frelling_tralk: (X Files cliffhanger by MelBelle)
[personal profile] frelling_tralk
:eyes little hearts suspiciously: This all seems rather strange to me, and I know that a lot of my flit is against it. What seems odd is that apparently you don't even get a notification of which user liked your entry, LJ just tells you that someone did? So it's not even a lazy way of acknowledging that you read an entry, but just had nothing to say. The user won't know that you were the particular user that liked their entry (from what I understand anyway?), so what exactly is the point of it?!?

It does lead rather nicely into more of my thoughts on Black Mirror though, so there is that *g*

'Nosedive' was another great episode, the worldbuilding was very well done and I liked how it criticised social media culture. Like the hacking of personal details in "Shut Up And Dance", this episode was so effective because it all felt so scarily possible. As someone who dreads social niceties, it really hit home! I like Live Journal because it's more about the content that you're posting, whereas other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are much more about the person posting, and cultivating a certain online image.

The ending was less of a clearcut downbeat one as she seems to end it feeling truly liberated by being able to say what she thinks and not worry about people rating her, but it's probably not all that happy an ending ultimately in a world where your rankings determine so much of your life? She'll have lost the deposit for her new apartment, probably her job too, but at least she will be living a more authentic experience I guess :shrugs: But it did seem a bit odd when Lacie's brother would judge her for caring so much about her rating, almost like the episode was making it more about judging her for petty social climbing which shouldn't even matter, but in actual fact having a high rating was pretty crucial for such essentials as access to decent healthcare, transport etc, so was it really all that ridiculous for Lucie to be desperate to raise her rating to a more socially acceptable one? Her determination to win over the wedding guests wasn't out of some arbitrary desire to win over the beautiful people and feel special, it was because she genuinally needed their social currency to help her secure a better living arrangement. It was a messed-up world yes, but Lacie's way of navigating said world actually made a lot of sense. Even if she did ultimately find it more liberating to commit social suicide and refuse to play that game, that did mean ending up in prison without much in the way of future prospects

Ooh and one thing that did occur to me was that I'm not sure how well the whole rating system would actually work in reality, because wouldn't everyone be terrified to rate someone with less than five stars in case they then got an unfavourable rating back? We see Lacie getting immediate feedback on how she had been rated, so what's to stop her from then giving those people the same low ratings back? It strikes me as being similar to how ebay works in the real world with mutually beneficial feedback, so I just can't see many people being honest with their ratings. You see Lacie giving absolutely everyone she interacted with five stars, but that would make the whole system pretty meaningless if most people are presumably going to be giving out as many favourable ratings as possible in the hope of having the same ratings back.

Meh I did not like 'Playtest' at all unfortunately, firstly I felt like the set-up went on for waaaay too long and really dragged, I found Cooper a really cocky, dumb, and annoying protagonist, and the testing of the technology didn't really have much of a point to it in the end. Piling on the twists at the end felt especially predictable, episodes based on virtual reality always try with the triple fake-out of, 'they were still in the game the whole time' :gasp: , but is anyone really surprised by that any more? Maybe I'm just a sadist lol, but I think it would have been a lot cooler if it had ended with him stuck on an endless loop, knowing that he was never going to escape the game

Also anything with the giant spider made me seriously nauseated, I had to cover the screen up for most of that section, and I still saw more of it than I wanted too :(

'San Junipero' was one of my favourites, just the love story in itself was really beautiful, and then I loved how they tied it all up with the revelation that Yorkie had spend her entire life paralysed, and San Junipero was going to be her second chance to live her adult life to the full. Hee I thought it was an especially nice touch how you first watch the changing clothes montage with the assumption that it was meant to be tv editing magic, and then later on you realise that she really was changing clothes in an instant!

The ending with "Heaven is a place on Earth" playing was a really joyous one to me, but I can also understand why some people found it a bit sinister/creepy to know that it was actually all a simulation, that can be a bit trippy to think about. Seeing the robot actually adding them to San Junipero, along with billions and billions of others already being there, it was a little bit unnerving in some ways. But yeah Idk, I still took it as a really touching and bittersweet ending, whether they were physically there or not, they were still happy and it felt real to them. I'm not really sure why I've seen comments talking about it only being a copy of the original person in San Junipero, I thought the episode had made it very clear that it was the same consciousness in both realities? We'd already seen them retaining all their memories of travelling both and forth to San Junipero, so it wasn't like it ended on a big question mark of what existing in San Junipero really meant

I wasn't crazy about 'Men Against Fire' for most of its running time tbh (okay I was actually pretty bored!) I'm someone who rarely guesses twists correctly, but I thought that whole thing about the 'roaches' not being what they seemed was SUPER obvious, especially with all of the emphasis on how it would really mess you up to kill a human, but "roaches" were different, so that made me a bit impatient to get to the reveal already. But then I did really like the last 15 minutes or so dealing with Stripe realising how technology had been used on him to completely dehumanise the enemy, the ending and the video flashback were both really chilling. Personally I would have preferred for the implant failure and reveal to have happened a lot earlier in the episode, if they had edited the first half down a bit more then they could have spend most of the running time on his struggle to take it all in

And finally I did enjoy 'Hated In The Nation', the build-up was really good with that one I thought, and I liked how closely it tied in to journalism today with the negative coverage of disabled people. I think something similar to the war memorial outcry has happened in reality as well? The whole thing of the bees burrowing through your brain to cause an absolutely agonising death was just horrifying. I liked what a dark look at public shaming it was, the fact that people continued using the hashtag on twitter, even knowing there would be real life consequences for it, that was pretty chilling

On thing I did wonder though was why people couldn't just wear masks if the bees tracked them down through facial recognition?

I think I would rate the episodes:

1. 'Shut Up And Dance'

2. 'San Junipero'

3. 'Nosedive'

4. 'Hated In The Nation'

5. 'Men Against Fire'

6. 'Playtest'
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