The Horror Honeys: Black Mirror: Season 2

Black Mirror: Season 2

A Horror TV Honey Sophomore Series Review by Lisa

Black Mirror (2013)

It wasnt too long ago that all of super cool nerds were incessantly talking about Black Mirror, the science fiction show out of the UK that has managed to shine a light on our burgeoning dependance on technology. From the Prime Minister who was forced to commit an act of beastiality to the girl who was coerced into selling her body to the couple who learned that being able to relive your memories is a curse rather than a blessing, all three episodes in the first season were perfection. Watching the first season of Black Mirror was compelling and frightening in equal measure because all of the scenarios proposed seem incredibly likely. 

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the second season. While the ideas brought up could potentially happen in our lifetime, the execution just wasnt the same. All three episodes felt overly long and none of them really inspired any kind of thoughtful reflection. Is it possible for a television show to jump the shark in between seasons?

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The season opens with Be Right Back, a story about a woman, Martha, who unexpectedly loses her partner. A friend then signs Martha up for an online service that will allow her to interact with Ash despite the fact that he is no longer with us. By uploading Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, personal emails, videos, photos etc, this virtual Ash is almost as good as the real thing. Martha begins to spend more and more time talking with Ash and he then suggests that there is a higher level of this service that she may like. When a box of body parts shows up at her house, she is put off initially, but she ends up following the instructions and a real lifeAsh is standing in Marthas house. Of course, hes not really Ash and all of the many, tiny things that make us who we are just cannot be duplicated with even the most advanced technology and Martha begins to regret her choice. Grief and loss are tricky emotions to thoughtfully explore and while I appreciated the overall sentiment of Be Right Back, its no Babadook. Well, except for the ending; I found the ending to be just as disappointing as that of the Babadook.

White Bear is definitely the stand out episode and it brings up the most interesting question to which I am mildly ashamed to admit my answer to. The episode opens up with Lenora waking up in a strange house. She has no memory of who she is or how she got where she is. Upon venturing outside, she sees people who are doing nothing but filming her with their cell phones. They do not speak to her or answer her pleas for help. They just follow her and film her. Even when the random guy wearing a balaklava begins hunting her down, these people just keep following and filming. Lenora comes across more than one person who wishes her harm, but she does find an ally who accompanies her to the White Bear facility. Bits of memories are spliced in with Lenoras adventure and when the big reveal finally comes, its certainly a shocker. Truly, it would be no fun to spoil this story so I will only say that I would absolutely be tempted to participate in such a devious activity if one actually existed. White Bear maintained a sense of foreboding and mystery and although I found the sight of a girl wielding an electric knife very amusing, I did enjoy her snazzy Youre Next outfit. The moral questions raised in this episode are some really good ones and it would be interesting to see the premise expanded upon.

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The Waldo Moment closes out the season and although it shined a light on the current state of politics, it was too serious for its own good and became a taxing experience. Basically, Waldo is a blue cartoon bear who ends up throwing his hat into the political ring along with two legitimate  candidates and one who has been hired to represent a party. The most unfortunate thing about all of this is the fact that the notion of a cartoon character running for political office really doesnt seem that far fetched. In America, we love to vote actors into political office, so a cartoon character seems like the next step. Unfortunately, the man behind the voice of Waldo is an exceptionally unhappy man and his Gloomy Gus attitude gets old really quickly and you never really care what his outcome is going to be. The added commentary at the end in regards to the human drive to do stupid things for money felt tacked on and unnecessary. This was the least compelling story of the season and had the least intriguing ending. 

Careful what you wish for...
Overall, the second season of Black Mirror definitely suffered from the dreaded sophomore slump, however, that in no way classifies it as bad television. In fact, this is still some of the best television around, but after such an outstanding first season, I expected the same level of awesome and was sorely disappointed when I didnt get it. TV Babies, tell me what television show do you think jumped the proverbial shark between its first and second seasons?

What did you think of Black Mirror S2?
Let Lisa know on Twitter: @lcfremont