Black Mirror Is Back with Another Series of Bad Trips

in Culture

A little over a year ago, I reviewed an Oscar-nominated short from Mexican-American screenwriter and director K.D. Dávila titled Please Hold, about an alternative (read: potential) future in which someone gets arrested by a drone for an undisclosed crime and placed in a fully-automated holding cell where a malfunctioning computer screen prevents him from communicating with his lawyer.

In my review, I wrote that Please Hold feels a lot like Black Mirror, and for good reason. Its central theme of humanity getting stuck in a trap of its own making has been part of the Netflix hit’s DNA from the very beginning, and is placed front and center in a new season that premiered on June 15 – four years after the previous one. 

A lot has happened in the real world since then, both politically and technologically. Deep fakes of photo and video variety can now be used to fabricate convincing visual “evidence” for written misinformation on social media and beyond. Generative AI, chiefly ChatGPT, is automating the bottom tier of the white-collar job market. Netflix is no longer the only streaming service in town, and its ongoing war with HBO Max and Disney+ is driving media executives to make popular entertainment even more noxiously nefarious than it already was. 

Since Black Mirror is, as its title suggests, a reflection of the real world, it should come as no surprise that many of these developments are featured in the new episodes. The first of these, “Joan is Awful,” follows a woman whose young, upwardly mobile existence falls apart when she discovers the streaming service Streamberry – which has the same logo style, font type, and intro as Netflix – has created a computer-generated show about her private life, something she unknowingly gave them legal permission to do when she signed up …

Read More

Author: Tim Brinkhof / High Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest from Culture

0 $0.00
Go to Top