The Netflix highlight: “Black Mirror,” Season 5.
Premise: Three stand-alone episodes that focus on different futuristic technologies and how they affect those who use them. Traditionally, “Black Mirror” episodes revel in the potential and unexpected problems of the tech ― serving as cautionary tales for those who do not interrogate the consequences of technological advances. That said, the show doesn’t finger-wag as much as it just mines the follies of naiveté for comedy and horror.
Stars: Miley Cyrus, Topher Grace, Anthony Mackie and Andrew Scott
Sum-up: The early episodes of “Black Mirror” tended to end with the various protagonists screaming in agony because a technological invention ruined their lives. The show has mellowed a bit in this season, with the writers subjecting their characters to slightly less cruelty. At its best, “Black Mirror” has blazed new paths for thinking about human connection, using futuristic technology as a conduit for rethinking how the world can work. This new season homes in on this goal and dives into person-to-person emotions, while the dystopia world-building happens more on the margins.
Heads-up: “Black Mirror” episodes used to earn more of a “WTF” response. As the real world has changed for the worse on the dystopia scale, the show doesn’t shock like it used to. Perhaps the creators have pivoted from that aim, but longtime fans of this series may still be disappointed.
Look-up: Miley Cyrus sings Nine Inch Nails songs with new lyrics in her episode, where she plays a depressed pop star. Show creator Charlie Brooker emailed with NIN frontman Trent Reznor, who gave his blessing for Brooker to rewrite his words to phrases with more optimism. “He wanted to see the script and I got to rewrite his lyrics in a chirpy way,” Brooker said at a press event. “I’m not the best lyricist in the world, in the first song she’s singing: ‘I’m stoked on ambition and verve’ instead of ‘You’re gonna get what you deserve.’”
Will everyone be talking about this? A study in late 2018 showed that “Black Mirror” has become one of Netflix’s most popular shows, Original or otherwise. I imagine that will continue.
Read on for more recommendations and news from the week.
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Here’s the trailer:
What Else Is New This Week On Netflix
“The Chef Show” ― Actor and director Jon Favreau teams up with chef Roy Choi to cook meals for famous people while having in-depth conversations about the food.
“I Am Mother” ― Hilary Swank and Rose Byrne star in a sci-fi thriller about the mysterious motives of a robot tasked to raise a child in a post-apocalyptic bunker.
A Couple Of Netflix News Stories From This Week
1. Two high-profile animated shows will join Netflix in the near future. The Russo brothers (co-directors of “Avengers: Endgame”) will executive-produce an adaptation of the card game “Magic: The Gathering.” And a “Jurassic World” animated series will debut in 2020 with a narrative focus on six teenagers that get to visit the dinosaur park. I’m sure nothing will go wrong during their trip and they’ll have a fun time looking at some cool dinosaurs.
2. Netflix renewed “Dead to Me” for a second season and gave “The Ranch” a fourth and final season of 20 more episodes.
And here are the shows and movies that joined Netflix throughout the week:
- “Documentary Now!” (Season 3)
- “Malibu Rescue: The Series” (Netflix Family)
- “Miranda Sings Live…Your Welcome” (Netflix Original)
- “A Silent Voice”
- “Black Mirror” (Season 5, Netflix Original)
- “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”
- “Alles Ist Gut” (Netflix Film)
- “Todos Lo Saben”
- “3%” (Season 3, Netflix Original)
- “The Black Godfather” (Netflix Film)
- “The Chef Show” (Netflix Original)
- “Designated Survivor” (Season 3, Netflix Original)
- “Elisa & Marcela” (Netflix Film)
- “I Am Mother” (Netflix Film)
- “Pachamama” (Netflix Family)
- “Rock My Heart” (Netflix Film)
- “Super Monsters Monster Pets” (Netflix Family)
- “Tales of the City” (Netflix Original)
- “Berlin, I Love You”
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