Be Right Back
The Waldo Moment
Black Mirror returns for a second Season, building on the great foundation set and improves in almost every way. The four episodes are uniquely presented, well shot and thought provocative, showing a reflection on our societal attitude toward technology. The second Season hits a lot harder with its themes, presenting them on an ugly platter with some great twists in the stories.
“Be Right Back” explores the implications of loss and grief. If we could speak to our loved ones again after they pass away, should we? Its an interesting concept and its devastating consequences are fully realized in this tale. With a minimal score, the episode is interesting tonally, switching from hopefulness to one of dread and eventually uneasy horror as the colour palette dulls and the story becomes deeper. Its a great start to the season and with such a strong series, its hard to point out a single episode that doesn’t deliver.
The second episode, “White Bear”, is one of my personal favourites. The plot line is clever, well presented and despite some disappointing over-acting by the protagonist Victoria (Lenora Crichlow) the dark reveal at the end of this episode is good enough to overlook the acting. It arguably presents an episode closest to what we currently have in society now. With swarms of people filming through their camera phones, it shows that society would rather passively watch than actively engage and these themes run deep through the episode. It helps that there’s a great twist to really polish the script off too but for me, this one really hit hard.
“The Waldo Moment” tackles the sheer absurdity of the political spectrum; a cartoon bear runs for parliament and the masses get behind this. With sharp wit, a brutal comedic passion but zero policies to help the country, Waldo represents just how important personality is in politics, regardless of whether you’re political equipped or not. Although stylistically it doesn’t feature anything out of the ordinary, the real meat of this episode comes from the themes which are poignant, brutal and in your face.
The final episode is arguably not even part of Season 2. A Christmas special released a year later than the Series, “White Christmas” boasts three inter-connected tales told by two men alone in a remote ice base. The episode explores multiple themes, with the colour white used a lot through the episode. Whether this is a conscious choice or not, its used well and the episode tackles a variety of technological advances including the ability to block a human being from their existence. There’s some great twists in this episode and at 1 hour and 10 minutes, its the longest episode of the season.
Overall, the second Season of Black Mirror is everything you’d want from a follow up season of dark, twisted tales. Thematically solid and featuring some well produced episodes, Black Mirror is one of the most consistent shows on TV. A dark reflection on our own societal fears, Black Mirror’s four episodes are some of the best produced TV in a long time. Show creator and head writer Charlie Brooker proves once again that his incredible writing knows no bounds in a season full of uncomfortable truths about the direction our technological products could take us in.