Black Mirror

Black Mirror

Producers of Black Mirror have made a most unusual request of reviewers.

The third Charlie Brooker season, now produced for Netflix, takes the series beyond its previous UK borders to include US stories.

The dark satire once again looks at technology, anxiety and human relationships, with 6 stand-alone stories that are a bit like a contemporary Twilight Zone. You can watch them in any order and you don’t quite know what you’re going to get until you unwrap each one.

Producers have asked reviewers to avoid Spoilers. Fair enough -readers will soon tell us off for doing that quick smart.

However they haven’t just asked us to avoid Spoilers -they’ve asked us not to reveal any more than 3 or 4 plot points for each episode -making a formal review downright impossible (not to mention just that little bit insulting?).

I’ve watched 4 of the 6 and here is all I am allowed to tell you about each:

“Nosedive”
Insecure office worker Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) lives in a happy, smiley, status-obsessed nightmare world. Her old friend Naomi (Alice Eve) is one of society’s elites — and Lacie may have found a way to join her…
Cast includes: Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) plays Leigh, Alice Eve (Star Trek: Into Darkness) plays Naomi. Also starring James Norton (Happy Valley) and Cherry Jones (Awake).
Director: Joe Wright (Atonement)
It’s a social satire about status anxiety in the social media age
It’s a world in which everyone is ranked out of 5, and some people are obsessed with their rating
It’s about Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard), a woman who’s quite insecure about herself

“Playtest”
Thrill-seeking globetrotter Cooper (Wyatt Russell) visits Britain, hooks up with Sonja (Hannah John-Kamen) — and tests a video game so advanced, it’s terrifying…
Cast includes: Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) plays Cooper, Hannah John-Kamen (The Tunnel) plays Sonja and Wunmi Mosaku (Philomena) plays Katie
Director: Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane)
There’s a video game theme
It’s a horror romp episode
It features a survival horror game

“Shut Up and Dance”
When withdrawn 19-year-old Kenny (Alex Lawther) stumbles headlong into an online trap, he is quickly forced into an uneasy alliance with shifty Hector (Jerome Flynn) – both of them at the mercy of persons unknown.
Cast includes: Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game) plays Kenny, Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones) plays Hector
Director: James Watkins (The Woman in Black)
It’s about a young guy called Kenny who stumbles onto an online trap
He’s forced into an uneasy alliance with shifty Hector
Both of them are at the mercy of persons unknown

“San Junipero”
California, 1987: San Junipero is a fun-loving beach town synonymous with sun, surf, and sex. And for recent arrivals Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), it’s going to be a life-changer…
Cast includes: Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Beyond the Lights) plays Kelly, Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) plays Yorkie
Director: Owen Harris
It’s set in 1987
It’s a coming of age tale.
It’s about two women
There’s more to it than meets the eye…

So with this in mind, here is my review: it was very good.

Black Mirror screens Friday on Netflix.

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