NETFLIX FULLY LAY OUT THE LONG-AWAITED THIRD SEASON the fantastic TV series Black Mirror, based on a screenplay by satirical writer and Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker. Stephen King quite naturally turned out to be in the fans of the anthology about fears and horrors of the future, in each episode of which the problem of introducing technology into our lives is revealed. After the release of the first two seasons, the series, rather, had the status of a "show for friends", but now it has become the subject of almost widespread discussions on social networks. We asked fans of the show about the reasons for its popularity and what Black Mirror tells us about our future and present.
Over the past couple of decades, technological progress has been so rapid that culture has ceased to keep up with it. The Internet and gadgets are an integral part of life, but we are not particularly able to discuss and analyze this part of life. And "Black Mirror" is a rare attempt to do this. I do not like the first two seasons, because there this discussion is conducted from the standpoint of technoluddism: "Oh my God, society is dying, everyone just stares at their phones and everyone does not care, we are doomed." Well, the hyperboles that Brooker uses in his horror stories are simply not applicable to real life.
In the first episode of the new season, this is also the case: it is clear that the system of evaluating all people shown there is absolutely unviable, so that initially the whole structure turns out to be false, like any conclusions that can be drawn from it. However, the best episodes of the new season are made in the format most suitable for science fiction - unanswered questions. This is, first of all, "San Junipero", in which there is a battle between science and religion without winners and losers, well, and the third series - about Internet trolls, in which at the same time you feel sorry for no one and feel sorry for everyone.
In moments when fear of the future does not obscure the eyes and mind entirely, and the goal is not a warning, but a discussion, the "Black Mirror" can aptly mark some nuances of the new digital society. At the same time, if you look closely, then this nuance is always the same (in the new season this is especially evident in the third and sixth episodes): the new digital society needs new digital ethics and culture. Well, in order for them to appear, you need to at least start talking about them - albeit sometimes in the format of shock therapy, horror stories.
creative director of the "Bulletin" of the Polytechnic Museum
Personally, I watch Black Mirror because it is a great satire at the present time and there is simply no other. Many people reflect on the technological world in the TV series niche, but as caustically as Brooker, either no one can, or does not want to. As if the hero of the series "Black Books" reads aloud the main page of a publication about technology.
Probably because this character is not reading Wired or Verge, but, say, MIT Technology Review, someone gets the feeling that the series touches upon transcendental topics from the future. But in general, everyone agrees that this is a story about the present. The straightforwardness of the metaphors, which Brooker is almost reproached in the reviews, seems to me the best feature of this series. Maybe the author talks to us like idiots, but his intonation is heard, and not just the quiet rustle of Netflix marketing analytics.
The most burning series of criticism is called "San Junipero". I can do without spoilers. But while I was writing this comment, I googled who Saint Junipero is - it turned out that this is a saint who was canonized in 2015 for the founding of Catholic missions in California. Apostle of California. In general, it's very interesting what Brooker thinks about America. The fact that the series has become slightly more positive seems to be influenced by Netflix. But this is a topic for a separate conversation. My personal favorite episode is Shut up and dance. Why? She's angry and has a bad ending.
"Black Mirror" is an example of poster art, rather aggressive art. He is extremely intelligible, constantly playing figurative ping-pong with the viewer - it is difficult not to react in any way to a ball flying at you. That is why the project leaves no one indifferent. At the same time, the third season slowed down in variety, the series became smoother in intonation, which does not benefit the methods of the series. This series, of course, is about the present, or rather, about the universal - and technologies (real or predictable) here serve only as tools for highlighting unchanging human weaknesses, sins, justified or failed hopes.
Perhaps the first episode became my personal favorite in the third season - it is the most energetic, funny, angry and changeable, working at the level of both individual details and images, and a general message. The most relevant and important to me, however, is the episode "Men against Fire", which is more controversial from an artistic point of view: it is about how the media - no matter what technological base they exist on - change the very essence of our humanity, tempting us with the possibility of forming more simple, comfortable, more selfish and completely deceitful perception of the world and that the way back along this road is almost impossible.
publisher bit.ua, creator of Fitness Geek Camp and Fitior app
If in 2011 "Black Mirror" seemed fantastic, then five years later it is a completely realistic movie. The theme of the series reminds me of an approaching point of singularity, in which artificial intelligence will become smarter than humans, and humanity will kill itself, making existence absurd and meaningless.
Favorite series - about painful: criticism and negativity on the network. The more we look at the world through the smartphone screen, the more the angry comments hurt. Thanks to the technological revolution, people have realized that it is possible to get angry and insulted with little or no consequence. One evil genius has shown that if the consequences suddenly appear, humanity will eat itself. From hatred, envy and anger. The topic of anger and threats on the Internet, which turns into a real danger, is the closest one. Someone you hurt, someone ruined the day, and someone you ruined their lives. Maybe stop walking down the street with a knife?
