All Black Mirror episodes ranked :

All Black Mirror episodes ranked: From Bandersnatch, San Junipero to Hang The DJ, The National Anthem


What makes “Smithereens” mildly interesting is it is the kind of story you could have pulled from today’s newspaper. But it’s a story that feels less like a Black Mirror episode and more like a PSA stretched to feature length. It draws its emotional heft by focusing its story on a helpless and guilty man (played by our favourite “hot priest” Andrew Scott) looking to shift the blame on those dealing in “tech-cocaine” — a social media app masterminded by a Jack Dorsey-type tech/wellness guru (Topher Grace).
However, by writing itself into a corner, “Smithereens” can’t find a clear direction in which to take the premise and thus ends in a terribly disappointing way. It is the weakest entry in not just the substandard fifth season but the overall series, which — for the first time — is starting to feel like it has overstayed its welcome.


Black Mirror’s standalone interactive film exists primarily as a gimmick and nothing more — thus becoming a meta-commentary about its own format. It is neither as ground-breaking nor as clever as it likes to think it is. It’s caught between a Choose Your Own Adventure-style video game and a straightforward Black Mirror episode and refuses to commit to either.

 Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

We’ve already had Roy Orbison, Michael Jackson and Tupac’s holograms perform in recent years and Amy Winehouse’s hologram is set to embark on a multi-year run with a backing band. Is the music industry celebrating their artistic legacies, or exploiting them?
The first half is typical Black Mirror before an abrupt tonal shift in the second half, which turns into comedy caper/rescue mission. In the process, Brooker makes stirring points of how fame is exploited as a commodity — and how it can in fact imprison the famous, as they lose all agency to manipulative leeches in the industry. But the characters written to drive home these points are inauthentic and stereotypical. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too thus starts off with an incredibly promising premise but it sadly turns into an incoherent mess.


Implants are a pretty common piece of technology in the Black Mirror universe. Its application in most episodes make you question the circumstances which led to its approval. But in “Arkangel”, it is a little too incredible for even sci-fi extrapolation because it’s not a question of “What if” but “WTF were they thinking?” Though it makes for an interesting thought experiment, it doesn’t hang together well in story form.
The episode’s concerns about helicopter parenting have plenty of real-world analogues as it presents ethical and legal conundrums about privacy and consent. It is still a major misstep in Black Mirror’s hit-or-miss fourth season.

 The Waldo Moment 

What if a loud, obnoxious cartoon with a hit TV show ran for political office and begins to resonate with voters disillusioned with the mainstream political landscape? No, not Donald Trump. Waldo, a racy little animated bear voiced and motion-captured by a failed comedian named Jamie (Daniel Rigby), hosts an Ali G-style show where he conducts interviews with unassuming politicians, who believe they are actually participating in some kind of children’s talk show.
Of all the unsettling prescient visions of the future dreamed up by Brooker, no one expected “The Waldo Moment” to predict a real-world event. But the strengths of the episode end with its prescient examination of global politics. Even at 44 minutes, it feels unevenly paced as its characters are frustratingly bland and its writing isn’t smart enough to justify its runtime.

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