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Thread: Black Mirror - Charlie Brooker

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    Black Mirror - Charlie Brooker

    The second of Black Mirror was on tonight (in the UK) and was fantastic, easily matching last weeks great episode. So while I'm not sure it is running for non-UKers.. I'm sure there are ways of finding a viewing some of the best TV I've seen for some time. Produced by writer/critic/media columnist Charlie Brooker who did Dead Set and co-wrote Nathan Barley (both of which again are great)

    Its is a three part series, each part taking a bleak view of our relationship with technology and the media, almost a black comedy in the premise but played straight.

    Well worth seeking out. Last part is next sunday too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqTyZ...feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=midBr...feature=relmfu

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    This is DEFINITELY a series worth watching. Love it, and totes a Charlie Brooker fangirl.

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    I actually said "WHAT THE FUCK. OH MY GOD" out loud at the end of Abi's audition last night.

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    The production in the latest episode was second to none. I'm a massive geek for that dystopian stuff, and the way it brought it almost into a modern reality was very creepy. Depressing as fuck though.

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    damn, forgot to look for it this morning... loved the first one.

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    Dystopian Britain: Brought to you by Apple and Simon Cowell.

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    Very Autobiographical Mr Brooker.

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    Ugh. Awesome production but the plot? Felt like I needed to be British or at least be familiar with talent shows, neither of which I happen to be... The eye candy was still off the charts though.
    Last edited by konstantin; 12-12-2011 at 11:46 PM.

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    These seem to be getting increasingly far fetched, there were a lot of cool ideas in the last episode but not much of it was explained properly, we didn't even find out what exactly those strange camps were, or how they came to be in them.
    Last edited by isak; 12-13-2011 at 04:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isak View Post
    These seem to be getting increasingly far fetched, there were a lot of cool ideas in the last episode but not much of it was explained properly, we didn't even find out what exactly those strange camps were, or how they came to be in them.
    In interviews, Charlie Brooker said that scripts were much longer, explaining everything. They were cut down by the higher powers.

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    I don't have a problem with things being left unexplained (camps producing power maybe?), but that plot just kept draaaaaaaaaging. I saw no point in the second ep being a whole hour instead of 45 min like the last one. Just seemed like the showing off part took over the ideas. Anyway, looking forward to the final ep!

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    Quote Originally Posted by isak View Post
    These seem to be getting increasingly far fetched, there were a lot of cool ideas in the last episode but not much of it was explained properly, we didn't even find out what exactly those strange camps were, or how they came to be in them.
    Seems pretty obvious the cycles provide kinetic energy. My guess, it's a human power station with mandatory participation from a certain age (probably immediately after school or uni, reflecting the shit-upon nature of early careers in real life); you buy your way out with a certain number of Merits, earned by cycling. Treadmills would have been a more obvious metaphore, but the more static nature of a cycle fits well with the commentary on entertainment culture.

    Anyway, I thought the episode/mini-film/whatever was amazing (missed the first one, but hoping to see it tonight). A more subtle version of Orwell's 1984, transposed to current culture. I loved that despite the futuristic portrayal, every piece of tech, culture and sociology is in the world today. It's entirely plausible.

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    It didn't seem like anyone was intent on leaving the camp unless they had some kind of talent within entertaining, and by the way no one seemed bothered by it either? In fact they fully acknowledged they were slaves in a camp, and almost enjoyed it? The only slight contempt anyone had shown for it, was when the girl at the beginning made the joke "the most natural thing is probably grown from a petri dish". I don't know, taken at face value I really felt like it would be necessary to have a more elaborate view of society and the government as a whole to make it more believable as some kind of dystopian future. I did enjoy how the talent show was depicted as cruel and ruthless mind, I watched this season of X factor at the beginning once, and they just dragged really pitiable social recluses on stage one by one while people hissed and booed as they made fools of themselves, god knows how anyone enjoys that show, it's disgusting.

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    How is that no different to the world we live in today? That's kinda the WHOLE POINT of this episod we are brought up accept authority, and the vast majority of society do precisely this without questioning. In the episode these ideas have just reached their logical conclusion, its a haunting echo of THX 1138 and literally the best bit of telly i've seen in years.

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    I'm pretty sure the ending was lifted from one of Brooker's favourite films that he's talked about before, something about a news anchor who threatens suicide live on TV and then gets a better slot due to the ratings it gets. Also the rant at the end was mostly unintelligible, and the parts I did hear just sounded like Brooker writing himself into the script, half the things 'Bing' said, I could just hear Charlie Brookers voice. There was nothing profound or thought provoking about any of the script, at it's 'deepest' it was bing shouting IT'S ALL JUST STUFF AND IF YOU JUST LIKE STUFF THEN MAYBE IT'S BAD HERP DERP. Despite all this, compared to everything else I've seen on TV it's been significantly better, and if it makes average people who'd tune in a little more aware of their unhealthy obsessions with talent shows and pointless technology then I guess that's a good thing, I just can't stand people calling it a masterpiece and so forth in reviews, when this kind of thing has been done before with a lot more success. IMO it's good, but really flawed.

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    The film you're referring to is network, and yes there are similarities, but the context is different. In network you are dealing with someone from within the media world trying to make a difference, within black mirror you're talking about one of the "plebs" or an average lowest common denominator reaching out and trying to make a difference. And if you're going to talk about instances where its been done better please provide examples.

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    Maybe, the idea that people enjoy living their life vicariously through an avatar, making exploitation easy, is something that is individual to Black Mirror, but trying to find major things that Black Mirror made me think or question that any other kind of fiction based on a dystopian future hasn't done before is quite difficult. From 1984, Brave New World, and for film you even mentioned THX 1138! There's plenty out there, I'm not saying this is terrible, nor did it have nothing to offer at all, but 'masterpiece' status seems a little exaggerated. Maybe I'm being a bit too cynical, as I'll even admit it's certainly better than anything else I've had to watch of TV recently, definitely hoping the next one impresses me more.

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    While I really loved both episodes, I think I preferred the first due to its grounding in reality. The second, while I enjoyed the premise and show, wasn't quite as 'this could easily happen' more 'this might happen'.

    As for not explaining the background, it was pretty short, there was hardly much need to sit down and explain how things got that way, it seemed happy enough to get on with the plot, which is the important part anyway. I quite like things that don't feel the need to explain everything, its one of TV/movies/games strengths as a medium. The clues are there, and you can come to your own conclusions, or see them as self contained worlds

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    I guess my view on reality must be a bit different to your guys, cus to me the second episode was much closer in a way to reality than first. the first just felt like a brooker rant shoe-horned into the plot. The second we're really not that far away from already imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isak View Post
    These seem to be getting increasingly far fetched, there were a lot of cool ideas in the last episode but not much of it was explained properly, we didn't even find out what exactly those strange camps were, or how they came to be in them.
    I didn't really feel like you needed to know anything about the camps or how the people got there in order to understand the point Brooker was trying to make?
    Love love loved the last episode. Think it should be compulsory TV.

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    I couldn't really get into the last episode at all.

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    The first one was fucking amazing! Haven't watched a television program with that level of production quality before. The second one was decent but it was a little slow and not as captivating as the first episode. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slave2thewage View Post
    I couldn't really get into the last episode at all.
    I thought it was interesting and thought-provoking, like the other two, but rather difficult to watch due to the loathsome nature of the main character (I'm all for an antihero, but taken too far, you're Family Guy). Second episode was by far the best, in my opinion.

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    Wow, that third one was depressing, god damn. I like how the writer wrote Peep Show as well, (very) slightly similar?

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    liked the 3rd episode much more than the 2nd. what a trainwreck of a plot!

    i think the 3rd episode actually should have been shown first, and the 1st episode last. to end the whole thing on a lighter note. the 1st episode just set the wrong tone for the series and the 2nd one just felt weird after the satire of the 1st.

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    Loved the end. I didn't think the character was completely loathsome, he wasn't perfect by any means, but there was always at least some reasoning behind his dickish-ness, always stemming from his obsession with going over every tiny detail again and again.

    Good series, will be getting the DVD for sure.

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    I finally had a chance to see this series. Wow. Awesome. Thank you all for discussing this here or I otherwise may have missed it.

    I did enjoy the third one, but like others, not as much as the first two. The thing it seemed to be missing was the satire of today's society in a broad sense, feeling much more focused and narrow. Yes, his obsession aided by technology basically lowered the quality of his life rather than enhancing it, but... well... you could argue that he was better off with the results and knowing what he knew because of the technology. This kind of makes it different than the other episodes.

    Also, someone said the first one ended happily.... did it? I certainly didn't feel that way.

    Spot on satire all around. Excellent work.

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    I started watching this on a whim while browsing through TV series options a few days ago. This show is amazing so far. I was sad that there are only 3 episodes per season.

    episode 1 of season 1 had a lot of echos back to the whole Sony/TheInterview/NorthKorea drama that unfolded recently.

    Also, I just realized that Brooker is the guy who made Dead Set, which was a decent show... for a zombie show any way (I love zombie shit).
    Last edited by DigitalChaos; 12-28-2014 at 01:32 AM.

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    Black Mirror - White Christmas was on this week. A one off with Jon Hamm.

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    Black Mirror has been commissioned to be a "Netflix Original!"
    They have ordered 12 episodes, and are scheduled to start shooting in the next few months!
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/09/...ed-for-netflix

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