To be honest guys, I am completely sick of all the horrible festive advertising that is being plastered over my eyes every time I leave the house, turn on the TV or open my laptop. Like Russell Brand has quite vocally expressed, I am appalled at the content of the most recent Sainsbury’s advert. I have been feeling a little bit “Grinchy” this year since I am already half-way through my overdraft and enjoying the broke-ass feeling well before the big day. Which is why I really loved that the latest offering by Charlie Brooker was so refreshingly dark and sinister for a seasonal special.
As I’ve been following this series from the beginning, I will continue to outline the synopsis without giving away any major plot lines. Since Black Mirror has now been added to Netflix, it’s no surprise that our American friends have been watching too! I don’t usually watch TV but I tuned in for this. This episode has a transatlantic cast and features the incredibly handsome and witty Hollywood star, John Hamm (Mad Men…etc) and of course, Rafe Spall who has appeared in previous Black Mirror episodes.
This is a world where everyone has been installed with a series of digital implants in the eyes and brain and is also possible to make a copy of an individual and store the data as software in a little box called a cookie. In Brooker’s dystopian version of the near future, it is also possible to block people as you would on Facebook except that you completely cut off contact with the individual. As in they, effectively, disappear from your life. You can’t hear or see them, they even disappear from photographs.
The episode starts with two divorced men stuck working in an arctic outpost at Christmas. John Hamm’s character, a disgraced relationship guru tells Rafe Spall the story of his last and late client. He gives shy men real-time pick up advice through the chip in his brain. It is revealed that he witnessed the murder of his client and as a result, his wife blocked and left him. Both characters have dark secrets to hide and is revealed slowly throughout the show.
I won’t reveal anymore about what happens in the episode. I completely guessed the ending by Part 3 which made it a tad predictable but it raises some important points from a “technophobic” perspective. It seems to paint a negative picture of a more connected society and doesn’t show any positive outcomes to having this technology. I suppose when high technology meets with human needs and desires, it can only end up with people using it for their own means.