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Old 06-04-2019, 11:51 PM
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Black Mirror 5.03 "Striking Vipers"


Season 5 of black mirror drops on Netflix tomorrow. Since it's only three episodes, and because some people like to space them out while others binge all three at once and it becomes a pain in one thread talking about three different things that dropped at once while some people are only looking to discuss the first episode, I'm going to make three separate threads for each episode.

5.01 is here.
5.02 is here
5.03 is this thread.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:11 PM
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That went in a totally different direction than anticipated. These episode aren't as bleak as previous seasons.

"I fucked a polar bear!"
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:03 AM
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The fact that there's only one reply to this thread makes me want to cry. This is the most compelling and thought-provoking show to come around in a LONG time, but maybe they didn't promote it sufficiently so that the new episodes would have a bigger impact when they were released. I hope there's more discussion to follow, but I'm hesitant to spent a lot of time writing out my thoughts on it if participation in the thread doesn't pick up a little bit.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:10 AM
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The fact that there's only one reply to this thread makes me want to cry. This is the most compelling and thought-provoking show to come around in a LONG time, but maybe they didn't promote it sufficiently so that the new episodes would have a bigger impact when they were released. I hope there's more discussion to follow, but I'm hesitant to spent a lot of time writing out my thoughts on it if participation in the thread doesn't pick up a little bit.
They just came out yesterday.

I'm not sure what my thoughts are about this episode yet. (Are we doing spoilers, btw?) I think they indicated the ending with the first scene, but I'm still not sure how it's sitting with me.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:53 AM
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I didn't think this one made a whole lot of sense. With that level of technology a fighting game makes zero sense, or to turn it around it makes zero sense to put that level of sensory feedback in a fighting game. That was literally a holodeck from Star Trek.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:35 AM
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I think it was limited to "two people in a constrained, though highly realistic, environment." What else is there to do but fight or fuck?!? With that being said, if any VR game came out that was basically a sex simulator, as this one was, it would instantly become a huge phenomenon with large numbers of people totally addicted to it. Yet within the episode, it seemed like those two guys were the only ones who played it. I get that they wanted to keep the focus of the story on those characters, but you'd think there would at least be other people talking about it, or a report on the news about it, or some sense that it gained widespread popularity.

Last edited by Lamoral; 06-07-2019 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:48 AM
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This is the most compelling and thought-provoking show to come around in a LONG time
That's quite an overstatement IMO. It's good. It's thought-provoking at times. But there are definitely shows that are as compelling or as thought-provoking - and some Black Mirror episodes are just not all that compelling or thought-provoking.

This one was decent, but I agree with Digital C - how does it make sense for that sort of sensory feedback in a fighting game? I mean if that sort of sensory feedback was possible in a game, it'd be all over the place in porn (which would mean the wife would probably better figure out what was going on considering what game he was playing).
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:12 AM
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I didn't think this one made a whole lot of sense. With that level of technology a fighting game makes zero sense, or to turn it around it makes zero sense to put that level of sensory feedback in a fighting game. That was literally a holodeck from Star Trek.

Technologies and their usage making zero sense describes almost every episode of Dark Mirror. It is the pony's one trick.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:53 PM
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A few eps of BM struck me as thought provoking but mostly the show has been playing with the same thought again and again.

