The Incomparable

337b: ...But Too Much


  the Intolerable episode 338 7777 buddy

  this is a bonus edition of the

  incomparable I like to have our episodes

  not be two and a half hours long and

  sometimes that means i cut things out of

  episodes because you know me

  you've got time that you want to spend

  on other things and two-and-a-half hour

  long podcast is too long i think in most

  cases but you know I don't want to judge

  some people love as much as they can get

  of anything we talked about and in this

  case we talk about black mirror that was

  what happened episode 337 and this is a

  sub episode to that because basically we

  talked for so long about every single

  black mirror episode that it wasn't

  gonna fit so instead what we did myself

  John siracusa David lure brian hamilton

  our conversation about black mirror the

  eight episodes that we didn't like as

  much as the five that we loved is going

  to be put in this appendix episode so if

  you want to hear us talk about more

  episodes of black mirror here it is

  I will warn you if we haven't talked

  about your favorite episode yet in the

  main show it means we didn't like it as

  much as the other five so be prepared if

  you're a big fan of white bear you're

  going to be disappointed with what we

  think of it but hey it's fun

  everybody gets to have their own opinion

  thank you for listening to be

  uncomfortable and enjoy the rest of

  black mirror the national anthem was

  episode 1 of series 1 a black mirror

  this famously is the episode that

  involves basically tech a day an

  anarchist blackmails the there

  the Prime Minister of England into

  having sex with a pig on us on live TV

  or he'll kill a princess and this got

  the news when it was reported last year

  that the prime minister of bread

  David Cameron was a in a secret society

  in college that apparently had an

  initiation ritual slightly related to

  the plot of this purpose would but the

  idea here is that you know using using

  modern media techniques they escalate

  the pressure on the prime minister to do

  a egg to commit an unspeakable act in

  public and and shame himself and there's

  this question of like what can they do

  and will you will you give in to the

  demands of this terrorist or anarchist

  or will you not what people think very

  grimy episode made me feel gross

  watching it I if it was so sort of such

  a grim view of everything involved it

  just set the tone for the series and

  submit one of the things that maybe not

  come back to her for a long time was

  like yeah I see what they're doing there

  that's fine like this theme for me for a

  lot of black mirror is I feel like

  everybody's seen it before or already

  know what they're gonna tell me and have

  learned this lesson and don't need to

  learn it again and it's not you know you

  mentioned in this lack earlier the like

  maybe you've seen too much sci-fi now I

  think it's like most adults who are even

  remotely enter the sort of you know this

  kind of genre fiction have seen these

  things before and the national anthem

  was like you've seen this before

  we'll make it a little bit more grimy

  and gross and and have it be ripped from

  the headlines and I was just not

  interested right

  didn't watch it have too many problems

  with the premises ok David yeah I'm

  pretty much with john i saw it years and

  years ago and kinda went yeah okay you

  want to be read certainly but you need

  to be a better writer and then the whole

  David Cameron thinking about you go

  mmm he knows something but it's you know

  I've enjoyed charlie brooker before this

  has a comedian and a panel show host on

  BBC radio and he goes to an acid black

  show called so wrong it's right which is

  about horrible horrible stories so it

  made sense when it was like oh this is

  charlie brooker writing fiction but

  then-then isn't fiction

  yeah it's not as much friction as we

  thought I didn't I think this one is

  fine myself I i literally I have it in

  the eye I put them all in order and this

  is literally in the middle it is it

  isn't number 713 on my list and I have

  it as I i divided my black mirror

  episodes into three camps which is I

  liked it

  I I appreciate it but I have some real

  problems with it and I hate it and this

  is this leads the i appreciated but I

  have some real problems that it's dark

  there parts of that I don't like but

  what I did like about it is that it

  takes its premise and and this is true

  for a lot of black mare episodes it

  takes its premise and it explores it


  I feel like it explores the

  ramifications of what this is to an

  extreme like every little bit of it and

  i actually like the way this one ends

  because it ends darkly but also with a

  an optimism about the public that it

  turns out is not present in almost any

  other episode where Prime Minister goes

  through with this the the princess is

  released and we view you know down the

  road a little bit there's a flat they're

  sort of a time gap and that he is a he

  still prime minister and he's still

  popular but his wife despises him

  basically so that's that's a little dark

  twist but i thought wow they didn't you

  know show him like as a as a

  a drunk in an alleyway drinking out of a

  bottle and a paper bag like thick that

  it could have been darker and it turns

  out every other episode is pretty much

  darker than than that but but i did i

  did like that and and and what it says

  about like the political calculations

  and and being in public and and if

  somebody makes an outrageous demand your

  you're a public figure I just I mean

  that basic premise of what if this

  happened what would what would the

  result be and it moves through every

  step along the way I like that about it

  but it's not someone that I think I

  would want to revisit ever

  it's okay Brian you don't need to watch

  that 1i have so many opinions about that

  i'm not going to say anything because I

  have not watched it all right subtree I

  want bacon

  I just I don't know get outdated get uh

  yeah us in him so let's move on to the

  second episode of the first series which

  was called 15 million merits this is an

  episode about people this this is like

  the far future dystopia episode in a way

  which is there are people and all they

  do all day is like right exercise bikes

  in order to generate power and they get

  they get you know electronic currency

  that they can use to buy things and the

  only way out of this you know bicycling

  job of theirs is to become a contestant

  on a reality talent show

  so you know it's kind of a broad premise

  and we meet a we meet a nice young man

  named being who who is a who overhears a

  woman singing and thinks that she could

  try out for the reality singing show and

  cleanser his or gives her his his

