What makes Black Mirror successful is how the things that happen are just on the cusp of believability. The technology made and shown is used in a way that doesn't make you go "Huh, how would we use it?" more "When will it be made?" which is such an important thing to get down. Waldo for me failed to execute properly on the latter because we already have character-led satire. It permeates...well, almost all satirical comedy. So it needed to extrapolate it onto a society-wide level that enough people could get behind without being cynical of or out-right disliking it.
I actually think there's an intentional mirror to the sets of episodes. Be Right Back and The Entire History of You follow a similar premise, with the invention of a technology that changes our behaviour and gives a specific example of how in one person's case, it breaks them. The middle two, White Bear and Fifteen Million Merits, look at a specific phenomenon(s) and take it to a logical conclusion with a relevant context. The National Anthem and The Waldo Moment (for me the weakest two episodes) do a sort of "What if?" at an obsession we have in society and culture; in the former it's of the influence of the internet and how ingrained we are to distance from a matter, whilst in the latter its a similar message of the power of anonymity and a belief that the political players are not in-tune with the public, or carry a message that the public wants to listen to. Or something like that.Quote:
Regarding 'Be Right Back', I felt it jumped the shark when the android entered the scene. It occurs to me that 'BRB' and 'The Entire History of You' (the two episodes you mentioned) focus on the interpersonal consequences of technology whereas the other four episodes operate on a broader societal level.
I'm interested to see what is done next with Black Mirror as I imagine there'll be more. I fully expect they'll carry on a theme of "Extended to society", "What if?" and "New technology".
And on a different note, just watching through some DVD collections. Archer, season 3, was enjoyable but I felt lacking a little bit. I think that's me though. I've never been completely in love with Archer like it seems a lot of the fans are, with a few episodes going by without me raucously laughing away and whilst I don't expect that, they can sometimes feel a little flat. I know season 5 is changing things up so maybe they were just running a little low, but I did expect a little bit more. The Burt Reynolds episode was great though.
Also for season 3, Community. So far half-way through and I've been immensely enjoying it. I was a little soured at the end of season 2 with its double paint-ball special (which went from fantastic in the western setting to highly disappointing in the shift to the Star Wars parody) but nowhere near enough to stop watching. Anyhow, there's been some great moments and it remains highly enjoyable to watch. Remedial Chaos Theory gets a particular mention with the insane number of events that happen in that scenario and more recently, the episode where they dress up as celebrities was great to see everyone throwing themselves at Winger (particular laugh-out-loud moment goes to the Dean, upon seeing Winger with glasses on, just instantly falls to the floor). Oh, the Christmas episode wasn't bad. I thought the shots at Glee felt a bit overly forced initially, but it rounded it out well and Alison Brie's sketch was hilarious. I'd love to know who exactly was singing through that episode. Obviously Donald Glover is the easy one to know he was rapping.
Gosh, as for returning TV, I'm undecided if I want to carry on watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The former was "Eh, it's alright, I suppose" whist the latter, well, I think we know. I might just skip Agents and see if response to a second season are better, or at least later episodes this one. As for Brooklyn, I think I might just give it up. It's not really doing much for me other than taking up time, which I could spend, say, actually getting round to watching season 2 of Twin Peaks.
The last Sherlock episode is terrible. Had to shut it off after an hour. Mary is good as a comedic character but this episode shows she was miscast. The mind palace scenes are embarrassing, the DRAMA is so, so overdone... At least I won't spend two years being hyped for the next season.
The Walking Dead
Trust me -- they have a new showrunner for season 4 and the payoff is worth the wait.Quote:
season 3 has major problems with suspension of disbelief.
I really hope with that final twist in Sherlock that they're going down the route of Sherlock having faked Moriarty's return to get himself out of a jam, and play with the whole notion of Sherlock effectively creating his own nemesis to give him something to do. It'd let the show go somewhere interesting again.
I think the point of the episode is to warn against 'protest' politics that don't accomplish anything. People were attracted to Waldo because he voiced their discontent with The System, but he never offers any alternative. Worse, by channeling all this discontent in an ultimately useless and non-threatening direction, Waldo actually ends up reinforcing the status quo: people disengage from real politics and the co-option of democracy by monied interests continues apace. That's what the guy from the American 'Agency' showing up was about: the PTB thinking "hey, we can use this..." We see something similar in 'Fifteen Million Merits' where Bing is ultimately co-opted by the system he sought to protest against.