This specific one got pretty boring and no real payoff at the end.
SPOILER:
Once a year they gift themselves an open marriage his in VR with a real emotional infidelity and hers in meatspace with just physical one nighter?
Yawn.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:02 PM
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I think it was limited to "two people in a constrained, though highly realistic, environment." What else is there to do but fight or fuck?!? With that being said, if any VR game came out that was basically a sex simulator, as this one was, it would instantly become a huge phenomenon with large numbers of people totally addicted to it. Yet within the episode, it seemed like those two guys were the only ones who played it. I get that they wanted to keep the focus of the story on those characters, but you'd think there would at least be other people talking about it, or a report on the news about it, or some sense that it gained widespread popularity.
Karl specifically mentioned in one scene that he had tried sex with other players, including a polar bear, but it wasn't the same. I assumed it was being used for sex and was popular, but the story didn't focus on that.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:03 PM
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I liked it, but it was pretty surface level. I wish they had done a deeper exploration of the premise.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:58 PM
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They really flirted around with the "black men on the d/l" trope but kinda wasted the premise a bit. It could have gone somewhere interesting, either psychologically or socially but elected to spend all the time on the in-game banging. Yeah, guys, we get it, they're getting the holodeck all gooey. Yawn.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:05 AM
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For some reason this one was listed first for me. It was pretty good but not top flight for me. But damn Ludi Lin is a ridiculously good looking guy.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:15 PM
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I liked the ending. I wasn't expecting it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:25 PM
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I enjoyed it. It was engaging to the end. Better than 90% of TV. But I'd say it probably a B- for Black Mirrors.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:46 PM
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I liked the ending. I wasn't expecting it.
It was unexpected and surprisingly wholesome, specially for black mirror. I guess you do have to ignore the fact that Karl's obsession was bordering on unhealthy.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:13 PM
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This was also first for me and I found it to be a total miss. I can't describe it, but this episode was a snooze for me. I think Brooker could have done a lot more with the concept than this.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:32 PM
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I enjoyed it. It was engaging to the end. Better than 90% of TV. But I'd say it probably a B- for Black Mirrors.
That sounds about right to me. Worth a watch but not a stone cold classic.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:40 PM
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The fact that there's only one reply to this thread makes me want to cry. This is the most compelling and thought-provoking show to come around in a LONG time, but maybe they didn't promote it sufficiently so that the new episodes would have a bigger impact when they were released. I hope there's more discussion to follow, but I'm hesitant to spent a lot of time writing out my thoughts on it if participation in the thread doesn't pick up a little bit.
I agree. These guys were buddies. They were straight and had no gay-leaning inclinations as witnessed by their attempt at kissing. But they shared an emotional connection that led to enjoyable "sex" in a realistic VR environment where they could have heterosexual "sex" with each other.

Would that happen if we had that level of technology? What would that mean for your marriage and family? And your friendships? Would it really mean so much to you that your once-yearly cheating deal with your wife meant that she had real sex with another guy while you banged your buddy in a video game? Would your marriage be better or worse?

Black Mirror rarely fails to nail it with these thought provoking episodes, although I agree with other posters that they rely on technology/VR a wee bit much.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:36 PM
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I liked the exploration of the dividing lines between close buddies' affection, and emotional, sexual intimacy - the technology was just a means by which they conjured the conundrum. And the added taboo of two black males at the centre of it only heightened things. That said; if the wife suspected hubby of an affair, you'd think she'd be more interested in his late-night VR activities - it's not unknown after all for people to have 'emotional' affairs without this sort of crazy tech. And you'd think the game would somewhat numb physical sensations to avoid the agony of fighting, though maybe the sex loophole was a feature, rather than a bug.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:04 PM
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I just wonder what names they rejected before coming up with "Striking Vipers". Bumping Boas? Slapping Snakes? Rubbing Rattlers?
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:13 PM
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I just wonder what names they rejected before coming up with "Striking Vipers". Bumping Boas? Slapping Snakes? Rubbing Rattlers?
Would "sword fighting serpents" be too obvious?
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:56 AM
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I found this ep kind of tedious but the ending redeemed it for me, and the more I reflect on it's message and portrayal of the realities of marriage(the challenges and sacrifice and the sometimes mundane nature of it all)the more I like it.

I agree that too much time was spent showing the interaction of the game characters. Of course, I'm not a gamer so that may have affected my opinion.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:25 AM
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I was wondering if the reason they liked it was going to be because sex in the VR game was "Perfect." No fatigue, no clumsiness, no premature launch, your partner is always totally hot and they can change their appearance, within a certain amount of choices, to something else if they or you like.

I was also wondering if the ending was going to be something like it turns out the wife has found the game and is playing Lance without Karl knowing until too late. Talk about revenge sex.
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Last edited by Hypno-Toad; 06-10-2019 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:23 AM
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I was wondering if the reason they liked it was going to be because sex in the VR game was "Perfect." No fatigue, no clumsiness, no premature launch, your partner is always totally hot and they can change their appearance, within a certain amount of choices, to something else if they or you like.

I was also wondering if the ending was going to be something like it turns out the wife has found the game and is playing Lance without Karl knowing until too late. Talk about revenge sex.
I was thinking that same thing too and I'm glad it wasn't the ending.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:38 PM
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Would "sword fighting serpents" be too obvious?
"Spitting Cobras!"
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:42 PM
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Gives a new spin to "FINISH HER!"
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:49 PM
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I kept wondering why they didnít switch and let Danny be Roxette once in a while.
One of my least favorite episodes.
  #29  
Old 06-15-2019, 09:01 PM
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The whole episode, my main concern was "When are they going to show more of Karl's car?"

I love those late sixties Mustangs.

That's how bored I was with the story.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:14 PM
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I wish it had actually explored the trans aspect.

Even if it was 'are you...' 'naw, man.'

As it was, it was this big ol' elephant sitting in the middle of the room.
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