Today Netflix has released the fifth season of the anthology series Black Mirror. Unfortunately, since we got the choose-your-own-adventure Bandersnatch film at the end of December, this season is just three episodes. This season’s first story, “Striking Vipers”, finds estranged friends Danny (Anthony Mackie, Avengers: Endgame) & Karl (Yaha Abdul-Mateen II, The Get Down) reuniting over a Mortal Combat-like video game they used to play a lot while in college. The latest version of the game includes an immersive VR experience, and Danny’s growing obsession with the game starts to affect his relationship with his wife Theo (Nicole Beharie, Sleepy Hollow). The second story, “Smithereens”, finds a rideshare driver’s (Andrew Scott, Sherlock) day spiraling out of control as he desperately seeks an audience with social media tech mogul Billy Bauer (Topher Grace, The Hot Zone). The episode also stars Damson Idris (Snowfall) as a young man who gets pulled into the events. The final episode, “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”, follows lonely teenagers Rachel (Angourie Rice) and Jack (Madison Davenport, Sharp Objects), who move to a new town after their mother passes away. Thanks to technology, Rachel is able to form a connection to her pop star idol, Ashley O (Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana). However, Ashley’s glamorous life isn’t all it appears to be.
Writer Charlie Brooker continues to provide fully fleshed out, thought-provoking stories centered around technology. He shows how it can be both beneficial in our lives, but can also turn into a destructive force as things can quickly go overboard. I thought these three stories got progressively better as I made my way through the season. All of these stories pose scenarios where technology could potentially take over our relationships, or replace people in our lives. The producers have assembled a wonderful cast. Andrew Scott’s performance in the second episode is excellent, and the third episode, shows a very different side of Miley Cyrus—this is definitely not Hannah Montanna! The third episode was easily my favorite as it has some really fun comedic moments as the story really comes together in the final act.
The thing that’s nice about Black Mirror is that all of the episode are separate, so you can jump in at any story if the plot sounds interesting, or if it features some actors you enjoy. This is definitely one of my favorite Netflix shows. Charlie Brooker does an excellent job of coming up with these interesting and thought-provoking stories that shine a light on how technology could impact the human condition.
Tonight I’ll also be watching/recording The Amazing Race and Archer.
For additional suggestions on what to check out tonight, including a new episode of Archer, check out the If We Controlled Your Remote… 6/5/19 post at TVisMyPacifier.com.