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Old 06-04-2019, 11:49 PM
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Black Mirror 5.01 Smithereens


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.

This is the thread for 5.01.
5.02 is here.
5.03 is here.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 06-04-2019 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:35 PM
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I haven't read a lot about this season, but I read a few things that called this the weakest of the three and I have to disagree. I'd say they were all about equal. They all had good elements and all were just a little less amazing than previous seasons. But all in all highly watchable and I'll probably have nightmares tonight.

This one was maybe the saddest but I love the lead guy (Moriarty!) and that gave it bonus points.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:42 PM
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Iím not sure whether itís because I was a little drunk or because he was just that good, but I had no idea that was Topher Grace.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:06 PM
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Iím not sure whether itís because I was a little drunk or because he was just that good, but I had no idea that was Topher Grace.
Dude me either! I recognized the voice as familiar. Thrilling episode.

Also, isn't this episode 2, the Ashley o number 3, and, striking Vikings number 1?
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:19 AM
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Dude me either! I recognized the voice as familiar. Thrilling episode.

Also, isn't this episode 2, the Ashley o number 3, and, striking Vikings number 1?
That's the order they were for me. Wiki lists them in that order as well.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:01 AM
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I really liked this episode, and would rank it #1 out of the three (Ashley O is last). That's probably based in large part on Andrew Scott's performance. He's just so good in everything he does.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:28 PM
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I really liked this episode, and would rank it #1 out of the three (Ashley O is last). That's probably based in large part on Andrew Scott's performance. He's just so good in everything he does.
Ditto on Andrew Scott. He is fantastic.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:36 PM
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So what do we think happened at the end?
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:55 PM
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So what do we think happened at the end?
Headshot.

Then the rest of the world got the update on their smithereen app, shrugged and went about their lives.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:03 PM
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I enjoyed the episode, but I'm getting a little burned out on this show in general. I read somewhere someone describing the whole series as "what if phones but too much" and that pretty much sums this one up.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:20 PM
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I read somewhere someone describing the whole series as "what if phones but too much"

This.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:52 PM
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Dude me either! I recognized the voice as familiar ...
I think I only recognized him because I recently binged Fleabag S2 (he was on that too).

The plot of this was silly but the quality of the performances made up for it.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:38 PM
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I think I only recognized him because I recently binged Fleabag S2 (he was on that too).



The plot of this was silly but the quality of the performances made up for it.
Andrew Scott was on Fleabag and this ep. The post you quoted was talking about Topher Grace, the owner of green Twitter.

Anyways it was ok. I like Black Mirror because it shines a disturbing light on the potential future of technology. This was something that easily could have happened today... Or even 5 years ago. Social media is addictive by design and can cause deaths if you check your phone while driving. Ok - that's why we've created a bunch of laws about it. Well filmed, but not necessarily the reason I watch this show.

I do also think (at least on these first two eps of this season) they are exploring these issues on the bare surface level.

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Old 06-07-2019, 11:44 PM
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This was IMO the weakest episode not only of the three so far, but perhaps the entire SHOW so far. I'm scratching my head as to how Charlie Brooker, whose standards are usually higher, could be responsible for this highly generic piece of pablum. I had very high hopes for it as I generally liked the "British" Black Mirror episodes - as in, either taking place in the UK or featuring British actors in a different setting - more than the "American" ones. But this episode was very light on heaviness, to put it Britishly.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:55 PM
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I actually strongly disliked all three new episodes (but still admired Andrew Scott's performance nonetheless). I thought they were weak, obvious, and silly.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:37 PM
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I enjoyed it, but yeah, way down for Black Mirror. Maybe a C.
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It may be because I'm a drooling simpleton with the attention span of a demented gnat, but would you mind explaining everything in words of one syllable. 140 chars max.
  #17  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:19 AM
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Definitely one of the weaker Black Mirror episodes. He blames Facebook, err Smithereens for his texting and driving?

Also, these UK snipers must be the worst shots in the entire world. Anyone who has ever fired a gun wouldn't even need a scope at that distance.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:33 PM
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Wouldn't shooting through a windscreen cause problems for anyone? And I imagine taking a rifle bullet to the arm would be a bit more of a problem than the show portrayed.