  credits that he inherited and she wins

  on the show in a terrible way where they

  decide that they don't want her to be a

  singer they wanted to be a porn star and

  it's either that or back to the bicycle

  and so she accepts and then he is sort

  of destroyed by watching this happen

  saves up to be on the talent show

  himself decides to tell them all off

  threatens to kill himself

  and of course in the in the dark twist

  they appreciate his threatening to get

  killed himself while ranting about how

  unfair the world is and hire him to do

  that same thing every week on television

  that's a 15 million merits Brian would

  you think about this one

  you know honestly despite all the fat

  phobia ableism and terrible treatment of

  women i still have this episode you know

  the fact that the fat phobia is part of

  the satire though i would argue in this

  one I think that that is I think that I

  that's how I read that one is that that

  is that is not we're not supposed to be

  laughing at that that is part of the

  horrible world that they live in that

  there's like initially awful character

  that's in there yeah i agree but at the

  same time the fact that they're putting

  all the stuff into the show and the fact

  that it ends with this weird commentary

  about you know consumerism and the whole

  suicide thing what bothers me the most

  is that I don't think that was worth all

  the other terrible stuff that happened

  to me episode that ending and that

  character was not worth us having to

  watch the terrible things happen

  well David step back and look at any of

  it oh I i I've got like eight windows

  open here because i'm running a podcast

  I don't have time to chat sorry I'm back

  I'm back every no idea what you've said

  all right three minutes John so this

  this episode I had some hope for the

  show after like all going to come back

  to the show up the first terrible

  episode and like all right there's some

  interesting premise here I thought a

  little bit looked a little bit low

  budget like with the exercise bikes and

  little room there in heaven they had

  some interesting ideas but the problem

  was is it was like let's put a bunch of

  humans few of which have like our

  current modern-day sensibilities in an

  absurdly awful situation that is

  unexplained and that they're that every

  every human in this people on the bikes

  the people sweeping up behind them the

  judges are on the the reality show the

  audience on the reality show the stars

  of there

  holiday show every single one of those

  people isn't in a miserable situation

  for unexplained reasons and I they move

  from one miserable situation for

  unexplained reasons to another measure

  and all the medical situations like oh

  you have to open your eyes and watch ads

  oh you the only way out of this grind of

  exercise bike is going to reality show

  oh you are a terrible person in the

  audience laughing at people and being

  cruel all your star of the show and

  you're you're alone and you have your

  glass shard in a little case and

  everything every one of those people


  why are they miserable who is making

  them miserable is this a misery of their

  own created like me there is no

  explanation in their miserable in

  different ways and it's like so the

  lesson is you're always going to be

  miserable in that no matter what because

  the writers are going to make every

  single facet of this new reality

  miserable for reasons that you won't

  explain it was just the whole show felt

  miserable despite the fact that I think

  they had concentrated on one or two

  aspects of it that you could you can

  have a dystopia but I want there to be

  some reason that SOB came to be other is

  just that they felt like they were all

  hemmed in by the writer so and then have

  the greatest one big thumbs down

  David yeah i'm i'm right there with you

  it's it was you you need something and

  and I hate watching things where it's

  literally the writers did this because

  the writers wanted to do it i have that

  problem with Sherlock two things happen

  because Moffitt and marketers want them

  to happen and this was very much the

  same way it's it's interesting to look

  at their there are a lot of interesting

  ideas but there's just no there's no

  hook to it there's no point so I this is

  this one is in my top half and toward

  the bottom but it's in my top half

  I i like the little opinions I I yeah I

  like it for what it is which is I think

  that the world they yet why is that just

  hope you you know again the matrix

  powering using people as batteries also

  doesn't make any sense i'm going to let

  it i'm going to make sense that

  machine's want to kill humans and make

  sense there is a subjugated and as

  subjugate or but in this episode's just

  why are there coupons but why are there

  people on exercise bikes at it because

  it's a method of control or something

  like that but who's controlling them but


  mr. but purely as purely again purely as

  a as a metaphor i enjoyed the I the

  mechanics of earning the merits and of

  being trying to be generous

  I appreciate the fact that any belief we

  have that this that the work this world

  could be even remotely good or fair is

  ripped away with what happens to a be in

  when she appears onstage I love as a max

  headroom fan from way back i love the

  the detail that you can not only can you

  not turn off the TV but you must watch

  it and it will if you close your eyes it

  knows and it will let you until you open

  your eyes and look at what it's showing

  you which on max headroom make it

  through like a blanket over the TV they

  always were on but you could cover them

  and in this they know everything about

  you i thought that was a really nice bit

  that will that will come to stick with

  me and you know as ridiculous as it is

  where he threatens to kill himself and

  they and they applauded him and say you

  can do that every week it and it is


  like I said was toward the bottom of my

  of my top app but I i did like the the

  weird bittersweetness of him basically

  living in a penthouse being able to look

  at big windows into the outside world

  and drink fresh orange juice as an

  example of just how bizarre and an

  unfair this whole society is and more

  importantly that his rebellion his act

  of rebellion is is completely co-opted

  and I I kind of enjoy opted by who

  nobody will ever see by the system

  manual about the system yet can't

  there's there's not even a hint of the

  system install yy-you sorry it makes me

  angry because like that is but I don't

  think our that new but there's a lot of

  them in there you can make a good show

  about the have you have to watch ads

  right you could even make a good show

  about the reality show and about you can

  make a good show about the futility of

