So, a couple of weeks ago I wrote Black Mirror, Blunt Teeth, discussing how much I felt like season one of Black Mirror didn’t hold up to the hype — but I was still going to check in with the second season (and subsequent ones) because I’d been hearing so much about the show.
Well, I finished season 2 over Christmas weekend, and does that show ever warm up in its second season. Seriously, it was almost like watching two different shows: one lukewarm and cartoonish, the other utterly chilling.
We kick off with Be Right Back, which plays with the idea of people preserving themselves via their social media and online history. It’s an idea I’ve been playing around with in a few short stories, so it was kind of cool to see it done so well in this story. A young woman whose boyfriend dies tries to keep from letting go of him – and what happens because of it will give you goosebumps. For some reason, this episode reminded me of British Zombie show In The Flesh; thematically it covers different territory but the tones are similar.
Next up? White Bear. This was the episode all my friends had been talking about, and it was the one I watched on a big-screen TV. It’s also the one my mom walked in on halfway through; she was so freaked out by it that she left the room after a few minutes – but she did ask me, later, how it turned out. While the first season’s episode The National Anthem toyed a bit with the idea of entertainment as the dehumanization of the masses, White Bear took this a step further, showing how terrifying it would if revenge and justice were conflated on a societal level.
Which brings us to the end of season two, and The Waldo Moment. This episode had a different tone; less chilling and more analytical, might be the way to put it. Initially I thought they’d spin in a direction that was completely opposite to where the episode ended up; ultimately it seemed like another indictment of society’s willingness to hand over responsibility for itself to nameless, faceless wielders of power.
I’m not sure I’d recommend that one skip season 1 entirely, but so far, for me, season 2 is where it’s at. Check it out on Netflix for some seriously creepy viewing.