Black Mirror Season 1 Ep 2 (2011) TV-Srs Mini Review

A new episode featuring completely different casts, settings and story, but it retains the same theme. Ep 2 follows the predecessor in following the theme of human’s relationship with technology. We are introduced to a world where the TV rules and people are forced to work through ‘bikes’ to power them up. It is a pretty surreal setting as this world is almost exactly the same as our current one in terms of media contents.

The main character is Bing, who received 12 million merits, the world’s currency, from his dead brother. He spent most of his time biking and then watching TV streams across the ‘Wall TVs’ in his room and practically anywhere else. TVs are really in abundance and every wall in people’s room, toilets and even the biking area are often lit with advertisements and other streaming contents, kinda like Netflix but more random. You have to pay for food and even for skipping advertisements! So Bing meets a girl, Abi,who has beautiful voice in the toilet (they share toilet among both genders) and he gives her the money to join Hot Shots, an X-Factor style show. Its just too bad the characters are not the main focus as this episode focuses more on the overall theme of media controlling our everyday lives.

From here on, we are constantly shown our greedy consumption of media contents from games, adverbs to porn. Apparently skipping Porn requires payment, which is the opposite of our world LOL. Worse thing is you can’t NOT watch them, as the moment you close your eyes for a period of time other than sleeping, the TVs will lit up with warning to resume viewing. In a sense, its kind of a torture in this exaggerated version. However, this is Precisely what we do each day before sleep. Even when we are tired, we keep checking our phones, or use the computers to digest more medias. It reflects our lifestyle eerily and this episode nails it perfectly.

Then during the Hot Shots sequence, we are brought to the cold hard fact that the world is not real. Which means the medias that we see are seldom real. Abi wants to be a singer, but in that world, the singer market is too saturated, and all those advertisements of past singers becoming successful in each Hot Shots turns out to be false. Instead, she chose to go to the porn industry as she doesnt want to keep biking for the rest of her life. The same goes for Bing, when he goes on stage to rant about the unfairness of the system and dishonesty of the people. Ironically, what he did is thought of as ‘performance’ and he is invited to perform in one of the Judges’ channel. It’s just so mindblowing, in a way this episode treats the characters as just…characters. They are all acting, and even if parts of them are real, in the end the audience will assume them as ‘great performance’. Are these not the same with our current world with all the celebrities and stuff?

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Categories: black mirror, TV-Series ReviewTags: , , , , , , , , ,

Anthony L Tjandra

A photographer and videographer that aims to capture the Heart behind the moments.

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