  rebellion but surrounding them you need

  you need a system and some antagonists

  and a power structure there's no power

  structure the power structure is writers

  at the top

  everybody in the show at the back yeah

  yeah I mean there's no big brother

  there's no zig zag corporation there's

  there's just nothing opposing all of it

  it's just happening

  Charlie Brooker is the ruler of the

  society let's move on to number three

  how about that the entire history of you

  1i have one more thing to say about this

  episode of Brian go for it

  contrary to all of that I believe that

  getting rid of any sort of Big Brother

  any overarching thing was the most

  interesting part of this episode to me

  as much as I hated the episode for all

  the other reasons including suicide

  which i completely forgot about earlier

  i really enjoyed the fact that it was up

  to me as the audience to populate

  everything else was happening above the

  people on the bikes and honestly I

  thought that they were living

  underground of our society today and

  that they were the ones powering some

  aspect of our society with their bikes

  which I thought was really interesting

  and if that's not the show at all that's

  just something that came to my mind as I

  was watching trying to make sense of all

  this which is again later that should

  not be put on me the audience but I

  still thought it was interesting that of

  all the things they chose to show and

  subject us to that was the one thing

  they got rid of but when your head Canon

  is more interesting than the thing

  you're watching that's a problem with

  the thing you're watching

  I don't entirely agree with that just

  because I don't think it always matters

  not everything has to flesh out the

  entire world above it I was ok with in I

  mean I i get that for some people to it

  has to be that way but it didn't bother

  me but it was just too much like i was

  saying like I i if we'd only seen the

  people on the bicycle or only senior it

  like it but they showed us every aspect

  of everything but there is no unseen

  part as far as where they showed up so

  much of the world that that's why i end

  up with like the big flat world where

  birds mr. Bowlen just the writers of the

  top pulling the strings whereas if they

  had showed less then you then you all

  you have left is headcanon I'm fine with

  that like when they're intentionally

  withholding and it's like we're just

  going to show you this aspect and you're

  not going to know what the Bob I just

  feel like they showed us too much right

  we don't need to know Big Brother we

  don't need any detailed big brother but

  we need to know that there is one

  yeah I suppose that's true but you mean

  the judges of the reality show don't run

  the let me my out because they're

  they're clearly this is horrible days

  they are you

  rebellion idea they are also miserable

  which is a kind of a nice touch i

  enjoyed that

  alright the entire history of you is an

  episode in which people's everything

  people see is recorded and accessible so

  you have perfect memory and it can be

  played back to other people and the

  implications of that and i think this is

  a this is a another good example of

  taking a taking a premise and then ring

  a whole bunch of problematic

  interpersonal and social implications

  out of perfect replayable memory and it

  and it involves the dissolution of a

  marriage so what people what people

  think of this one

  David of of the first three in the first

  season this would be my favorite mine

  take is it

  yeah well and see you know earlier in

  slack i said okay i don't know your list

  but I see the ratios i think i know

  which ones I think we like the same ones

  this this is just an interesting story

  well told and with it with a devastating

  payoff and it doesn't it doesn't overdo

  it doesn't belabor it just it's exactly

  right Dave sorry i was doing tom

  I think it's very well in terms of

  structuring the story and the characters

  and everything but the tech the tech was

  pretty cool but when it comes down to it

  this was a crappy person using tech

  crappily and you can make this story

  with twitter or text messages or

  anything right now and I don't know if

  what the show did again was worth the

  the emotional turmoil at the characters

  in the audience were put through because

  of the fact that the tech was so minimal

  well the world part but because this

  this is where the show works for me

  because the tech is important you know

  you need the tech for the story but the

  characters are what you're watching and

  and broker does not always care about

  the characters he is he's very into the

  tech in a lot of the shows and this is

  one where it's all it works for me

  and unlike some black mare episodes that

  this in this one the tech exists

  to bring out an implication of our

  social interactions and it actually

  reminded me a little bit of the

  invention of lying the regular basis

  movie which is the you know which is a

  it's got its own problems but the same

  idea is here because the entire history

  of you is about how there are if you can

  see everything that happened and

  remember everything that happened

  it's not necessarily a good thing in

  fact we lie and omit and miss remember

  and forget and it's one of the things

  that allows society and personal

  relationships to function and that if

  your idealistic and say no if everybody

  told the truth or if everything that you

  ever did could be checked that the world

  would be a better place and this is

  broker saying really what it and I

  appreciated that about it to that it

  that is that's what ultimately what it's

  about is what destroys this relationship

  is I mean yeah it's jealousy and there's

  some infidelity and all these other

  things mixed in there but ultimately

  it's about a lack of trust and the

  ability to prove or disprove everything

  in the world and you know I appreciate

  that about it like the first to have

  some really good satirical points and

  and really sharp things to say about the

  tech or about the politics or reality TV

  or whatever

  this one is actually a story about

  people yeah and it's it's something that

  we could live we can see ourselves going

  through the story John really isn't that


  so I am I really complained about that

  again everything the same except one

  piece of technology extended out

  ridiculously and the implications they

  would come from the existence of that

  technology totally ignored because if

  you could do that you could do so many

  other things but like now we just want

  to talk about this but i'm willing to

  mostly forgive that because i like David

  said this is episode about characters

  you could have this episode about slow

  dawning realization of infidelity you

