Wednesday, February 24, 2016

'Black' History: Black Mirror- Fifteen Million Merits

Another Episode to cover in this month of Black History.  On the plus side, this is less of a cheat, given who is the Lead in this Dystopian Story...
In a bleak Future, everyone lives in little cubes that are basically smart phones.  Who wouldn't want to live in their iPhone 24/7?
To keep everything running, everyone in the lower class is, well, running.  More specifically, they are using treadmills to power this underground world and are paid 'merits' to keep them going.
Our Hero has alot of them- for reasons I won't reveal- and is tired of this hollow form of life.
When he sees someone who has real vision and 'seems alive,' he gives up millions of credits to give her a shot at this world's American Idol/Pop Idol Show.
Can her genuine appeal and natural nature get through to the millions of anonymous faces in the crowd?
This makes me think that something goes wrong.

 To see how it all plays out, watch the Episode.
Dark, but deep stuff.  This Episode is a neat but of Science-Fiction in the 'warning you about what could happen' vein.  Do I think that we'll end up living in TV Cubes?  Probably not.  The bigger point is about how people can get disconnected emotionally while being connected online.  We can hide behind our Avatars and think of people much less that way.  If we don't think of these people as human beings, we can be infinitely cruel.  The dehumanization of humanity is the obvious Theme, with the second being our obsession with Media.  In this world, you have to pay Merits to mute the non-stop TV Commercials that run on your walls.  You also have to pay to watch certain Shows, so...message?  The Episode has a pretty small Cast, but they all nail their roles.  Our Hero seems genuine, our Heroine seems innocent and everyone else is kind of an asshole.  You can understand why they have gotten that way, but they are still awful.  While the tone can be bleak at this time, the message is strong enough to make the whole thing worth it.  More poignant and subtle than the first Episode (minus the shock value), this one is an easy recommendation.  See the evil future of Kinect!
One more Episode for this Season to cover in February.  Yeah, TV is weird in England....

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