Black Mirror | Ep. 1 – 7 Recap

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Mike Bloom (@AMikeBloomType) and AJ Mass (@AJMass) discuss the episodes thus far of the British sci-fi horror anthology series Black Mirror, due to both the first six episodes being released on Netflix and the recently-aired Christmas episode. The two go into a general discussion on the style and tone of the series before diving into detailed discussion of each of the episodes. They conclude with their own personal rankings of the episodes they’ve seen.
Send any questions and feedback along to Mike and AJ on Twitter or in the comments below!
black-mirror-300 Black Mirror is available on Netflix (and Shomi_ in Canada).[/caption]

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  • heymikeymike

    I was so thrilled when this showed up on my podcast! For the past few weeks, I’ve been screaming from the Twittertop to anyone that will listen that they have to see this show!

    Haven’t not heard anything about this show, I stumbled upon it by accident on Netflix and it took me a couple of tries to get started on it b/c judging by the first 2 minutes of episode 1, I assumed it was just a British Political Drama a la House of Cards.

    I’m so glad I went into seeing this show blind as you guys suggested and wished y’all did a in-depth podcast on each episode instead of an overall review

  • Agrippas

    Thank you Mike and A.J. for this Black Mirror recap. I like it a lot, and will defiantly tune in for more recaps about future episodes! As you suggested at the end of the podcast, I want to defend “The Waldo Moment”, because I think it is a much underrated episode, and many times misunderstood.

    Many of the episodes are corresponding with important postmodern works and thinkers. For example, “White Bear” is borrowing many ideas from Foucault’s writing, like the Panopticon in “Discipline and Punish”. Similarly, the “The Waldo Moment” is corresponding with “The Death of the Author” by Roland Barthes. In this article Barthes claims that the audience of the work is more important than the author, and that every reader must ignore the personal, cultural or historical background of the author, and focus on his own reaction to the text. In other words, Barthes disassembles the connection between the creator and the creation.

    In the episode, Jamie, who is basically the creator of Waldo, lost control over his own creation, which at first became bigger than its creator, and later got its own life, figuratively. However, Black Mirror isn’t stopping at this point, but it shows the consequence of this phenomenon and criticizing it. The episode doesn’t stop when the author lost the control over his creation, and present the price that both the author and society are paying because of this creation. So, in its own way the episode is more criticizing towards the postmodern thought than towards the modern world. We can compare it to the question about the connection between Nietzsche and Nazism. The episode took a stand about this issue and claim that the author has responsibility not only for the use he is doing with his creation, but also, to the use that other might do with his creation. I think that from this perspective the ending of the episode is much more justified. Like you said, Jamie should have foreseen this course of events, and therefore is responsible for what happened, even if he tried to stop it.

    In addition, I think that Gwendolyn is the second most important character in the episode (and not Monroe).In the last conversation she had with Jamie, she argued that Jamie has a responsibility to stand for what he believes in. In the end, if all the supporters of Waldo would have been voted for Gwendolyn, she would have won the election. I think that the episode is much more powerful, if you watch it from her perspective.

  • Ross Kiely

    1. The Entire History of You
    2. White Christmas
    3. Fifteen Million Merits
    4. Be Right Back
    5. The National Anthem
    6. White Bear
    7. The Waldo Moment

  • Ron Smith

    Just wanted to tell you guys how much I enjoyed your podcast on Black Mirror.

    What an all-around brilliant show: the writing, directing, acting, all top-notch.

    National Anthem is one of the most effed-up things I’ve ever seen on TV. Or film.

    I was in complete agreement with your views on each episode. My favorites, along with the National Anthem were 15 Million Merits, The Entire History of You and White Bear, which was devastating.

    I agree that the Waldo Moment and Be Right Back didn’t work as well for me. I still have yet to see the Christmas special.

    Thanks again for covering this.

  • homertownie

    If you want to learn what NOT to do in a podcast, this the great example.

    I watched all of the episodes of Black Mirror many months ago and then listened to this podcast. I didn’t understand any of this because NOBODY REMEMBERS THE “NAMES” OF EPISODES and CHARACTERS IN A ONE HOUR SHOW.

    If the podcasters had actually reminded listeners of what the episode was about, rather than just labeling it the unrelated name of each episode, then it could have been good. PEOPLE LISTENING TO PODCASTS ARE DRIVING AND NOT ABLE TO DO RESEARCH ON THE INTERNET TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    I hope this podcast is a learning experience and never repeated by the RHAP network,

    • Mike Bloom

      Apologies about that! I understand the criticism, even recently watching the episodes I had trouble remembering what titles were affiliated with what episodes since they’re not that descriptive. I’m sorry that it hampered your enjoyment of the podcast, and it’s definitely something that we’ll think about for the future covering shows across the board.

      • homertownie

        I wrote my comment after listening to an interview with Rob C about how he was glad he had a tiny audience when he started because he was so bad at podcasting then. My comment was in the same spirit. All the RHAP podcasters are rather rough when they start.

        True negative feedback is gold to help you improve. Name calling and just disagreement with opinion should just be ignored. Looking at my own comment, I realize it was ridiculous to use all caps, so I learned something too.