  can have a sudden 1800 and it would

  still be good if done well right and the

  technology angle is what makes us a

  blackberry episodes like here is here

  here is that the black mirror twist on

  it is that at in the way you've seen the

  story told before with the ways that you

  can realize infidelity is happening here

  is a new way to both make a realization

  about it and obsess over both of which

  happened in the in regular life and have

  for millennia like all that stuff

  happens and when it happens always the

  people who are doing it are using the

  tools of the time this is showing us

  imagine if there was another tool and

  like Grayson said you know that the

  implications of being of having more

  information available this is not that

  big of an extension from you know

  Facebook stalking your ex or obsessing

  over text messages or looking at old

  pictures I mean just looking at old

  pictures with the thing that you

  couldn't do before photography because

  you're maybe you had an old painting but

  if you're rich but that's about it right

  so I you know I i would give this one a

  pass on the that the sci-fi trap of

  extending one technology leave

  everything else the same because I

  enjoyed watching it for the characters

  and the story and i think it passes the

  minimum bar for sci-fi ish anthology

  show it with a dim view of these

  particular characters and I also think

  like this one pulls back a little bit i

  mean it's I stuff like it's trying to

  say if we have this tech this is what's

  gonna happen to everybody and I don't

  like that but I'm willing to headcanon

  it back into a narrower story and say

  this is a story about these characters

  and it played out so definitely my

  favorite of the first season

  head-and-shoulders about who I'm okay

  I'm okay with it because i think the

  implication and this is actually the

  biggest problem i have with it is this

  is this is also about how this guy

  is awful I mean it exists driven to it

  but it's like the tech isn't the reason

  this happens he's the reason this


  yeah you feel like the show is blaming

  attack it's like now no not that I mean

  he would also be the facebook stalker

  like Matt this to this so many weekend

  1800 be waiting outside the tavern for

  you to leave he can let the fact that

  that an old boyfriend of his wife is our

  is there he could let it go entirely and

  he doesn't and that leads to a spiral

  that leads to disaster but a more

  confident emotionally balanced human

  being would let it go right and it's

  like the tekkit just enables the spiral

  but he's the reason why i should mention

  this is the only episode of black mirror

  that is not does not contain a charlie

  brooker writing credit at all it is just

  the Armstrongs episode so and you guys

  are really funny i like this the least

  of three of the first season but I still

  thought it was fine i think i thought it

  was fine i thought it was fine I i find

  i find the last half very difficult to

  watch and that's what pushed it down the

  the emotional abuse her know that

  happens as well as the violence as a man

  comes completely on board and does a

  sequence of just parentally awful things

  i find i found really really difficult

  to watch and again the expectations that

  black mirror sets for being a show about

  tech made the ending fall flat for me

  because there really wasn't much of that

  and as so often happens on the

  incomparable this discussion is really

  making me want to go back and re-watch

  it as a character drama with tech any

  and not a text story with some drama in

  it what stood out to me the most about

  this episode was when they're having sex

  while playing back memories of better

  sex and that was the one that really hit

  music oh ok thats that's where the shows

  going to go now okay and that turned me

  off from the rest of the show if i can

  remove that from my mind and re-watch it

  with this new lens of this is a better

  written drama that's not run by Charlie

  Booker i'll give it another shot once

  i'm a little bit more emotionally stable

  after the sponge hashtag premier to and

  and the and the amazing thing about that

  those you know how many times has that

  happened where you do start replaying in

  your mind

  this can literally replay it for you in

  perfect detail and it adds forever and

  is yeah okay let's talk about white bear

  so in white bear a woman wakes up and

  doesn't remember who she is and goes

  outside and there are a bunch of people

  just standing around looking at their

  phones and watching and recording her

  and people try to kill her and she runs

  around and people try to kill her some

  more and she runs around and lady says

  we need to go to the transmitter because

  that will stop people trying to kill us

  and they take her there and it's

  revealed that the transmitter is

  actually the stage of a kind of reality

  TV said would be where they're uh

  they're doing a show about punishing

  murderers by having them feel the fear

  that their victims had and that she

  actually with her boyfriend or husband

  or whoever cat kidnapped a little girl

  and he killed her and so she now is

  sentenced to relive this day over and

  over again that's white bear i have

  opinions about this but I want to hear

  yours first

  Ryan this had the potential to be my

  favorite black mirror episode because my

  history with the show was I watched 15

  million merits first stopped watching

  and then once everyone started talking

  about San junipero i decide to jump back

  in and started with white bear which was

  one that somebody recommended to me and

  it has potential to be my favorite

  because I really thought that the show

  needed some kind of intensity without

  emotional abuse and i'm really into

  horror movies i'm really into this kind

  of it seemed post-apocalyptic almost up

  through the very end and it was

  well-made well-acted well everything

  like we already said about the entire

  series but then the ending the ending

  just threw everything that I loved about

  that episode away and restored faith in

  the fact that blackberry is not a show

  for me there are some episodes a black

  mirror where the big reveal is that

  everybody that we've sort of been

  going for is terrible and they deserve

  everything that you've seen them get and

  you shouldn't feel bad for them and i

  find this kind of a frustrating and

  questionable decision but it's one that

  they keep making so i guess they think

  it's really great to do that so in this

  case you know this woman who seems like

  the victim is revealed to have been a an

  accomplice in the kidnapping and murder

  of a little girl and so we you know

  wherever we're witnessing her you know

  torture as justice essentially yeah John

