Less than six months after releasing the disappointing interactive experiment “Bandersnatch,” Netflix’s science fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” is back with three traditionally-structured episodes.
On the latest installment of the Original Content podcast, we weigh in with our thoughts on the new season. We didn’t entirely agree on which episodes were strongest, but we agreed that there wasn’t a real misfire in the bunch.
Darrell and Jordan were most impressed the season opener, “Striking Vipers” — which uses a VR fighting game as a launching point for a thorny exploration of sexuality and friendship — while Anthony preferred “Smithereens,” in which the the driver with an Uber-style app takes a social media intern hostage. And we also had a good time with “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” which stars as Miley Cyrus as a pop star who’s merchandised as a friendly AI assistant.
Not all of the new episodes end happily, but in general, the show’s penchant for bleakness seems to have lifted (or perhaps it was simply channeled into “Bandersnatch”), leaving room for more emotional complexity. If we had any complaints, they had more to do with the relatively abbreviated season length, and with our skepticism about some of the show’s near-future technology.
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And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
1:33 “Black Mirror” spoiler-free review
31:00 Spoiler discussion