Television Review – Black Mirror – White Christmas
January 14, 2016 5:54am CST
Spoiler alerts A terrifying and incredibly bleak vision of Christmases yet to come, though possibly very soon. In this future, people can be manipulated and blocked in the real World just as on Facebook. Two men apparently trapped in a cabin-like cell, while working together, exchange their stories to pass the time. One, John Hamm, served as a dating coach, guiding another man through a view-screen and communicator in the other man’s eyes, as the second man cruised single bars looking for a date. The search was relayed online to a whole group of voyeuristic online viewers, treating this as a live-cam spectacle. Though initially successful, the date turns ugly when the girl proved to be sociopathic. The Guru tells his own further back story then – the dating game is a side-line for him as his main task is taking part of someone’s mind to brainwash it into an artificial household appliance – a cookie able to adjust room temperatures, set mood music and make toast just the way the house owner desires due to the devise being in effect himself. His cold cruel, time distorting control of the girl in the cookie is brutal. The other man in the cabin, Rafe Spall, now reveals his own relationship crisis – a girl he loved proved to be pregnant and she wanted to abort his child. His efforts to talk her out of it led to her blocking him out of her real life, cutting him off from his daughter too – a block lasting several years in which he couldn’t see or interact with them – they are reduced to ghostly blobs in his eyes, even in photographs. All of this is supervised by a totalitarian police force (a favourite theme in many Charles Brooker dramas), and they too have access to cookie & blocking tools. A scary Christmas story that will make Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody seem like the stuff of nightmares. Touches of Harold Pinter & Sartre’s Huis Clos make this one of TV’s darkest Christmas visions ever. Arthur Chappell
6 people like this
• Midland, Michigan
15 Jan 16
If that was playing in America I never heard of it before. Sounds a bit insane and I wouldn't be viewing it. Sounds weird that the last man wanted the pregnant girlfriend to keep the baby, but then when she did she wouldn't let him see the baby or interact, sounds strange to me without any of the rest of it.