  Charlie introduction so black mirror it

  is like a collection of things you

  shouldn't do I stories and so this isn't

  this episode is of the the genre where

  I'm going to make a story sci-fi story

  or any start really what happens live on

  syfy where I'm going to pretend the

  human nature has changed so radically

  that the entire world is entirely on

  board with the repeated incredibly cruel

  torture of this admitted you know killer

  our accomplice to murder or whatever and

  they're cheery about it and they bring

  their kids and isn't that super dark and

  terrible and it's like that's not what

  human beings are like I you like that is

  a ridiculous premise especially when its

  unsupported just be the surrounding

  hellscape you know Carrie pig's blood

  nightmare for who

  someone who turns out to be a murderer

  like all those people like it there

  there there and filming and they're so

  like there's not enough psychos in the

  world to fill those slots in that thing

  and the idea that it is a happy

  important part of a functioning Society

  is absurd

  yeah it only exists to further heighten

  the you know the the horror of like I

  can't imagine if I was in that situation

  and then as Jason said the final thing

  which i think is probably not a unique

  black mera twist a signature move of

  saying well guess what that person was

  terrible too so so you have fake people

  who act like humans would never act for

  inexplicable reasons and your heroes

  terrible to the end and was screaming

  yeah David yep yep

  yeah what if black mirror but even but

  too much

  uh yeah this is this is a dub almost I

  don't know its worst are tied for worst

  I i hated this I let me use the way

  we're here

  I despise this episode for lots of


  um you know I despise this episode the

  ok the yeah i mean first off it it feels

  so artificial throughout I mean I get

  that it is kinetic there's a lot of

  action there's car chases and gunfire

  and people running in a showdown at a

  convenience store and all those things

  and it's super creepy because it's like

  as again post-apocalyptic is everybody's

  sort of had their mind taken over by

  this thing this beaming out that's

  making them be like zombies and watching

  or try to kill this lady that but i

  found it unpleasant to watch and I

  didn't really enjoy any but it seems

  sick it is brian i don't like horror

  movies so i can say no you i can see

  that right cuz I don't like horror

  movies is it just felt like that and

  perhaps a competent one so I disliked it

  already and then we get to the we get to

  the twist which one first off I felt was

  completely ridiculous and I and didn't

  help my opinion of it that now what we

  were actually watching is this

  ridiculous kind of reality show the only

  thing in this entire episode that i

  actually liked was over the end credits

  where it's like a production documentary

  of how they make the White Bear the

  trunk atrocity this is the White Bear

  reality show that that made me laugh

  because they're it's all of the

  trappings of a TV shows electronic press

  kit applied to this horrible thing and

  that made me that made me chuckle

  because that's not the only episode of

  black mirror where I felt like this

  little tidbit at the end should have

  been the whole episode because that

  would have been more cutting and instead

  you know instead this feels like like

  some movies that I've disliked over the

  years trying to have their cake and eat

  it too which is where really commenting

  on this by doing the exact same thing

  like now I don't think you get to do

  both of those things so yeah I hated and

  then was just so completely nullifies

  the rest of the show because the only

  thing of substance in the rest of the

  show is build up to a twist at once you

  know what it is that makes the rest of

  the episode you said this is all fake

  right it's all fake out so what you saw

  was a fake you you're seeing a show of a

  show that's fake there are really no

  steaks what you're seeing is this woman

  get terrified and you know did we really

  i mean the only reason I related to her

  is because she was in the opening scene

  and we followed the camera followed her

  but it's not like i emotionally

  connected with her and then was shocked

  when she was revealed to be a murderer

  that didn't really happen i'm just

  following her she runs right yeah if if

  that in sequence had been the whole show

  then you get to have a an hour of of

  sharp cutting satire about justice

  reality shows people's blood lust you

  have all of that

  instead you just have this little tiny

  snippet that you go well and you never

  want to see the rest of the episode

  again because what's the point good

  excuse for action sequences though which

  is what they gave us

  yeah yeah I'd like when it was started

  when and that's the other thing the

  episode was very easy to write the

  ending was very tricky if that had been

  the show it would have been trickier to

  write but it would've been so much

  better and wouldn't have been lazy

  yeah well I'm starting to realize about

  what I hate about black mirror is in

  white bear and 15 million merits

  especially the idea of public shaming

  and this kind of disbelief in the public

  to be any good and especially moments

  where the public is you know gasps

  lighted and convinced into believing

  something by a larger organization

  and we are put through the consequences

  of that by seeing characters that we've

  started to know and love put through

  terrible things not just you know being

  put through terrible things but in front

  of a crowd cheering them on doing like

  amplifying everything it's every single

  pantsless giving a speech dream you've

  had on TV multiple times which is weird

  although i will point out one out there

  is also an episode that i love that will

  get to a black mirror that seems to take

  the opposite tack which i find

  interesting that it isn't arguing with

  itself i don't know we'll get there

  next is the waldo moment which has been

  uh talked about a lot lately because I

  wonder why it is about a puppet the

  puppet nobody know but it is about a pre

  atv kind of cgi animated like live on

  the fly again a little like Max Headroom

  actually although not really he was kind

  of faked out but the idea of Max

  Headroom which is it's a comedian is

  working some equipment and creating this

  computer-generated bear who appears on

  TV and he runs four runs for a stands

  for a by-election for the UK Parliament

  is what happens and against the Tory and

  and labor candidates and the enters the

  debate and appears in a debate after

  harassing the the it's a safe seat for

  the Tories so here asses Tobias Menzies

  who I enjoy in lots of things and he's

  the inventory candidate and miss mr.

