Sunday, February 11, 2018

'Black' History Month: Nosedive (Black Mirror)

After a short break, I'm back to cover the 2nd biggest Episode of Season 3. It got all of the Awards buzz first, but it got overtaken by San Junipero.
How does it stand up on its own? Let's see...
Bryce Dallas Howard is a lowly Office Worker who does everything to be liked, never really being herself.
In this Alternate Future, everyone is obsessed with Social Media and Rating things.

Does my sarcasm drip enough off of the Screen yet?
Above and beyond our actual addiction, this World brings back the eye cameras from a previous Season and has everyone rank each other all the time.

When you get Ranked low enough, it affects everything in your life. For example, we learn that you can't enter Gated Communities unless you ranked a 3.8 (out of 5) or higher.
When she wants to move up in her life, a chance comes in the form of being in the Wedding of a girl who was always mean to her as a kid. All of her friends are highly-ranked though, so, she goes for it.
Will she get what she's always wanted- a .3 increase in her Social Rank- or will it backfire?

Look at the name of the Episode and tell me. Even so, it is great to watch.
Society is messed up- also this Episode can be quite bleak. That was too easy. In any event, this one delivers on what Black Mirror is best at- showing how Technology can make us into assholes. Whether we are trying to see through our Wife's eyes to check if she's cheating or we're running for Prime Minister as a Cartoon, it changes us all. It is notable to see the comparisons between this and San Junipero, even if they can stand equally on their own. Both are about how the shiny veneer of the World covers up the things that we don't want to face. In this case, it is about people giving up their own identities in order to 'fit in.' Don't be a free spirit, lest a series of people you don't know Rank you lower and affect your life. We see one person not able to work at his job when his rank goes too low, while another is not a 'preferred member' when they go from a 4.2 to a 4.18. People are dicks. The biggest thing here is seeing just how good Bryce Dallas Howard is. When she's not playing not-so-subtle-attacks-on-Feminism-disguised-as-Characters that run in high heels, she can be really, really good. You see at her artificial highs and her realistic lows. She deserves all the praise she got for this! The whole thing looks great too, really committing to its World. Its a shame that other things on Netflix can't commit to World-building. I still probably like Junipero a little better, although that is probably mostly how I prefer hopeful to cringe-worthy. It is still great and teaches us to be ourselves...unless you're Chester.
A great mix of bright and shiny & bleak and dark. This theme has been explored in Shows like Community, The Orville and The Amazing Word of Gumball, but this is the acerbic best.

No comments:

Post a Comment