Head of digital communications at IIDF, columnist for Forbes Life
You can often come across the opinion that the series, they say, recreates our near future with surgical precision. But I would not exaggerate the futuristic abilities of showrunner Charlie Brooker. The technologies in the series really look frighteningly plausible (we even somehow analyzed them in terms of feasibility and investment attractiveness), but the consequences of their use are too schematic and dramatized - in general, the genre of satire obliges.
Why such a misanthropic series is so popular with the public (I’m okay, he’s still a misanthrope) is an interesting question. Let's consider it as a kind of collective psychotherapy, which the society needs so much today. The best episode of the new season is, of course, the fourth episode of "San Junipero". In my opinion, this is the most touching, poignant, sad and, moreover, life-affirming spectacle that has appeared on television over the past ten years. I still have goosebumps, as I recall.
From a technological point of view, the second "Playtest" seemed the most relevant: we still have no idea what dangers (along with the possibilities) a deep immersion in VR can carry. And socially, the most burning is the third “Shut Up and Dance”: just a week ago, in my column, I talked about why we all need to take the lack of privacy for granted and learn to behave accordingly.
What's the coolest thing about the show? Although the worlds where the action unfolds are fictional, all this cannot be called pure fantasy.The technologies at the center of the composition either already exist or will become available in the coming years. And with the motivations of the characters it is even worse: they are one hundred percent recognizable.
Yes, of course, you can remember Nassim Taleb - they say, there is nothing predictable in history, except for the mistakes of futurologists. However, when I come to work, I observe how concepts that just a month ago seemed abstract and far from reality, are now changing the life of a mass user. Moreover, ordinary developers are responsible for this, not Nobel laureates and superheroes: the process of IT evolution is irreversible, even if there is no qualitative ideological leap forward in the near future.
Perhaps, the second episode touched me the most - about a dude who was testing a new game. The writers infected me with a premonition of a new kind of fear that is more fundamental than the fear of death. Here it is, the true crypto hiding behind big data, targeting and virtual reality. Technology will definitely change our psyche, but how exactly - only time will tell.
I watched the new season in a day. It's cool that despite the intensity of viewing, the episodes did not mix in a heap and each took its place of honor. Unfortunately, I still cannot name at least one episode that would have echoed somewhere inside me, and this, in my opinion, is the most important criterion for evaluating this series. I can easily imagine how someone will find this season the most interesting and lively, but not me.
Plots of "Black Mirror" do not tell about the latest technologies, do not frighten the immediate future. They simply touch what is inside a person and has always been: fears, phobias, addictions, obsessions, hidden desires. Imperfect human nature meets sophisticated and sophisticated technology. This is a little about now, about tomorrow and about a thousand years ago.
The closest thing this season to the bunch of "not the most difficult technical history and human imperfection" is the series "Shut Up and Dance", I would put it in first place. But I will still review "Be Right Back" from the second season and then sit paralyzed from fear and internal conflict.
lawyer, columnist for The Village
To be honest, I believe that "Black Mirror" in the third season did not show anything supernatural. The previous episodes set the bar high enough, and the series normally overcomes it, but does not set it higher, like Isinbayeva in 2008.
I dare add that we've seen most of the new season's plots somewhere: a dystopia about people chasing classes - in the underrated Community series about the MeowMeowBeanz app; the war against the hordes of ghouls - in "Starship Troopers"; an online game to the death in Kronenberg's Existence. Of course, "Black Mirror" is the same creepypasta, after which you won't want to sleep at night, but it is still impossible to stop looking. This is the main advantage of the series, which, paradoxically, is its main vulnerability, since the reality of the series accelerates its pace towards modern life.
In the first season, the British prime minister was supposed to have sex with a pig, and there were suspicious rumors about the real James Cameron. In "White Christmas" John Hamm led a man to certain death online - well, in "Deep Web", judging by the half-crazy stories from Reddit, it has already become everyday.
So the third season of "Black Mirror" turned out to be not a thriller, but almost documentary. This is scary, because it is impossible to tear yourself away from the gloomy omens of Brooker's omens.
producer of the film company Lateral Summer
A friend of mine in London went to see Charlie Brooker, and there they showed three episodes of the new season even before the premiere. Two, according to him, are passing, but the third came out absolutely outstanding, able to determine the future of "Black Mirror". The order of the episodes in the season had not yet been determined, and what kind of episodes they were, I did not know.“Just don’t tell me the names,” I said, “I want to understand for myself what kind of series we are talking about.” So far I've watched the first four episodes and my bets are on San Junipero.
It's not about a plot twist that is unexpected for fans of the series. Black Mirror explores a future that is already coming, and at San Junipero, Brooker first got to work with a different instrument.
After the first episode, I could not sleep for a week, and since then I have been measuring the game of films in pigs. After the fourth, it seems to me that the author's task is not to scare the viewer with the triumph of a husky, but to make him ask himself questions: “How do I respond to the touch of this future? Where is the point in me where it originates? " - after all, the stories of the series, like artificial intelligence, do not create new patterns of behavior, but extrapolate existing ones. Episode 4 shows that you don't have to ask yourself these questions with fear in your voice.