Stephen King’s It – 2017 version

You’ll float too.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

As a longtime Stephen King fan, I have to say that when I first read It I wasn’t all that impressed. I actually bought the first hardback release, way back in 1986 when I was a mere teenager, not much older than the protagonists at the story’s outset. It was, in fact, my first purchase with my wages from my very first job – as a clerk at a local video library where I wasn’t even old enough (technically) to watch some of the films we stocked. Continue reading “Stephen King’s It – 2017 version”

Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 6 – Black Museum

(SPOILER WARNING!)

There’s a point in the life of many shows where they start to become extremely self-referential. The X Files, Lost… and in most cases, it means that they’ve at least crouched down to jump over that shark. Black Museum, an anthology episode of an actual anthology series packed full of references to previous episodes, could easily be seen like that. Continue reading “Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 6 – Black Museum”

Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 5 – Metalhead

(SPOILER WARNING!)

With Metalhead, it’s beginning to look like Charlie Brooker is trying to push the boundaries of what Black Mirror began as in this fourth season. It’s bleak, sure; it’s about tech, sure. But that’s about where the similarities to a standard Black Mirror ep (if there is such a thing) end. There’s little of Brooker’s usual misanthropy to be had, but that’s not to say it has a rosier outlook on humanity. It’s just that, for the most part, there’s only one person in it. And this one doesn’t show us the effect of tech on society, because society’s already over. Continue reading “Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 5 – Metalhead”

Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 4 – Hang the DJ

(SPOILER WARNING!)

In Black Mirror’s first Netflix run, Charlie Brooker decided, as a serial contrarian, to write against type and present us with a story in which technological innovation was used to provide hope and optimism. The result was the genuinely uplifting, and critically acclaimed, San Junipero, which used its technological hook to present us with a genuinely moving love story between two people who without the tech would never have met. It was heartfelt and lovely – if you ever think Brooker is completely without hope for the future, this is the one to look at. Continue reading “Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 4 – Hang the DJ”

Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 3 – Crocodile

(SPOILER WARNING!)

This was a bit of an unusual one, by Black Mirror standards. Yes, it was a dark tale of people doing bad things and suffering in a world of the near future; but this time, the technological innovation on which the tale hinged was portrayed as neither good nor bad. That all depended on the people who used it, and the implication was that, in general, it did more good than harm. Continue reading “Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 3 – Crocodile”

Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 2 – Arkangel

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Parents! You’re worried about your kid, right? Worried that she might be seeing things she shouldn’t. Worried that he might be doing things he shouldn’t. Am I right? Well, what if you could track them every minute of the day, see everything they see as they see it, and even choose to block “unwholesome” things from their vision altogether? Continue reading “Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 2 – Arkangel”

Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 1 – USS Callister

(SPOILER WARNING!)

I’m a huge fan of Charlie Brooker. His TV criticism, along with that of Clive James, is what inspired me to start writing this blog in the first place, way back in January of 2007. It’s a great shame he hasn’t done his usual review of the year, which would presumably have been titled 2017 Wipe, but the reason is that he’s been too hard at work on the latest series of his thought-provoking tech-dystopia anthology Black Mirror. All things considered, I think that’s a pretty fair exchange. Continue reading “Black Mirror: Season 4, Episode 1 – USS Callister”