I started off a bit disappointed, because this seemed like little more than a duller version of Patriot; the writing felt meandering, the humor more surface-level, never as witty or pithy. Turned out I was looking at it wrong: it’s more of a drama than I’d figured from the premise, with the comedy falling a bit further into the background than it does in Patriot. It’s its own thing, delicately balanced, and a few episodes in it really clicked.
It is still mindblowing that this show could get made, but it’s a shame that it couldn’t quite fill its own shoes towards the end. Guess I’ll read the books, then.
There is only one episode that actually delivers on what I was hoping for, combining great animation with stylish art direction and exploring cool, mature themes: Zima Blue.
There are four of five others that aren’t plain edgelord teenager bullshit, but they’re nothing to write home about.
Building it around the concept of “choose your own adventure” itself did not make any of the choices and outcomes anymore engrossing or thought-provoking — the experience of rewinding to take different paths made everything feel muddled and disconnected. I think the stakes should have been higher, giving the viewer fewer opportunities to fix mistakes.
There is a glimpse of interestingness near the beginning when the medium-unique twist is revealed, but it gets lost as the narrative branches off and grows in possibility space, with some storylines dropping the idea altogether.
It’s a fun ride, and then it’s over. Though I might have to give it another go. Also: the poster is really neat.
What if haunted house movie but
- ten hours long, lots of repetition
- cheesy, artless direction
- all spoken lines are monologues
I understand that it might not be to everyone’s tastes, but I loved the simplicity of this one. Tense, cinematic, more grounded than the average Black Mirror episode. Includes what’s probably the best-designed piece of tech in the entire series, and not a single shot of clumsy CGI. Could have done without the boring tree scene, but otherwise one of my favorites.
Black Mirror seems to be getting more samey, with ever-less varied stories that rely way too much on lampshading (i.e. the plot acknowledging its own silliness to avoid looking absurdly implausible).
This episode had some great ideas, but it felt like the biggest manifestation of those problems. Plus, it breaks what I took to be an unwritten rule of Black Mirror: no cross-episode continuity. The idea that all of this weird shit might be taking place in the same universe only detracted from my experience.