Black Mirror Season 3 | In Review

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to the podcast:

Mike Bloom (@AMikeBloomType) and AJ Mass (@AJMass) wrap up the third season of Black Mirror with special guest, Big Brother podcaster and Black Mirror super fan Taran Armstrong (@ArmstrongTaran). Taran gives his personal history with the show and some of his favorite and least favorite moments before the trio dive into a series of questions, including:
  • What do they think about Black Mirror’s increasingly international settings?
  • What are some things they would like to see in Black Mirror season 4?
  • Why is Black Mirror a show worth rewatching?
  • TrentC

    Thanks once again gentlemen for the podcasts on Black Mirror.

    I have an outside of the lines comment. Like AJ, I’m a Gen Xer that really enjoys British police procedural/mystery/sci fi shows.

    It’s too bad we couldn’t have a podcast and thread listing some of the better ones and exchange ideas. I’ve liked everything from Wire In The Blood to Ripper Street to Humans To Utopia (the sci fi series, not the reality show). There really is a lot of quality TV from across the pond and most of it is an untapped resource in my opinion.

    • Andiamo

      That’s a great idea. Ditto on being a Gen Xer who loves British TV. I don’t know if there are enough of us to make this happen, but I’ll throw some of my recent favorites out there:

      Fortitude- Gorgeous mystery, thriller set in Norway close to the arctic circle (in English, not subtitled). Sci-fi ish, strange, I would love a podcast about this one. I really can’t say enough good things about it, and it was picked up for a second season.

      River- Brilliant, but unstable cop. Pretty common theme, moody, dark, but it was really clever and well done.

      An Honourable woman- Political spy thriller set in the Middle East.

      I also liked Luther, MI-5/Spooks, Life on Mars, State of Play, Scott & Bailey, Sherlock, Penny Dreadful, The Night Manager, Glue, first few seasons of Misfits were goofy but fun. There are so many I’m forgetting. A couple of comedies I’ve watched recently that I thought were great were Fleabag and Catastrophe.

      I like Humans, but haven’t started the second season yet. I watched an episode of Utopia, but I forgot all about it. It’s worth going back? Wire in the Blood is on my list, as is Line of Duty, which my friend who watches a lot of British TV very highly recommends.

      • TrentC

        I’ve watched most of what you’ve listed above, with the exception of the first three. Thanks for the suggestions!

        I too have forgotten some of them. Going to have to sit down and get a list together. Utopia is worth watching, quirky and interesting. Excellent use of colors, shots and music. Only 12 episodes if memory serves.

        Used to tease some Brit buddies on a forum after I watched MI-5/Spooks. What the heck, is every season (series) only three or five episodes long? Do they kill a protagonist every season as a rule? Can a supervisor last longer than one season? Do seasons change the number of episodes each year?

        Sherlock was an early find for me. Was surprised they continued it after the two leads became obscenely famous. Hate waiting 13 years for a handful of episodes though.

        I tried Midsomer Murders with 19 seasons and something like 80 episodes. Wiki tells me it started it 1997, but the initial few seasons sure gave me a 60’s or 70’s vibe. Maybe that’s the feel of small-village life in England or just the acting and writing style. I couldn’t get very far as the episodes seemed repetitious. I’ve never visited England and sure liked the filming locations for the early seasons of the show. Need to visit for sure.

        Lastly, I assumed Penny Dreadful was an American production. Now there’s a show steeped in mood with great cinematography.

        • Andiamo

          Okay thanks, I’ll give Utopia a shot. Let me know if you get that list together.

          I kind of like the short series the Brits do, but that 3-5 episode season thing is just annoying! The first season of Black Mirror I was looking everywhere for the rest of the episodes because I thought there’s no way this could be it.

          MI-5 really did love killing people off, but at least they kept Nicola Walker on for a while because they knew I have a crush on her, so I’m okay with it. (She’s in River too by the way, and Unforgotten, which I forgot to mention but was also really good.)

          I’m with you on Midsomer Murders. I couldn’t get into it. Same with Inspector Morse and George Gently. I guess I just like the dark and twisty better.

          Just curious, have you ever seen the original 1960’s version of The Prisoner? I watched one episode a long time ago, and I remember thinking it seemed amazing and bizarre, but I never got around to watching the rest of it.

          • TrentC

            I liked Nicola too. Saw a few episodes of The Prisoner as a child. Really weird hit or miss sort of broadcasting on one of our channels here, they never showed the entire series at once. So that left me with a vague feeling of unease as I didn’t understand the premise, and to be fair, the show was a little strange.

  • homertownie

    I liked the Black Mirror series, but I have no idea what you said in the podcast. Like most people, I listen to podcasts while driving and being half distracted. Like most people, I watch TV without paying any attention to episode names.

    So when I listened to the podcast, I almost never knew what episode the people were talking about. The plot line was never summarized so that I could recall it, but rather the speakers clearly kept notes with the episode name at the top and only referenced the episode name.

    What made me laugh is that all the commentary (except twice) in the entire podcast was so vague and non-specific that it gave no hint about the plot either and was no help in understanding what episode was being referred to.

    Rob is now doing a good job in the SNL podcast in quickly reminding listeners about what the skit was about before they talk about, so it is very digestible while driving several days after watching the late night show.

    The media of podcasting is like radio, and very few people listen to radio while sitting and doing nothing else. If you reference something, you need to describe it by something the audience would know. Same thing with talking about an actor without also not specifying their role in the show — the number of people who know all the actors names is an extremely tiny part of your audience. I doubt many of you know the names if you weren’t talking with IMDB on your computer in front of you.

    You need to talk as if you are speaking to people driving down the highway to work in traffic, and they saw the TV show a week ago without taking notes — not like they can Google all your references or have a list of episode names in front of them.