Author Topic: The Charlie Brooker Thread  (Read 24297 times)

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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #210 on: January 01, 2017, 05:26:55 PM »
Can't. Fucking. Wait. To watch this.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #211 on: January 05, 2018, 08:52:31 AM »
Black Mirror season 4!

So halfway through episode one, USS Callister, I thought: This is the modern Black Mirror gateway episode. But then they lamed out the ending.

One thing I've noticed about Black Mirror 1.5: The Netflix Era is how American it is. I saw that last season. The edgy, introspective, and, frankly, disturbing and occasionally unwatchable social commentary of the first two seasons has faded. Now we're telling stories, and we're often telling them with American actors pitched towards American audiences. USS Callister is certainly a product of the "American" Black Mirror. I'm worried that season 4 is going to be more about stories set in the old Black Mirror universe, but that's it. So the general themes of Black Mirror are there: The same tech is being used, and we get that fucking song (which, when it was recently used for a movie trailer, almost gave me PTSD flashbacks to season one). But we're kind of losing the moral of the story.

In fact -- let's talk about those themes! When Black Mirror was fully British, it took us two seasons to figure out that everything was happening in the same universe and these were all stories from "Sometime Next Tuesday" or whatever. In fact, it took the Christmas special -- which is essentially the bridge between the British Black Mirror and the American Black Mirror -- to tell us outright: Yes, all the episodes are connected. But now that's a given. It's a little bit shark jumpy...

But, just one episode down. And, of course, we all knew Black Mirror would be destroyed by Netflix. It had to be, just for the sake of encouraging the audience to binge watch instead of squirm through six episodes over the course of a year.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #212 on: January 05, 2018, 10:57:32 AM »
I still have no concept of what Black Mirror is. I thought it was a documentary series for a long time.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #213 on: January 05, 2018, 11:29:39 AM »
I still have no concept of what Black Mirror is. I thought it was a documentary series for a long time.

It's Charlie Brooker's social commentary on how technology will eat us alive. Told in a series of standalone stories where people are slaves to embedded technology (sometimes literally, sometimes subtly), we follow the unconnected lives of various people trying to escape and generally failing. Or maybe they just do something stupid and the technology they love becomes their enemy/obsession.

All stories are set in the near future, and range from the straightforward (a terrorist holding the country hostage until the PM fucks a pig on live TV) to the experimental (a dialogue-free, black and white wasteland adventure where a woman is pursued by a cyborg dog).

Many of the stories are twisted takes on sci-fi staples: A woman is punished for murder by having to live through a creepy simulation over and over again, social standing thrives on people who vote you up or down social media style (an episode that the Orville copied almost scene for scene), a memory chip which allows you to recall everything you've seen or heard proves to see and hear a bit too much for one guy's fucked up life, a man's wife dies and he brings her back from the dead as a Siri-style disembodied voice simulation, a shock-jock wades into politics as the voice of a cartoon bear and inadvertently wins, leading to the establishment of a dystopian police state, etc...

The basic premise is: This is where we'll all be in 20 years. Slaves to social media, embedded recording devices, phones smarter than we are, and a sort of cloud-based emergent AI crushing us all.

Brooker is essentially doing a 21st Century Twilight Zone. There's usually a twist, there's usually a moral to the story. Being Brooker, he rarely pulls his punches. Some episodes are cringeworthy mainly because you'll recognize yourself in the characters.


Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #214 on: January 05, 2018, 11:35:03 AM »
Man, do I have to get drunk and do my paradigm shift rant for you.

I can't remember the term. (It's not the singularity.) However, there' this idea that technology is evolving faster than we can keep up with us. This happened during the industrial age but the curve wasn't really or sharp or rose as fast as it is with digital technology.

Anyway, my paradigm shift rant encompasses that, Trump, #MeToo, the environment, evolution/extinction, and the interconnected pandora's box that's been opened in the Internet Age. Nobody knows how we'll come out on the other side or even if humanity (as we know it) has any place on the other side.

Anyway, Black Mirror sounds like The Twilight Zone which I love so I should start watching eh? (And Brooker too!) How many seasons so far?

Offline nacho

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #215 on: January 05, 2018, 11:46:11 AM »
Man, do I have to get drunk and do my paradigm shift rant for you.

I can't remember the term. (It's not the singularity.) However, there' this idea that technology is evolving faster than we can keep up with us. This happened during the industrial age but the curve wasn't really or sharp or rose as fast as it is with digital technology.

Anyway, my paradigm shift rant encompasses that, Trump, #MeToo, the environment, evolution/extinction, and the interconnected pandora's box that's been opened in the Internet Age. Nobody knows how we'll come out on the other side or even if humanity (as we know it) has any place on the other side.

Anyway, Black Mirror sounds like The Twilight Zone which I love so I should start watching eh? (And Brooker too!) How many seasons so far?

Doc was teaching about that curve in the 90s!

Four seasons of Black Mirror. Three episodes pr season for the first two, with one Christmas Special. Then it goes to Netflix with a third season that's sort of a hybrid between British Black Mirror and What Netflix, Inc Would Like To See. That's six episodes. And now this very Americanized season (so far). Also six episodes. 

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #216 on: January 05, 2018, 12:07:48 PM »
Oh! British episodes! I think that's the way to go actually. Six to Eight episodes per season seems about right for an arc. Otherwise you're just stalling.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Charlie Brooker Thread
« Reply #217 on: January 07, 2018, 12:48:27 PM »
So season 4 is, by far, the weakest of the series. It's the season where Black Mirror has finally gone to Brooker's head. The finale is, in fact, an exploration of exactly that problem, which complicates my desire to say I hated this season because the moral of this season is: "Ha, ha. I bet you hated this season."

Oh, Charlie... Always a step ahead.