  Monroe and and in the end it becomes a

  viral sensation and Waldo the bear

  becomes more and more popular and

  meanwhile there's also a little side

  plot where the CIA comes to them and

  says this would be great to help us

  overthrow other countries that's just in

  there too

  no that's the that's the Walter moment i

  miss now mrs. now pay attention to me

  I've opinions yes yes mr. Monroe the

  fact that this episode is the one that

  is least talked about right now

  mmhmm yeah David I like bears

  I'm just you know I like bears

  uh-huh do you like waldo yeah yeah I

  like a better than Trump John this one

  on the suffers from a problem not

  related to sci-fi which is the studio 60

  on the Sunset Strip problem where did

  you go

  it's a show ostensibly about a comedy

  show but the comedy show is never funny

  so I see what this episode was going for

  but waldo was dumb and not convincing

  and so it undercuts I mean it's hard to

  do it i granted it's hard to do and so I

  think I kind of see what they were going

  for and in what they wanted to say i

  mean this this is this is not a trap but

  this is just what is doing that sort of

  moralizing like don't read on the public

  is and how they can easily be swayed but

  it's you know but it's sadly true but i

  think this was a not great execution of

  that ideas at waldos not that


  the satire could have been more cutting

  if it was like the angle the fact that

  he cg and virtual is a person behind him

  is not particularly interesting doesn't

  add much but it's like it's the

  obligatory sci-fi thing so I'd this this

  episode i really like it but I certainly

  didn't hate it so just kind of sits

  there i put in the middle and about the

  fact that but again it was the easiest

  way of doing this story and so it was

  like well alright now do something give

  me twist you can you pick anything

  Brian what i will say is that unlike

  john i did like the fact that there was

  a person behind Waldo in that his ark as

  somebody who created this character and

  then ending up somewhere where the

  character completely outgrew him and

  he's abandoned and drinking alone in the

  middle of some country that's

  unspecified I like that a lot

  even though all the political commentary

  was happening in the background again I

  think like me shines the best when the

  characters are front and center and

  everything else happening around them

  and I feel like this is the perfect

  relationship between Waldo and his

  creator but you could have the same

  story without the the puppet

  did like he creates the character but

  like plays himself which i think would

  be more accurate to politicians and

  eventually the character of gross him

  the problem is that he still trapped in

  the character because of the same person

  the fact that this was a CG thing that

  could be taken over by another person

  again is the sci-fi angle and like

  you've made this creation but it's not

  really you like I see where they're

  going with that but it like that there

  are better ways to tell the same story

  that's been told it's been told better

  and in other contexts the into twist in

  the wall darkness doesn't add to it for

  me I like the I like the fact that it's

  a virtual character and I mean they're

  trying to say something about sort of

  viral videos and we've got every in a

  late-night talk show host is trying to

  generate viral videos and here's a

  character who who kind of goes viral

  accidentally but it squandered and I

  have this in my it's this at the bottom

  of my kind of mid rank of sort of like

  you know it i like things about it but

  it could have been way better like I

  think the scene where this comedian who

  kinda hates this character and is really

  reluctant to push it and really

  reluctant to be he feels he doesn't want

  to talk about politics right he just

  wants to tell his jokes and he meets

  well he does more than meet the Labour

  candidate when Paris right and he meets

  her in a in a in a bar and they chat and

  they go back to his room so I I feel

  like that that their interaction was

  really interesting and the idea that she

  is running for a seat that she can't win

  and the dynamics of that in terms of

  politics at and that you know mr.

