Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

The latest season of the sci-fi anthology series features three decent entries and two brilliant ones.

Plot: Expect the unexpected. Charlie Brooker’s dark satirical series, which reinvents itself each episode, is back after a long wait. The sixth season Black Mirror has been the most unpredictable, unclassifiable, and unexpected to date. The series is created and written by Charlie Brooker.

Review: Black Mirror has become a prescient look at our modern world of technology through a Twilight Zone lens. Charlie Brooker has created a series of anthologies that have only twenty-eight episodes over the past twelve years. Each episode is a chilling and satirical look at 21st century technology, sometimes humorous, and often horrifying. Since moving to Netflix from Channel 4 Brooker has pushed the boundaries of what is expected, delivering an interactive film and episodes that are almost feature-length. The new season of Black Mirror has two episodes that are feature-length films and another that mocks its streaming platform. The result is an inconsistent batch of stories that vary from forgettable to brilliant.

While Black Mirror has most of its episodes set in a contemporary time period or a slightly futuristic setting, four of the five tales that comprise this sixth season are set in the past. This could be a sign that Charlie Brooker is running out of material for his stories based in 2000s. It is still a way of pointing out our current reliance upon technology through a historical lens. The five episodes, which were filmed in the UK, Spain and Canada, feature an international cast, including both established actors and up-and coming actors who will benefit from their appearances this season. This season, only one episode was co-written by Brooker and Ms. Bisha K. Al, the scribe for Marvel. The weakest episodes of this season are Beyond The Sea, , the longest episode. It’s directed by John Crowley (

The Goldfinch) and is set in an alternate 1969. Aaron Paul, Kate Mara and Josh Hartnett star in the story. In many ways, the episode reminded me of Duncan Jones’ excellent Moon, but this chapter is overlong and never quite digs into the plot in a way that makes it worth investing in. Mazey Day by director Ute Briesewitz (The Deuce Stranger Things Westworld) is another episode that falls flat. The episode is centered around Zazie Beetz’s Bo, a paparazzi cameraman who follows the title actress. The episode has a huge twist about halfway through the forty minute episode. It would have worked if I had cared more for the characters. The episode Loch H., directed Sam Miller (I may destroy you) also looks at the true crime genre, and the civilians who investigate cold cases. The remaining two episodes of the new season are the highlights and save it from mediocrity. The first episode, Joan Is Awful, is the only episode that takes place in the present and is centered around the title character played by Annie Murphy. Murphy, who is a far cry from her breakout role in Schitt’s Creek,

, plays Joan, a technology CEO, after she discovers that Streamberry (this episode’s Netflix) has a series about the events of her life that happened that day, with Salma Hayek as Joan. Hayek is hilariously flawless as the Hollywood equivalent to the average Joan. She goes on a rampage in order to reclaim her own life after signing over the rights when she installed Streamberry. Joan joins forces with Salma Hayek, the real Salma, to defeat the A.I. They ruin their lives. This episode is the closest to classic Black Mirror of any episode this season as it indicts our modern binge culture. This episode is the closest to classic Black Mirror of any episode this season as it indicts our modern binge culture.Bookending the solid first episode is the brilliant Demon 79.

Directed by Toby Haynes, Demon 79 is the only entry this season that does not feature the Black Mirror opening titles. The opening credits instead announce it as a Red Mirror movie. Demon79 is a horror film set in the UK that follows Nida’s (Anjana Vasan) quiet life as she works at a department shop. The turbulent politics of Margaret Thatcher’s time in 1979 is a major factor in the story. Nida discovers a rune which frees a demonic being. The demon (Paapa essiedu) disguises himself as a disco star and asks Nida to kill three people for Hell to claim their souls. If she does not comply, the Apocalypse will occur. Nida is unsure if the demon is real or if Nida is going insane. Demon 791001010 is the funniest episode and also the most unique. This story is so full of themes and commentaries that it works and hopefully signals future entries in the anthology that will take risks. Or could we see Red Mirror on its own?New episodes of Black Mirroris always a good thing for fans, regardless of content. But this season has a wide range of quality. The five episodes are all interesting and superior to other similar productions. However, the three middle episodes fall behind what the last two seasons have achieved. Even though these episodes are not very impressive, Demon79

and Joan is Awful are two of the most memorable entries in Black mirror since its first season. Demon79 could’ve been released as a stand-alone feature and is the most thrilling shift in Charlie Brooker’s anthology so far. Whether Black Mirror continues or transitions into Red Mirror, this season offers a sometimes darker and oftentimes funnier look into the slightly cracked world parallel to our own.Season six of Black Mirror is now streaming on Netflix.


Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch