The Future is Black - Black Mirror Season 4 (REVIEW)
When Netflix took over Black Mirror and doubled the episode count I was a bit worried. The show is only 3 episodes a season, that allows for hopefully better stories with interesting an concept. Charlie Brooker is the only writer on the series and it seems with the switch to Netflix he has traded pitch black themes for lighter but none the less interesting topics. This season is no exception and my score are in the context of the show itself and the quality it can live up to.
Easily the best of the bunch is the first episode. I love the idea of someone creating their own Star Trek world. It was a fun romp that had a cool twist and ended on a decent note within the confines of a cheesy TV show, I watched it twice in two days and loved it both times. (SCORE: A+)
Following an over protective mother who gets in on an early trial of the Arkangel monitoring program. One that you would think should be illegal. I enjoyed the take on the subject but found it to be a bit more straight forward than I had hoped. (SCORE: C+)
This episode takes a similar concept seen in “The History of You” and turns it against someone encompassed in a murder cover up. This was one of the weaker episodes as the technology is't too far off from similar means as we have today and I don't think the extremes the characters go to are all that interesting. (SCORE: D)
The San Junipero of this season. Much like the film “Timer” everyone gets into relationships but they are forced into them by a company and are given a time in which the pairing will end. You have the choice of revealing the length of the relationship, some last years, others hours but you never who you are going to get and how long they are going to be with you. It's a clever idea ripe with tension of trusting the system versus actual human feelings. (SCORE: B)
If Mad Max was boring, you would get Metalhead. I did not enjoy this one at all. A lady tries to escape from a robot dog out to kill her in what I assume is a robot controlled future. It felt like a slasher movie but with no characters to make it interesting. Thankfully it is a short one (SCORE: F)
A woman makes her way to a gas station to charge her car and stumbles upon the “Black Museum”. It houses a collection of neural technology. The stories behind that tech is revealed by Rolo, the owner. Playing as an anthology with Rolo narrating, each is told like a fairy tale quality adding a layer of pitch black comedy. As is with all good Black Mirror episodes, there is a twist and it's a fun one. (SCORE: A)
This season wasn't as heavy on the commentary as other seasons but it is about as uneven as it normally is. We get 3 very good episodes, one decent one and a couple of stinkers. I'm glad to have Black Mirror around because we get some real gems that can be viewed on their own and you can forget about the bad ones. At this point I think if Black Mirror stops it wouldn't be a bad thing as they are in danger of repeating themselves more than they already have but this season was overall a welcome one if only for USS Callister.
As mixed as ever, season 4 hits very high and very low.