled another episode that fucked with me like that one.

That is my motto. Queer is YAS. Learn it, memorize it, commit it to your memory.

It was one of the sweetest episodes of TV I’ve seen. If someone could just do an anthology tv series about queer people that would be the fucking dream. Anyone? Any takers? I NEED this in my life. Pretty sure that Ryan Murphy is doing that with his new series about 80s dancers. I already know about that and cannot wait. 

When I originally watched Shut Up and Dance, I was so devastated and wanted to curl up into a ball. However, I watched San Junipero and it warmed my heart and made everything better. It was a sweet dream after a nightmare and I agree, the placement was brilliant.

OH, before I forget, can I just say Yorkie is the cutest fucking person to ever walk on this Earth. That is all.

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Yorkie is on the right

They are pretty cute.

They are both cute. Not to mention, it’s an interracial relationship which gives me so much life.

An interracial, queer relationship that passes all bounds of age, too.

I’ma let you speak but San Junipero was the best episode of all time. *drops mic*

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Shut up, Chanye and let’s move on.

If we must.

Men Against Fire

This one sucked. Least favorite. So boring despite the premise being super interesting.

I hate to say it, but this episode was very White Bear-ish. It presented an interesting premise and then spent the next hour being boring as all shit. The twist while interesting, didn’t seem to have any impact at all. It was revealed to us and I understood what was going on. It just was poorly executed. This show has so many great episodes and then we get duds like this and fucking WHITE BEAR.

Hades on Fire.gif

It really was White Bear-ish. Boring and then had a big point about it, like White Bear had. White Bear focused on crime and punishment whereas this focused on the morality of war and genocide. Because, this is focused on a basic genocide, where they see these horrific things they call roaches that are human… but not. But, are they really human? Is it okay to kill them off without even trying to communicate with them? However, the way it was told felt like a ton of info-dumping and it was like old school dystopians where the protagonist somehow gets to the head of things and the head tells them everything about the society they’re in.

The premise is interesting. How much do you have to dehumanize someone in order to kill them without remorse? What would you do if it was your life or theirs? It’s an interesting idea with interesting questions, but the main character/actor was as interesting as a bag of rocks. I didn’t care about him. The main female character was extremely masculine in her behavior was incredibly annoying and by the time the twist was revealed, it didn’t matter. It wouldn’t salvage the episode for me. I know the ending was supposed to be so meaningful and it didn’t hit me at all. Bummer, but they can’t all be perfect.

It felt like a parody of military life and the people in the military in conflict zones. It didn’t feel realistic to me. Like, sure, these people are around, but it didn’t strike me as realistic. And, you’re right. The twist had lost me. It didn’t help that I had started figuring it out earlier in the episode and I kind of checked out.

They didn’t give us any indication what they were fighting for and honestly, I don’t think they were fighting anything. Which isn’t compelling at all if you are going to do a story featuring the military.

Shooting and fighting makes things interesting, but it didn’t for this since it had a wafer-thin plot.

Hated in the Nation

I did not like this episode. Granted, it was better than “Men Against Fire” as it was far more interesting and I truly wanted to know what the fuck was happening. The answers I go, however, it didn’t do it for me in the slightest. I thought it was silly and stupid. That’s all I’m going to say about that because I don’t want to give anything away. For me, this episode was trying to do suspense, mystery, and horror. But it came off goofy to me. I will say that the one thing I did like was the badass main female characters. One who was a lead detective and she was awesome. I’ll say that about it, but I think that’s pretty much the only positive I have.

We can’t talk about much because everything in the episode unfolds piece by piece, so it would kind of ruin it if we just went and said everything. I definitely disagree with you. I thought it was tense and interesting. I wondered what would happen and how they would solve the mystery since it could be anyone at all. It also had horror elements that worked for me, and I know it worked for you, too, since you got freaked out by a few things.

I also liked how it had a feel of an evolution of “Shut Up and Dance” to it. The next step for the people who were in charge of blackmailing the people involved in that.

They had my attention and focus up until a certain point. Then I was not into it at all anymore. I think this episode did present some interesting questions, ones we can’t go into and I liked that part of it too, but ultimately I wasn’t a fan. There are so many better episodes of this show and even better episodes that we watched in season three. I think Black Mirror can do plot very well sometimes. In “Shut Up and Dance”I was on the edge of my seat and it was incredibly effective. I found nothing compelling about what was going on in this episode until it was nearly over.

Maybe this comes down to the fact that you don’t like mystery or horror like I do. Those are genres I actively search out while you don’t. That’s not a bad thing, as we know, but mystery holds my attention way better than something queer because I’m naturally attuned to it and have been forever.

