It’s a back to basics approach for the fifth season of the award winning TV show Black Mirror. This year we’re only blessed with three episodes, all at an hour a piece. This season is short but sweet and can be binged in one sitting. These three episodes don’t really follow the whole ‘technology will destroy us all technique’ that we’re used to. While tech does have a role, this time its not exactly the main culprit. As usual, plot details were sparse in the trailers, which is crucial in maintaining that classic Black Mirror plot twist surprise. Below we’ll briefly go into what we thought of each episode without spoiling any of the twists and turns that I’m sure you’re excited to see.
Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too – 5 Hooves Out Of 10
This episode did a great job showing how fame and talent is exploited by the people behind the scenes. This time we’re embraced with the familiar face of Miley Cyrus. Her character consists of a young pop-star who’s unhappy with her life of fame. We’re also introduced to Ashley Too which basically is Cyrus’s entire personality effectively rammed into a moving Amazon Alexa. This episode is the most straight forward of the bunch, feeling out of touch with the usual Black Mirror trope. In fact, it genuinely feels like the whole episode could be separate from the rest of the Black Mirror series, it’s rather odd to watch.
However, the episode works well as an interesting sci-fi comedy with some heartwarming moments. The acting from Cyrus is not the best and she feels out of place at times, the rest of the cast do a good job but once the episode is over you feel like it didn’t really leave much of an impact.
Smithereens – 7 Hooves Out Of 10
This episode is largely set in the open English countryside which is different to the settings we’re used to in Black Mirror. Smithereens explores how our addiction to social media can have an extremely negative impact on our lives. This episode, across all seasons is by far one of the most tense to watch, it’s full of so much mystery and heart-racing moments that will leave you biting your nails while on the very edge of your seat. While there is limited action the episode is also quite a tough watch. The acting is incredible, especially by Andrew Scott. Scott’s acting is what really pushes this episode into being something special, he’s playing an extremely disturbed character who feels very much real and everyone will connect to him in someway. This whole episode really shows how amazing Andrew Scott is as an actor. If you want an episode to get your blood pumping, this is the one for you.
Striking Vipers – 9 Hooves Out Of 10
Striking Vipers was arguably the best episode of Season 5. It had that Black Mirror feel we know and love that was kind of lacking in the other two episodes. It’s fair to say that the episode wasn’t full of too much action (not fighting action anyway) and isn’t as heart racing as other episodes but it certainly grabs your attention from the moment it begins. The trailer for this episode really gave nothing away, what we believed the story would be was completely different to what it actually was. It’s full of those usual twists and turns is exactly what we expect from any episode of Black Mirror. Striking Vipers was a gripping story covering a handful of themes such as love, sexuality, partnership and family.
The cinematography was beautiful leaving the episode as the most aesthetically pleasing of Season 5. The acting was also superb, Anthony Mackie was incredible as the lead and really captured what it’s like to be lost within yourself. All in all it’s probably the most interesting episode of season 5 and the one that stood out to us as having that familiar Black Mirror vibe that we all love to see.
Want more Black Mirror? Well why not check out our Hooves Review for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch!