Television Black Mirror

DouLou

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Well, I liked the second episode. It was essentially a 40minute build up to a Charlie Brooker rant to let us know how shit X Factor and all its ilk are, but generally speaking Charlie Brooker rants are super-duper.

It was completely different to the first in terms of pacing and style, I liked the whole alternate world where facebook is basically life, (although maybe that's not far off for some). I guess to sum up the episode - Facebook is overused, we spend our money on meaningless dribble, mocking fat people is fun, and in a super advanced alternate reality - the graphics in computer games are only as good as your production budgets allow.

Anyone else catch the ad for This is England 88'?
 

Mockney

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I liked it again, but I don't think it was nearly as good as the first one. It isn't really fair to compare them since they're stand alone's, but I nevertheless am going to do exactly that in a minute.

I like Daniel Kaluuya and I'm glad he's getting some more prominent stuff, and both he & the girl did well in their roles. My only criticism would be that their roles weren't really up to much. In fact none of the characters in this felt written beyond a sort of 3 word synopsis. There seemed like there was going to be a love triangle at one point, but then there wasn't. It seemed a bit like they'd written a much longer script, but it'd been edited down for the cut. Which in fairness is probably the case.

The first one was driven entirely by the story & what people were talking about after was what had happened. I've got the feeling the water cooler moments of this one - ironically for a show about how we're obsessed with just material junk - will be just how cool and well realised all the material junk was.

It felt like the Brookers had far more fun coming up with all the ingenious ways in which this nightmare iPad land would play out (and they were ingenious) that the story was sort of bunged on there in the end a bit. Also Julia Davis was criminally underused as an X Factor Judge.

Still hugely imaginative and entertaining, but more viscerally than narratively. There was a lot more style than substance there, though it was admittedly great style. And I did like the satirical self deprecation of the aceberic critic turned willing participant.

Also props to datura for rooting out the song. Irma Thomas - Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand) - YouTube
 

MikeUpNorth

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I liked it, but it felt incomplete to me. None of the characters really went on much of a journey.
 

DouLou

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I liked it, but it felt incomplete to me. None of the characters really went on much of a journey.
Mockney got it pretty spot on when he said it seemed like Brookers had more fun with creative his spooky little world than actually putting together a story.

It was quite meandering. Nowhere near as intense as the first, which to be fair would be hard to match.
 

Mockney

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The characters were all a bit 1 dimensional, and the story a bit rushed. The world was great though.
 

Spoony

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I don't the think characters were intended to be anything more than drone like. And why did that porn station keep coming on?
 

NewDawnFades

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The protagonist getting success inside the system as a result of holding a blade to his neck and pointing out all its flaws.. Brooker is alluding to himself, right?
 

Mockney

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I don't the think characters were intended to be anything more than drone like. And why did that porn station keep coming on?
I think that's too easy. There were plenty of non drone like characters (the obnoxious bully, the girl with the big arse who fancied him, and all the judges) who just weren't given anything more than a very crude depiction. I think this is more due to time constraints tbh, but it was noticeable for me.

The porn thing was an allusion to pop ups I'd imagine. And to make it more dramatic that he couldn't turn away from it.

The protagonist getting success inside the system as a result of holding a blade to his neck and pointing out all its flaws.. Brooker is alluding to himself, right?
The aceberic outsider who becomes famous by criticising it but actually ends up making a living out of being part of it all? Yep.
 

Smores

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Just watched them both back to back, brilliant as always from Brooker. I'm surprised with the comments about the second episode, I felt it actually finished at a natural point and if anything it was the first episode which left me wanting to see that little bit more.

The statement may have taken precedent over the narrative but I disagree with the characters being too one-dimensional. He had to be almost comfortably numb and at the same time filled with rage, if Bing had more aspects to his life it just takes away from the empty and materialistic nature of his world. The characters who did display more character were there to humanise it somewhat and portray the dark side of human nature.

Maybe I've missed the point but criticising a character for being too one-dimensional when he's supposed to be essentially devoid of character and merely an empty consumer seems odd.

How many episodes is he supposed to be doing?
 

Spoony

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I think that's too easy. There were plenty of non drone like characters (the obnoxious bully, the girl with the big arse who fancied him, and all the judges) who just weren't given anything more than a very crude depiction. I think this is more due to time constraints tbh, but it was noticeable for me.

The porn thing was an allusion to pop ups I'd imagine. And to make it more dramatic that he couldn't turn away from it.



The aceberic outsider who becomes famous by criticising it but actually ends up making a living out of being part of it all? Yep.
Perhaps, but they were one dimensional too, as for the judges...they were parodies - hardly anything other than cartoon characters. And I don't think it was a coincidence that the people wore grey sweatsuits...if anything Bling broke the mould until he essentially became a part of the machine again. I liked it....kind of BNW meets 1984 and Network.
 

Eriku

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Well... Whatever one thinks it's different from anything else we regularly see on TV. It's a fairly subtle brick that's hurled at us, and I like that Brooker has the confidence to imagine these weird things that are completely unrelated to each other and are self-contained, not to mention stylistically quite different.

I'm greedily anticipating the concluding installment of the miniseries.

Only just wiki'd the show to find that it's the case... I could have gone for more than three, even if the next one were a miss, but I won't moan as I like it when series don't overstay their welcome on the screens, and Brooker could probably have pushed for more if he felt he knew what he'd do with those extra slots.
 

Dobba

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He said in an interview last week that he'd love to do more of them and Channel 4 would be stupid not to commission at least another 3 as it's in a different league to the dross they are serving up at the moment.
 

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It is pretty good, Looking forward to the third episode, if it's anywhere near as good as the first it should surely go down as one of the best mini series ever. Probably in the same league as the Children Of Earth miniseries for Torchwood.
 