Archer - 5x01 - White Elephant
A fun opening minute in an episode that proved to be mostly set-up for the rest of the season. I knew they were going to be dramatically shaking things up but I wasn't expecting to see Brett get killed. Shot yes, but not in the head. The completely new direction looks fun though, and I'm optimistic for it. And is it just me or did the animation seem a little more fluid than in previous seasons?
Lana: "Like FIFTY TIMES I asked you about that!" Mallory: "And like fifty times I lied."
Mallory: "I think I'll start shopping my memoires. How does the title 'Secrets & Silk' grab you?" Archer: "Tightly. By my childhoods' throat."
Almost Human - 1x08 - You Are Here
Interesting take on the Magic Bullet in this one. There's something really disturbing about the whole idea of personalised advertisement software allowing you to be being tracked by a bullet from a mile away. It's almost as if they've combined peoples' fears about online privacy and a future version of drone strikes into one plot.
I don't think I'll ever get tired of Kennex suddenly destroying MX units.
Police drone: "Thank you for your co-operation. And remember: Hugs, not drugs."
Rudy: "Does this in any way, even tangentially, involve sex-bots?"
Enlisted - 1x01 - Pilot
New comedy pilot about a US army unit of, shall we say, less than stellar ability. I enjoyed this in the sense that it gave me a Scrubs sort of vibe, but with soldiers rather than doctors. It wasn't exactly laugh out loud funny, but it was in no way terrible. And it's got Captain Anderson himself, Keith David.
Here's the first trailer for Game of Thrones S4 in case anyone hasn't seen it:
Daario was recast :/
The Mountain too, but that's becoming tradition!
The Mountain I can understand given lack of lines, but a bit bold recasting Daario who has featured so prominantly, and to someone who looks so different.
Saying that original Daario was pretty damn wooden as an actor. They needed a better actor.
The whole episode was build-up to the next thing happening which was the build-up to the thing after that until the rather obvious ending, I thought. You either have the gun you brought with you or the police/secret service. No-one is surviving the incident without being shot, c'mon. The interest was what would happen after the fact and it's not like they were going to keep him out of the country given that in the previous finale they blooming 'killed' him. The whole thing felt very devoid of energy. The most interesting part was the most insane part, Sherlock's mind processing being shot, a sequence that lasted way too long.
I didn't not like the episode, but I hardly like it. There seems to be the need for one bad egg a series. This was this one. It just had too much guff. I'll give it credit for openly mocking Murdoch though, so it has that at least in its favour.
EDIT: Oh, and that reminds me, the BBC need to get some better sound mixers because god damn if it isn't hard to hear what people are saying at times.
In contrast, Fifteen Million Merits works because it just needed to affect one person, Bing himself. There's a self-awareness too that he's being allowed to do this and you can see the resentment, practically feel it coming through the screen, as you watch the finale. He basically just wanted his voice to be heard, but I don't think he realistically expected anything to come from it. He was almost blind-sided by the actual invitation to then keep on doing what he was doing in controlled opposition.
Even if that summation is wrong, the fact that it was a personal story meant that it's more open to personal weakness. One person being co-opted given the circumstances that led them there? Utterly believable. An entire nation, nay, the world? Not at all. I don't at all disagree with your general point, however. I also actually thought the coda was going to be a teaser for the next series, which probably would've left the story on a better note.
Elementary is very, very entertaining. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu have fantastic chemistry. When Rhys Ifans shows up as Mycroft Holmes I was amazed at how well he could pull off an English accent.
I've heard decent things about Elementary. A couple of friends have watched it, describe it as a very much thing-of-the-week, but on a slightly higher intellectual level. Might be worth a watch, but I don't know of anyone who has described it as better than Sherlock.
Finished watching Community season 3 on DVD and on the whole, it was good. I thought the last few episodes were really teetering on the edge, but I'll let the finale off for it being potentially the last episode and needing to tie up some things. I was actually really let down by the video game episode which, whilst obviously fantastically novel in concept, I didn't think at all translated well to watching. I'm now left to contemplate whether or not next year I'll be getting season 4 on DVD, or waiting another year and starting up again from 5, thus proving there can be some usefulness out of waiting to watch stuff.
I'm surprised that no one mentioned True Detective yet. First episode is actually awesome. Whole thing have strong mood, it's based mostly on dialogues and it have Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as main characters. They're both bloody brilliant here, especially McConaughey, this could be his greatest role ever.
If you like really good shows (I mean really, really good, The Wire, Breaking Bad etc. good) you should go watch it right now.
Talking of cop shows Justified is back \o/. Though Raylan Givens would refute the idea that he's technically a cop being a federal marshal and all. But he still gets to carry a gun and shoot fools legally.