Black Mirror

7.9 / 10
59 min
Anthology
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8.5
" gives "Black Mirror - Season 4" a 8.5."
Written by on 28 September 2018.
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Black Mirror - Season 4

USS Callister. Arkangel. Crocodile. Hang the DJ. Metalhead. Black Museum. At the end of 2017 Netflix brought us six whole new episodes of Black Mirror. The concept is probably well known to most of us: in completely separate episodes writer Charlie Brooker uses various ways and techniques to display the relationship between us, technology and social media. By doing this he creates various bleak worlds that are very much like our own reality. In this season, ideas are scattered all over the place. This season is filled with greatness, but unfortunately it does falter at points.

Despite a spotless execution, it seems as if ideas are running out.

Despite the fact that there are still plenty of new ideas, it all starts to become a bit similar. How many times have we seen that people were part of a computer simulation? Or that they had some sort of chip in their head? In this season Charlie Brooker uses the same tricks we've seen before. It's a shame, as it makes us think that ideas are running out. Despite the fact that the execution of each episode is wonderful.

The highlights of this season are in my opinion the episodes Crocodile and Hang the DJ. In the first an architect tries to keep it a secret that she caused a fatal car accident fifteen years ago. This is becoming increasingly difficult, as the police and researchers have acquired new technology that enables them to see the memories of people. This episode, which is carried by an amazing performance from Andrea Riseborough (Bloodline), uses a similar idea we've already encountered in Black Mirror, but this time with an inventive twist. In this tragic episode it is easy to tell that something will go horribly wrong. And that's exactly what's charming about this episode. The creators have found a perfect way to use and realise that which we fear.

Hang the DJ is actually quite different. It's a casual and somewhat optimistic episode in between the more common dark and gloomy episodes. It successfully parodies modern dating apps. The somewhat bizarre romantic tale of two lovers, who aren't allowed to remain together according to their dating app, is very easy to watch and manages to ridicule apps like Tinder. Besides that, the lighthearted tone and the two fun main characters really turn this episode into a pleasant addition to Black Mirror.

It is difficult to name something disappointing, but the fifth episode, Metalhead, wasn't to my liking. The execution of the episode was spotless. Metalhead is beautifully shot in black and white and manages to create an apocalyptic world from which the creators of The Walking Dead could actually learn something. Actress Maxine Peak (Silk) does a wonderful job as well. So, what is the problem? There isn't enough backstory. Peake portrays a woman who is chased by murderous metal creatures. What are those creatures doing? Why are they there? Why are they chasing her? It's not incredibly bad, but an episode such as this one doesn't really fit Black Mirror.

Luckily, Brooker manages to use his existing ideas to create enough material for good television.

Besides all that, Brooker comes up with plenty of interesting things in this season. It starts off with a classic approach on science fiction, which takes place in space. Black Mirror wouldn't be Black Mirror if there wouldn't be an interesting or surprising plot twist. The series also asks some interesting questions on the topics of privacy, criminal law and parenthood and how these can be combined with futuristic technology.

Despite the fact that it sometimes appears as if ideas are running out, Charlie Brooker manages to give existing ideas a new take and creates visions of the future that are dangerously close to our reality. As far as I'm concerned, Black Mirror has done that successfully in this season. Can we please have a fifth season of this show?
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