Mockney

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C-Brok isn't writing the 3rd incidentally, it's penned by Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show fame. The concept sounds great.

Also while on him, he's one of the staff writers on Iannucci's new HBO series Veep. Which is basically the Thick of It made for America, but about the higher ups (based around a sort of Hilary Clinton-ish model Vice President [Veep]) and it stars the woman from Seinfeld & Buster from Arrested Development.

It'll be out early next year. Just thought I'd throw that out there since the Brooker crowd will probably have similar pro-Armando sensibilities.
 

Smores

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The annoying thing about that episode is that it ended.
 

Pogue Mahone

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The latest one is completely different to the first two. Much less over the top and played totally straight. No humour at all. Good though. Like a bang up to date episode of the Twilight Zone. Think it might be the best of the three. Very clever central conceit.
 

MikeUpNorth

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Facebook timeline is going live globally this week isn't it? Timely.
 

Badunk

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Enjoyed that. I think that type of technology would just feck with your head. You would over-analyze every little thing. You wouldnt be able to get away with jackshit.

"Did you just fart?"

"NO!"

"Show me the redo then"

"Aw, for feck's sake. I did! Ok? Happy now?"
 

Zen

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Facebook timeline basically a new name for their fancy new page....it's not giving out any more new info than was possibly to get before, just ever so slightly easier to go further back....anyone visiting my page still wouldn't see much as I don't allow them to see much, some pictures, my statuses(not exactly many of them).....and then random youtube clips i post.

Either way, I got all three of these recorded since I managed to find a C4HD repeat of them on Tuesdays(well I need to wait until this Tuesday to get the second one), the first episode of it was fascinating, superb commentary on the whole twitter/youtube era we are in right now.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Brooker's a bit of a technophobe isn't he? But the facebook thing...it's a flipping scrapbook man.

I hate Facebook and Twatter though.
He's actually a massive geek, if anything. Used to be a games reviewer and is still a big fan of gaming.

He's incredibly misanthropic in general though. Which makes Twitter and X Factor obvious targets for his ire.
 

Mockney

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Brooker is a technofile if anything. Plus he didn't write this one. But yeah, he's a natural cynic.

I agree with Pogue, I think this was possibly the best one. It's between it & the first for me anyway. It's oddly got a few luke warm reviews, maybe because people expected a bit more of a scope from it after the last one, but I thought it was far better written. It was certainly far more tense and uncomfortable (like to first one) to watch, and I thought Kebbell was great, even though he was playing a bit of a dick.

There are a few things it possibly could've expanded on that it didn't, the idea that we can create false memories for example, or the black market in other peoples memories - which I initially thought was where it was going (I thought he'd hire someone to jack hers out of obsession to see her past) but as with the 2nd one, the time constraints dictated it had to be relatively contained. So I thought it did a very good job in exploring the way these things would inevitably become nightmares in relationships.

All in all I thought the series was great. I'm sure they will commission a new one after the rave reviews it's gotten.

Interesting Pizzle should say Twilight Zone. 'Cos that's what Brooker said he hoped it'd be compared to. I'd say he's largely succeeded.
 

Spoony

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Yeah he's clearly cynical. I thought it was very good....but I think the first one's the best overall. As for memories and such, surely we perceive things differently to each other? But the memories in Brooker's final installment were more like recordings from a camcorder. Also, it would be interesting to see memories of people with mental illness'.
 

Mockney

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Brooker didn't do this one Spoons...I think I mentioned it once or twice...It was the guy who wrote Peep Show. But yeah, they threw out that idea and then never ran with it. Would've maybe been good if him & her remembered things slightly differently perhaps? Like maybe he'd progressively remember the same memory worse and worse each time. But then that might not have worked with the way they went with it. The fixating on small details and what not.
 

MikeUpNorth

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Brooker didn't do this one Spoons...I think I mentioned it once or twice...It was the guy who wrote Peep Show. But yeah, they threw out that idea and then never ran with it. Would've maybe been good if him & her remembered things slightly differently perhaps? Like maybe he'd progressively remember the same memory worse and worse each time. But then that might not have worked with the way they went with it. The fixating on small details and what not.
I thought the whole point of the grains was to preserve the fidelity of the 'memories'?
 

Mockney

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Presumably yeah. Since customs used it as well. But the woman at the dinner party talked about the possibility of suggestion throwing it off. Which was an interesting way they could've gone. I also thought the whole grainless movement/mugging people for memories could make for another interesting plot strand.
 

Spoony

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Brooker didn't do this one Spoons...I think I mentioned it once or twice...It was the guy who wrote Peep Show. But yeah, they threw out that idea and then never ran with it. Would've maybe been good if him & her remembered things slightly differently perhaps? Like maybe he'd progressively remember the same memory worse and worse each time. But then that might not have worked with the way they went with it. The fixating on small details and what not.
He was clearly looking for something, it just happened that he was right...I think he would've found the same path without the grain - but we all do stuff like that, I guess... paranoia eh? But yeah...I think the scope was massive but they didn't quite follow it through, a missed opportunity perhaps? probably. Whether it would've worked or not...I think it could've been more interesting. Anyway, cracking TV...best thing I've seen for a long time. It's a shame the box is full of reality TV shows and what not.
 

MikeUpNorth

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Presumably yeah. Since customs used it as well. But the woman at the dinner party talked about the possibility of suggestion throwing it off. Which was an interesting way they could've gone. I also thought the whole grainless movement/mugging people for memories could make for another interesting plot strand.
The dinner party woman said the power of suggestion can manipulate people's actual brain-stored memories (which is true, google 'false memories'), not the grains.