Overall I liked thus one a lot. It suffers because of high expectations I think. Had it been an episode in the first season I suspect it would have been rated quite highly. But I think Black Mirror has gotten a bit played out as a concept. It'd be for the best if they stopped with this season in my opinion.
  #19  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:08 AM
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As I mentioned in the thread about Striking Vipers, I found this ep kind of tedious and only really started to enjoy it after it ended and I could ponder it a bit. Also, I notice that reviews of this are concentrating on the ambiguity of how it ended, i.e which of them were killed, but I thought the big "whoa!" moment was when the grieving mum got her daughters password (the registration number on the boat in the photo).
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:05 AM
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The thing that always bothers me about these "guess the password" scenes is how they type in their guess, it fails, and then they cross off that entire idea.

Hello? Maybe you have the right phrase, but did you get the case right? Maybe they had to stick a number in it somewhere, or a punctuation symbol, just to please the system at the other end? If it's a multiword phrase, what are you using to divide -- or not -- the words. Every single idea leads to at least dozens of variations.

But, no, you typed in "East Berlin" and it failed, so so much for that idea, and you will never discover that the password was EastBerlin. ):
  #21  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:53 PM
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The thing that always bothers me about these "guess the password" scenes is how they type in their guess, it fails, and then they cross off that entire idea.

Hello? Maybe you have the right phrase, but did you get the case right? Maybe they had to stick a number in it somewhere, or a punctuation symbol, just to please the system at the other end? If it's a multiword phrase, what are you using to divide -- or not -- the words. Every single idea leads to at least dozens of variations.

But, no, you typed in "East Berlin" and it failed, so so much for that idea, and you will never discover that the password was EastBerlin. ):
I agree with you in the general sense in that there are plenty of shows that have scenes that suffer from this. I may be misremembering, but here in particular it looked like she was crossing off guesses from a notebook that had a huge number of entries. I actually assumed at the time that it had a lot of permutations of things, but didnít get to actually read them. Itís also mitigated in my opinion by the fact that itís an unsuccessful strategy, as youíd expect. It comes across as a grieving ritual rather than something that has any real chance of success.

But yes, shows where they guess three times and it actually works are silly for the reasons you articulate.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:16 PM
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I'm finally catching up on the new season. I...kind of liked this one? I felt like the inevitability of the ending was a good thing, I would have been disappointed by some random twist.

I didn't find the ending at all ambiguous - Topher's expression at the end was not "oh no, the hostage was killed," and the sniper's satisfied look clearly meant she was successful.

I do think there was a lot of wish fulfillment for us in seeing Topher disgusted by what his invention had become. We all wish Mark Zuckerburg felt the same, but sadly I see nothing to make me believe that.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:19 PM
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I guess we were also supposed to think the social media companies were in the wrong for not letting a grieving mother into her daughters account, but holy shit would i not want my parents to get access to my account if i died. If i wanted them to have my password they would have it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:11 PM
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Commenting a bit late since this bubbled to the top, but I liked this episode. For some reason we watched the episodes in reverse order starting with Ashley O, followed by this one the same night. Striking Vipers we didn't get back to for a week or so. Perhaps my enjoyment of this one was bolstered by how lame and bright Ashley O was in comparison.

The subject matter was....not trite, but certainly not very "Black Mirrory" since this subject is pretty much a daily discussion these days. In that way, I could see someone getting a Lifetime movie of the week vibe from this, but it was really well made and some of the locations they filmed at were striking. Having the tech billionaire be moderately weird but not a total sociapath was a nice change from the usual trope.

The acting was terrific and the drama of the hostage situation was pretty gripping in parts. It felt much more like a run of the mill procedural at first than a Black Mirror episode I grant, but I was enjoying the dram enough that I didn't care that much. It didn't say anything "important" I suppose, but good TV is good TV.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:26 PM
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I guess we were also supposed to think the social media companies were in the wrong for not letting a grieving mother into her daughters account, but holy shit would i not want my parents to get access to my account if i died.

Don't worry--if the security at the site is set up correctly, then nobody in the company from the technicians up to the CEO know your password or have any way to read it--it is encrypted even to them. That was one of the most eye-rolling aspects of that particular episode.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:53 PM
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I thought the set-up was mildly interesting, but the payoff was a dud. I liked the other two better.
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