  Munro's got in the bag and that's what I

  really wish the episode had been about I

  really wish the episode had spent more

  time with that dynamic like what if you

  know could although win could Waldo

  sabotage mr. Munro's so that the Labour

  candidate who maybe you know if she had

  more beliefs which she doesn't and I

  think that's kind of the the cynical

  view of politics is probably accurate

  that dead charlie brooker has I just

  felt like I kinda wanted more of the

  political stuff i was really surprised

  that nope

  point is there a thread about how it

  comes out that the voice of waldo has

  been romantically engaged with the

  Labour candidate and that maybe this is

  all just trying to sabotage Monroe I

  figured that would be a plotline never

  happens and in or is it threatened nor

  does anybody threaten it which just

  seemed kind of completely unrealistic to

  me on top of anything else so it's like

  and the CIA stuff is like from another

  movie it's like from a from an extremely

  hot rod kind of you know I don't know

  men in black kind of movie it's just

  completely out of left field so I feel

  like there was a really brilliant

  episode that might have been made using

  all of these component parts except for

  the CIA guy and then make it

  well it's like an episode of chopped

  about with TV show elements

  ok sure we move on we just gave a big

  net to the wall the moment

  so speaking of trying to kill people

  play test is next this is a an episode

  in which an American backpacker who

  travels around the world decides to sign

  up for an NDA of a new augmented reality

  game where they put an implant in your

  brain and you see things that aren't

  there and then he plays the game which

  is a way to do lots of jump-scares that

  are commented on but still are again we

  comment on the tropes but we still use

  the tropes and it goes horribly wrong or

  does it or it does or does it or it does

  or does it

  this inferior was so much this this is

  one that could have been 22 minutes and

  done you just have to give the the title

  and a one-sentence promising like I've

  seen that before yeah yeah yeahs this

  this was I mean I this is where

  commander Riker keeps waking up in

  different reality right it is same place

  I think we've even seen it with video

  game yeah the whole idea I'm but it's a

  video game but but it goes too far like

  in the video game becomes real and you

  thought it was just a game but now there

  are actual steaks and it turns out you

  die and then the company on too far no

  one will be seated dying the game you

  die in real life no one will be saved

  during the 2-minute long whack-a-mole

  seen there is a welcome Elaine when when

  when his phone rang early on and I went

  that's an interesting detail that's

  check on mom not we asked them right and

  not a single show know when when it

  played out exactly the way I thought

  from that point on and and so my

  fifteen-year-old watch this with me and

  he said you guys are talking about this

  show are they all this stupid oh my god

  no they're not all dlc this is literally

  the morning so these are brand-new

  stupid this is the worst episode where I

  think this is it that I don't think it

  is here so I don't think this is the

  worst one because it promises a again

  it's got the technology would have

  amazing implications that are not

  reviewable whatever it this game company

  has a goal to make a game and you know

  this charismatic leader who wanted to do

  this thing and it's super dangerous and

  they are evil and evil company that is

  suffering people in to these tests on

  that are dangerous and cause them to die

  but you don't that it's not like and

  guess what

  all humans like that now you like this

  company is like that right that's an

  evil corporation is the antagonist and

  the protagonist or whatever is a poor

  person gets sucked into it i think it is

  far less grimy and cynical and stupid

  and over reaching the other episodes it

  is straight down the middle

  exactly what it's going to be it never

  surprises you it is pretty boring and

  that's why i hate it i can't put it on

  the bottom is it doesn't make me like

  that angry and it's like well yeah I'd

  say it's lack of ambition is why i hate

  it i I think it's just garbage i think

  it I think it is everything that black

  mirror should be satirizing which is

  it's just

  yes it's just kinda it's obvious and

  it's garbage and and you know I i

  thought this was in the bottom couple of

  episodes for me and then there's the

  final twist which i have now read in a

  couple different places was added

  because the director thought it would be

  cool to add yet another twist twist

  where he wakes up an extra time and it

  turns out that he's dying because his

  mom is calling and that was not

  originally in the script originally in

  the script is going to go through all

  the horror and then he was going to wake

  up and it turns out that was it and he

  was he was done with his test and

  they're like no no we can put in extra

  twist like well okay I kind of hated

  that too but um you know it was before

  it was like he goes back in his mom is a

  is the reason his mom's been calling is

  that she's got Alzheimer's basically and

  she's very confused and doesn't

  recognize him and he's been running away

  from this the whole time and you realize

  that you know I thought that was it

  ok ending and the other end try to do a

  little bit of character building for

  this character whose is death marking

  late great line starting late

  yeah and also black mare really likes

  this is the the sci-fi trope of that

  time is different for fast computers

  like this

  the sweet dreams things like seconds

  right and they did it they did it with

  that with the Christmas 12 and it's like

  I like that idea it's done inside for a

  lot and I think I like stories that are

  built around that but they just sprinkle

  it on is like some you know it's

  officially missing dash on top drilling

  I missed you know this this baloney

  sandwich an episode like I think

  and speaking of amazing stories like

  amazing stories had a lot of straight up

  the middle ones too but they were so

  sort of innocent like the ud and forgive

  their naiveté but this doesn't fit

  enjoying don't don't don't make me ruin

  your childhood by telling you how bad

  amazing stories family was right now I

  don't get right yeah but like it's not

  forgiven for being like a kid's show and

  this is like it was not a kids show and

  it is supposed to be a horror game and

  it's part of black mirror yeah yeah we

  need to serve in retaliation for real

  genius again 22 minutes

  you wouldn't notice it would be fine

  help at 50 well but at 54 you notice the

  12 twist at the end rewrite minutes we

  absolutely absolutely it would still be

  a bad episode but at 22 minutes you

  don't have that whole long protracted

  travel montage and the date

  yeah yeah and then I don't like the day

  I come on like tuesday better than

  anything in the actual plot

  yeah yeah yeah i forgot I was even in

  there was like a regular yeah just move


  well yeah you've got like that vaguely

  interesting idea that is done as simply

  and conventionally as possible

  where is if you have a story better game

  manufacturer trying to come up with a

  game that will literally scare you to

  death without killing you and then how

  do they do that how do they walk up to

  that edge there's an interesting idea

  this is not it no this is a you know

  slasher film basically yeah he really

  didn't go far enough with the

  personalized horror because all they do

  know in high school bully

  yeah oh you don't like what is well

  here's a giant spider

  yeah whatever whatever I mean they've

  made a literal horror movie I can't hate

  this episode but it is not that Graham

  fair enough it's good solid shut up and

  dance is next

  shut up and dance is an episode in which

  people are caught and compromising


  captions by by their devices being

  hacked so that they they can be recorded

  and their messages can be read and then

  they are told by a mysterious group that

  only communicates and text messages to

  do a various series of things that is a

  Rube Goldberg and sort of series of

  steps that lead to increasingly

  ridiculous situations that they are

  forced to comply with or everything

  that's going to ruin their lives will be

  revealed and I I gotta give it to black

  mirror you know black mirror is a show

  that tries to take a premise and run it

  to its fullest and it does that here i

  would argue that it perhaps runs it like

  it runs off the cliff with its premise

  and continues to run into the great yeah

  but yeah yeah it's like it for a while

  I'm like oh I'm kind of digging this and

  shut up and dance words like it is he

  gets a cake he's going to take a cake

  somewhere OB think that that guy isn't

  going to eat the cake

  they're gonna wear who's gonna get the

  cake what's going on with the cake and

  then it just it and then it wears out

  its welcome and becomes something that

  is just yeah unpleasant but you know

  where was going you'd seen enough black

  mare at this point i do the beauty and I

  be identifying with us here i get this

  job i saw that i was hoping against hope

  i'm watching this I'm like maybe they're

  not doing what I think now they're doing

  it i hope the twist is a twist on my

