Netflix stay home to perhaps one of the best TV shows of all time: Black Mirror. As the spiritual successor to Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, the slide-themed Black Mirror keeps us entertained and also worried about the advancement of technology in the world.
Season 5 from Black Mirror only performed on Netflix, with just three episodes this time from writer and creator Charlie Brooker. This is probably because more time has been taken with the one-shot interactive special, Black Mirror: Bandersatch, which dropped last December. While this season is shorter, there are two more episodes worth watching.
Editor's note: There are some soft spoilers in every episode review, but we won't throw everything away.
Charlie Brooker was earlier a game journalist before becoming a TV shoulder. Black Mirror certainly had episodes that look to the future of video games, especially with Season 4's epic Star Trek tribute USS Callister. Striking Vipers are not quite as good, but it has an interesting stance on how future games can turn into something different for players.
Anthony Mackie (The Falcon in Marvel's Captain America and Avengers movies) plays Danny, a man who lives a beautiful, comfortable, married life. But his life changed when his old friend Karl, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta in Aquaman), appeared to Danny's birthday party with a gift. This is Striking Vipers X, the new VR version of the fighting games the two played when they were younger.
The VR headsets are basically the same we've seen in USS Callister, where you just put an implant on the side of your head. This allows Danny and Karl to see each other as Strict Vipers characters Lance and Roxette, respectively. They start playing the game as characters, but after just a few minutes, Karl-Roxette starts kissing Danny-Lance in the gaming environment (how the game allows these virtual characters to kiss each other and apparently do other things is never explained).
The two men in the real world break down the game quickly, but we see that they can't keep their controllers and their virtual bodies apart and go back every night to play the game. It starts to affect their relationships in the real world, and it all comes down to a final confrontation between Danny and Karl, with no controllers or VR, in a polar opposite (some may even & # 39; a "mirror" of their gaming experience.
Striking Vipers show how the next level of play can easily change into an even bigger distraction than it is for humans at this time.
The idea of using people with virtual characters to be intimate with each other in a game environment is nothing new, but Striking Vipers shows how the next level of play can easily change in & # 39; greater distraction than it is for people. . The performances in this episode are also excellent everywhere, including by Pom Klementieff (Roxette) and Ludi Lin (Lance) in the game series.
This is the longest episode (70 minutes) and perhaps the best episode of this shorter season. Andrew Scott (Moriarty in Sherlock) plays Chris, a manager for "" Uber-like driving stock company. He believes he is a high-profile CEO at a company called Smithereen. Chris kidnapped the man, played by Damson Idris, but we don't know why. Chris then learns that the man he thought was a Smithereen CEO is just an intern on his first week at work.
This episode takes its time in his storytelling and does not reveal why Chris has become a kidnapper for a while. For many of the episode, this story is a pretty tense hostage drama, but it ends when we learn what the company Smithereen is all about and why Chris seems to love this business and the people who work there.
Without giving away much, Smithers, like many of Black Mirror's best episodes, shows the dark side of social media. Companies like Facebook and Twitter Must definitely take some responsibility for their actions, but this episode shows that individuals should also have control over the use of social media. Scott has been perfectly cast as the kidnapper with a dark secret, and Topher Grace also has a role to play in this episode that we don't spoil here. Also the end is not exactly neat and tidy.
This episode is already one of the worst in the history of Black Mirror, but it's not quite as bad as you might believe in the reviews. The biggest draw is Miley Cyrus. She plays Ashley O, a pop singer, unlike the persona that Cyrus has in her real music career. She is seen expanding her influence by starting a small AI robot product, Ashley Too. It's meant to sell to young girls as a companion, and it's supposed to be programmed with Ashley O's personality.
This episode tells a few stories. The one is about Ashley O. She struggles to break away from her current pop singer life, but she has a fairly controlling aunt who doesn't want to kill the golden goose that Ashley O's life is. The other story focuses on Rachel, a teenager played by Angourie Rice. She gets an Ashley Too robot for her birthday, but her sister Jack doesn't like how much influence the AI has on Rachel.
The episode takes a while to go; it just gets interesting just after the halfway. Ashley O is told by the aunt in a coma through drugs that she had a bad allergic reaction to shellfish. A new technology allows her aunt to extract Ashley O's brain songs, even if she's in a coma, so her career can continue. Rachel's Ashley Too robot sees a news release about her ego-ego's coma, berserk, and ends. Jack succeeds in reloading the robot, only to discover that Ashley Too actually has all the real Ashley O's memory.
Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too fall apart in the last third when they are in a strange kind of kid's adventure.
It's actually quite nice to see a version of a cute toy robot, have its own life, and with Miley Cyrus's voice to start. However, the episode falls apart in the final third, as it becomes a strange kind of adventure movie. Rachel and Jack try to help Ashley help the real Ashley O.
There are a few themes in the game: how AI can develop To include real human brain, along with a comment on the growing use of holograms in live entertainment. There are also a few shots about how some artists might be forced to stay in one job in their career. Eventually, the episode changes into a bunch of ideas that aren't really loaded into a coherent story. There's still a bit of fun to watch the show by Cyrus as Ashley O, and with her voice as Ashley Too.
What do you think of Black Mirror season 5? Let us know in the comments!