he latest season of Black Mirror arrived on Netflix last week, with a lot to live up to. Keep reading to find out what I thought of the latest offering.
I went into Season 5 with high expectations. Retro gaming reimagined has all the hallmarks of a classic episode. An alternate reality where people can explore gender and sexual identity; this episode could have broken new ground. However, in my opinion, it fell short.
The idea of finding love in immersive gaming and the conflict this causes with real-life relationships is interesting. While the episode touched upon this topic, the nature and wider implications of these relationships were only superficially covered. It seemed too simple for the characters to revert to a ‘normal’ life.
At the end of the episode we see the main character about to explain everything, however, the scene is cut to reveal a ‘happy ever after’; a disappointing end to episode one.
Episode 2 starts out more promising. It is darker from the outset, with a richness that I have come to expect from the Black Mirror series. However, as the episode progresses, it turns more crime drama than futuristic dystopia.
So much could have been made of the cautionary phrase which echoes through the beginning the episode; ‘you didn’t look up, and look where it got you’. I enjoyed the episode but I am unsure if it belongs in Black Mirror.
Cloning Miley Cyrus definitely sounds like a nightmare, so a good start for episode 3. However, the episode revolves around a young talent and an exploitative aunt, a teen hero and school talent show. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d slipped over to the Disney Channel.
As with the other episodes, I feel more could have been made of the core themes. The idea of cloned consciousness put into toys seems reminiscent of the Black Museum season 4, however, it’s not nearly as sinister as I had anticipated. Halfway through the episode, I was predicting an army of toy dolls grooming the next generation and isolating them from human interaction. What did I get? Another happy ending.