  twisted metal I want you know I was

  excited by that whole like what's gonna

  happen next and go here and do that but

  i cannot fend off the the sure knowledge

  having watched the season opens up this

  point of where this was going

  and it just it just went there and

  fizzled out to its and

  and the moral of the story is haha and

  and the whole time I'm watching it all I

  could think of was the blackmail sketch

  for Monty Python's Flying Circus and

  Michael Palin hosting a game show called

  blackmail which basically did this in

  about four and a half minutes it was

  much sharper and funnier did you I mean

  also he doesn't want to wear that for

  ruining Radiohead with child porn

  I you know not i'll get over it you can

  use you can use bad you know you can use

  music good music with bad stuff and I

  just the music will survive in the bad

  stuff will go away but but it is um yeah

  it out States welcome a lot and also for

  an insightful sort of social commentary

  and tech comment commentary thing I mean

  this episode is a little bit like guys

  guys did you know there are hackers and

  and and wait wait wait did you know

  there are text messages also trouble

  amazing there's also a troll face and we

  and also i don't know if anybody

  realized this but the they also get the

  GPS coordinates of everybody

  it's never that's never explain but yeah

  we have your computer but now we know

  where your phone is I don't think that

  actually makes any sense but ok uh what

  I'm saying is it it's tech satire is not

  particularly insightful other than that

  there are people out there on the

  internet who are jerks so fortune but

  even more i guess and much better

  organized unrealistically well-organized

  like the logistics of this are

  astronomical but the only thing about

  this and it's funny because there are

  two episodes that sort of address this

  at least that i think is interesting

  from a cultural standpoint is the idea

  as it turns out these people are all

  awful people and they've done terrible

  things our protagonist in this episode

  actually is the way they have on him is

  not that he was masturbating in front of

  its laptop it's that he's masturbating

  to child pornography in front of his

  laptop and uh you know I guess what it's

  trying to say is that the internet you

  know quill can destroy anyone and it and

  it can be bad people or good people but

  I mean it's a mess and not very good i

  think i'd also like to give a shoutout

  to jo steal for

  figuring out that twist five minutes in

  based on a single based on a single

  interaction with another person and I I

  completely missed that and I rewatched

  it and now that moment has a completely

  different meaning to me but kudos to

  John for actually figuring that out

  oh no Brian went down in the hole again

  Brian brain has his in your world but

  even more he went through them into the

  mirror world

  yeah wait did I do i Skype out yeah well

  you scrape by on your recording a song

  i'm sure all those will come through in

  the end that's all go together yet it is

  it brand in the mirror world now i'll

  send you coming on Blackie files again

  Jason come on

  anyway uh I mean the upside down and

  making Jason to these bits on this a bit

  alright well i'm not alone

  enough said about shut up and dance I

  think who shut up and move on

  alright let's move on can we got two

  more we should get to them very quickly

  and they're very different episodes very

  quickly very quickly men against fire is

  an episode where I figured out the

  shocking plot twist a minute in and then

  watched as it delighted in doing its

  razzle-dazzle magic trick for about 40

  minutes when I knew every step it was

  going to take and I didn't

  this is in my lower tier of my bottom

  for but i didn't put it all the way at

  the bottom because I appreciate the

  story it's trying to tell even as I

  figured out i mean literally got the

  entire thing in the first minute and

  knew exactly how the entire episode was

  going to go i appreciated some of the

  little bits in it in terms of style and

  the very very end although it lifts

  kinda from white Christmas honestly is

  an interesting ? sort of twist but you

  know this is this is about army people

  who are trying to root out a an

  infestation of monsters that they call

  roaches and they have a heads-up display

  basically in their eyes that allows them

  to get information about tactical stuff

  and the shocker is that what's really

  happening is the heads-up display

  tactical stuff is making people look

  like monsters because they are whoever

  they are whatever their reason whether

  they're gypsies or Jews or whatever or

  you know you name it a left-handed just

  yeah they could be left-handed

  left-handers that they had to agree with

  the butter side down they had to see

  that they are all identified uh in these

  displays and made to look like and sound

  like monsters so that it's easier for

  soldiers to kill them and not not feel

  bad about killing other human beings and

  one character has his system hacked and

  discovers that there are shockingly haha

  they're actually really really people

  and all this extermination talk to talk

  about destroying the the awfulness that

  they spread is just talking about that

  they want to wipe

  come out and commit genocide and I again

  a perfectly reasonable thing to do you

  know where we're against genocide

  murdering innocent people great but this

  is the one John where I said maybe i've

  read too much science fiction but good

  Lord that it was easy like you don't

  have to read any science fiction to get

  this and in fact that undercuts the

  whole idea because human beings do this

  without that time knowing that this is

  this is less grim than the reality so

  it's like home

  yeah it's like a smile games are

  dehumanizing our soldiers what if we

  made the actual were like a video game

  where they where they we turned the

  enemy into monsters

  yeah but like we don't need video games

  like genocide is yeah i know it happens

  you don't even like they just people for

  people who look exactly like that like

  you don't even look different you don't

  have to basically be left-handed like

  yeah we don't it is that I do not say

  that this whole gotta run wishes episode

  was so try out a grand and the execution

  was just like the only thing I liked

  about it was the idea that after you

  know that the it's like what if we don't

  erase your memories you'll know all the

  bad things you did and it's like to

  choose whether you want to do that or

  not just but even that you saw coming

  once you saw him in the shrinks office

  after going through all the stuff and

  it's Ned I I'm not angry this one like

  am angered the other ones this one falls

  into the same categories play test for

  me because it's like I know exactly what

  you're doing this episode you do it it's

  not that great

  done yeah yeah I mean GracePoint stop


  no go ahead at this point I stopped

  watching critically because i was so

  worn out from watching everything else

  so I just kinda like this episode wash

  over me and I didn't know the twist

  until the end when it was actually

  revealed and even then when the twist

  like hit me at the exact perfect moment

  to show intended it to

  I was still just as underwhelmed

  everything else because we end with

  black mirror screaming and consequences

  for characters and yeah fun and whatever

  we're 15 minutes points and I rolling

  twist if you didn't see it coming you'd

  still roll your eyes at like I mean it's

  just so like John said it's it's so try

  it under it undercuts the reality of the

  situation does saying in order for this

  to happen they need to look like

  monsters to you with some sci-fi deck


  don't need that all well although I i do

  like the fact that the idea here is that

  they're not doing it so that they will

  kill them they're doing it so that they

  don't get PTSD and are more effective

  soldiers so whether they don't feel bad

  about it but like this thing is like we

  can't find enough people who who will

  either just blindly follow orders or be

  actually hate these people and in

  reality you can people who blindly

  follow orders and are actually hit

  because that girl here take that

  yeah yeah I mean we in terms of figuring

  out the twist and in the first minute

  welcome to my no I felt like you really

  it was yeah i mean probably read about


  there's five seconds no it wasn't it was

  it pretty early on I knew where this was

  going to yeah I I but the thing with

  black mirrors the most hoping against I

  know right ok pricey was obvious

  maybe they'll change it and it's just us

  as you watch you slowly realize that it

  doesn't look at turning away

  no not gonna it's like nope they can

  avoid it now not there there's actually

  it sounds it's like I said they're a lot

  of the I mean almost every episode has

  something interesting about it there or

  occurred with an idea and and too often

  it just takes the most obvious direct

  way of doing it or the simplest way of

  telling the story and you know there

  could be interesting ways of doing this

  if this had been 22 minutes

  yeah it's still going to be lousy but

  it's over quickly and it doesn't give

  you time to think about headphones which

  is like the fifth season Twilight zones

  hello it's a clunker