Black Mirror Season 6

Season 6 included only one good Black Mirror episode. It included another good episode, but that wasn’t really Black Mirror (BM). There were only five episodes, but 2/5 is still not an impressive success rate.

The episode that checked both boxes for me was “Beyond the Sea”, the third episode. It’s the one in which Aaron Paul plays an astronaut, and a robotic replica of that astronaut made so that he can inhabit it while off-duty in space. Then he agrees that the astronaut in space with him can take a turn using the replica… It was BM: clever new tech allowed people to mess people up.

The other good (for me) episode was “Loch Henry”, the second episode. It was notBM because it didn’t include new and clever tech, although there were messed up people.

The first episode, “Joan is Awful”, was certainly BM. Joan’s life is used as the basis for a TV drama. There are some promising signs: Joan is played by Salma Hayek; the show is on Streamberry, the Netflix of the BMverse. But this is one of three season 6 episodes for which the script was, if not awful, then certainly not good either.

The fourth and fifth episodes, “Mazey Day” and “Demon 79”, were neither good nor BM. Each featured the supernatural rather than technology. They may be a sign of a pivot to a supernatural focus and a show called Red Mirror.

I am not among those who think that BM lost it when it moved to Netflix. But I hope that this is the last season.

What about you?

Black Mirror Season 4

Black Mirror is among my favorite TV shows ever: it’s up there with The X-Files, The Simpsons, and a few others. I’ve just watched season 4 of Black Mirror on Netflix.

Upon first watch, this is the weakest of the first four seasons. The writing just isn’t up the standard set by much of the first three seasons.

On a positive note, I watched all six episodes, and I regard it as six hours (or so) well spent. Each episode was very well done, in terms of performances, and thus probably in terms of casting and directing.

Here’s my current ranking of the episodes.

  • Best: Hang the DJ (episode 4). A clear winner. The best script of the season. I loved the chemistry between the leads.
  • Black Museum (episode 6). I suspect that Douglas Hodge’s riveting performance carried me over some flaws.
  • Arkangel (episode 2).
  • Callister and Metalhead (episodes 1 and 5 respectively). Possibly the two most different-from-each-other episodes of the season, which makes it hard to say which I preferred.
  • Crocodile (episode 3), a distant last, despite a good cast making the best of the script.

At most one of these episodes would make my “Best of Black Mirror” top ten. It’s not that the season was bad, it’s that it wasn’t Black Mirror great, or early X-Files great. Perhaps Black Mirror is one of those shows that should stop while it’s ahead, after a few (four?) seasons.

What did you think?