Best Black Mirror Episodes Podcast
I believe this topic is relevant because every episodes’ point is to convey a message about technology, so how strongly the message of the episodes resonates with people will correlate to the episodes they think are best.
The idea of a podcast format will also be so that I can include opinions from other people. The format will be with 4 people at a table, including me, and each person nominates an episode or two (depending on how long it runs for) to discuss. Afterwards I’ll discuss what people said on my own to draw some conclusions.
The idea of including other people is to reach connection points on the theme statements of episodes, finding what makes conveying a message about technology more likeable, and thus more useful for reaching people. Hopefully this will allow me to underline some level of how we could use this knowledge for getting people to think about their technology use. On the flip side, if there is little consensus, I can hopefully draw conclusions out of what this means.
Some of my personal nominations for best:
· USS Callister- This episode intrigued me because of its intense moral dilemma associated with simulation. Since the people that were copied into the game are real people, that should continue their human rights inside the simulation. However, this territory is largely uncharted, there are no laws about this and after all, the real-life version of the person is unaffected.
· San Junipero- This episode might be my favorite just because it was so sweet, and I like the way it explored how technology can extend our lives. The idea of living in a simulation has always fascinated me, so the idea of creating a perfect one to cheat death just captured me. Also, I can see how this is a far-flung extension of always- on technology, to the point where you need it to be on to exist.
· Shut Up and Dance- Scared me more than any other episode of the series. I think the more grounded horror that I could see realistically happening (as opposed to the over-the-top and in my opinion, poorly executed Play Test). The idea that someone could be watching you through your technology until you mess up and they can blackmail you just terrified me.
· Be Right Back- I think this episode had a great balance between having a strong emotional component and making one of the most poignant commentaries on our social media usage. When Ash dies, he is re-created through his social media, and the relational struggles his wife finds following exemplify how we create a perfect version of ourselves online, and to actually live with this is something we wouldn’t want.
· Play Test- Besides the bad acting, this episode felt a little too forward with how it wanted to scare the audience. It felt more like a horror movie than a black mirror episode, because while it was a warning about virtual reality, the idea that it was experimental felt like an obvious plot device to show the dangers of untested technology.
· Arkangel- Found this one to be obnoxious because the message was too ham-handed. I think there just could have been a better way to present ideas of over-protection and censorship than making it this literal.
· The National Anthem- This episode for the most just was too graphic. I think episodes that use graphic-ness can utilize this very effectively if it draws on the right emotional strings to tie it to the narrative. This episode just felt like being graphic for the sake of it, though.