And for me, since I was around 13 I always sought out queer content. That’s what I wanted to watch and I soaked in as much of it as I could. It holds a special place in my heart whereas I really don’t like horror and the only time I like mysteries is if there is some kind of queer element. Honestly, throughout the whole episode I wanted Karin and Blue to get together. That is what I was thinking of the whole time.

Uh, and from the age of nine, I dragged my parents to go to London Dungeon, got the shit scared out of me, and loved it. So. I think there is a difference between our tastes and that’s what it comes down to for this episode. I can see how you thought it wasn’t as well done as the past ones (and I agree; my comparison to “Shut Up and Dance” was a weak one) but it was still a solid episode for me.

Although, I could totally get behind Karin and Blue as a couple.

Which is fine. We clearly don’t like the same things and that’s okay. We’ve pretty much agreed up until this point and it’s nice to know that we can disagree and really it all comes down to genre and tone. It just seemed like a weaker episode overall because we had episodes like “Shut Up and Dance” and “San Junipero”. Those two episodes were far superior and while “Shut Up and Dance” was suspenseful and kept you in the dark for a long time it was very focused. This was very broad in its scope. It wasn’t just about one kid, it was about society. I personally will always gravitate toward the stories about individual people rather than society.

YAS! If anyone ever tells you that representation doesn’t matter. They can go fuck themselves because it absolutely does.

Another difference between us. I find meditations on society fascinating. Love stories about individual people, but I also love me a really fucked up society.

Okay but they’re probably already fucking themselves tbh.

Episode Rankings

Caidyn’s rankings

  1. Hated in the Nation
  2. San Junipero
  3. Men Against Fire

Chantel’s rankings

  1. San Junipero (fucking duh)
  2. Hated in the Nation
  3. Men Against Fire

Book Subscription Readathon!

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OWLCRATE-A-THON READATHON ANNOUNCEMENT! 📚 It’s almost time for the second annual OwlCrate-a-Thon! This readathon will take place from February 10th-23rd this year. Mark it on your calendars! 📚 We created this readathon as a way for subscribers to read more of their OwlCrate books that are still on their TBRs! 📚 There’s a few easy challenges, just for fun. Read the OwlCrate book you’ve owned the longest. Read at least two different genres. Read two books within the two weeks. That’s it! We know you can do it! 📚 We’ll be hosting reading sprints on Twitter, as well as running a few giveaways. Stay tuned for more details! 📚 Even if you haven’t been a subscriber you can still participate! Take a look at the books we’ve sent out in the past and pick some up! 📚 If you want more info about the readathon check out our recent announcement video on YouTube! Hope to see lots of you awesome bookworms participating! Use the tag #owlcrateathon in any posts you make in regards to the event. We’d love to see what books you’re reading! 📚 Photo by @offaerietalesandbooks 📚 #owlcrate #bookstagram #bookmail #bookhaul #subscriptionbox

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Our idea is totally taken from Owlcrate, so we’re giving them the props. I (Caidyn) saw a post, sent a screenshot to Chantel, and thought it would be fun if we did this. I mean, we have book subscriptions. We don’t get to the books we get from them as much as we’d like. So why not make February our first month where we choose some great books from them and read them?

So, what will we read?

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


I’m planning on reading four books, or at least trying to. As usual, I’m not going to pressure myself like crazy to read all four, but it’s a goal for me to try reading them.

I’m going to read:

I got this book from my first PageHabit box, a subscription I’m no longer getting now, so I thought it’d be nice to go ahead and read it since I’ve had it since August. No time like the present!

This was the first book I got from Book of the Month (BotM). Chantel and I talked about reading this together, but we weren’t too sure about it and didn’t get to it. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while but haven’t been able to carve out time. So, here we are!

This is another BotM book. Kind of a speculative dystopian world like The Power. Right up my alley and another one I’ve wanted to read for some time.

Finally, this is one I got from Nocturnal Reader, which is a box devoted to horror. Never heard of this book before it but it looks interesting. I’m planning on going into this one blind, which is always interesting.


I am not being too ambitious this month with my reading. It’s been five days into February and I haven’t picked up a book at all. I may or may not be in a reading slump. However, my goal for the subscription readathon is to read one book from Book of the Month and one from Owlcrate. 

I too am planning on reading The Power which was part of the first box I received from Book of the Month. I have quite a collection considering I’ve been getting three books for the last few months. I would like to start taking a crack at this mini-collection with The Power

This was the first book I received from Owlcrate and it was a book I hadn’t heard of before I got it. I am excited to finally get to it and see how I feel about it as it’s not a book I would normally read. In that way, I’m getting outside my lil queer bubble I love being in.