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Old 13-02-2013, 19:31
MadManWithABox
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I think that may affect your enjoyment if you go into a show like this with assumptions. I tend to watch something twice, once to enjoy it, the second to analyse it so I can kind of enjoy it as a viewer and the critique it or refresh myself on any details I missed the first time.
It wasn't really an assumption. As you watch things, you have predictions/expectations as to where the story is going to go - and with the increasing amount of information being exchanged to make the guy more 'real' I thought it'd be more about the dangers of that, especially since it's Brooker and he's usually making a social comment with this type of thing. But there was none of that, and the second half was just a bit all over the place and felt a bit pointless - there was no real-life 'message' to it or moral to the story - and the ending reinforced this for me, since it felt like Brooker wasn't entirely sure what the point of the whole thing was.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:10
cathrin
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Although I agree there are flaws in both this episode and the first series, I think it gets away with it because it's so well done....the standard of the writing and acting always ensures it's an intriguing and thought-provoking experience. It's so rare to see an hour of one-off drama that really draws you in and makes you want to know what's coming next, so even if it's not perfect, the flaws are always outweighed by the entertainment value.

The only exception for me--the only time a plot flaw has bothered me enough to niggle away at me--was in the National Anthem. I just couldn't buy the fact that it was safe to return the princess because the streets would be deserted, as everyone would be indoors watching the spectacle on TV. It seemed to overlook the fact that people don't have to be tucked away indoors to watch TV any more. The streets wouldn't have been deserted; thousands of people would have been outside, watching on their phones, tablets and laptops etc. But I realise that's just me nit-picking! .....Or possibly this may have been addressed in some way within the dialogue and I missed that bit!?. It wouldn't be the first time....

I thought The Entire History Of You was phenomenal, deeply chilling and very affecting in the way it made me keep changing my sympathies and re-assessing what I thought of the characters.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:12
Straker
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As for lazy reviewers... I think you're starting to project and imagine things for your own liking there. He's not responsible for reviewers opinions or their lack of knowledge.
I didnít say he was.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:14
Straker
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I thought The Entire History Of You was phenomenal, deeply chilling and very affecting in the way it made me keep changing my sympathies and re-assessing what I thought of the characters.
Watch Final Cut starring Robin Williams and youíll reconsider how good you thought Brookerís effort was.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:38
DVDfever
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I thought the ending was quite good. It seemed to be about how the artificial Ash never grew old and how she was left with something that quickly outlived its welcome.
If such a thing was really possible, there would have to be a system in place that (a) allowed you to switch him off, and (b) for someone to take it away and dispose of it.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:07
brangdon
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I liked it. It wasn't exactly high-octane, but was pleasant enough. It had a several nice touches. I expect the car-crash happening off-screen was done partly for budgetary reasons, but it also focussed on the wife's experience which felt painfully real.

I knew from the trailer I wouldnt like this episode, the premise is utterly stupid...what kind of idiot would fall for that nonsense....its like emotional masturbation or something...sorry charlie not buying it.
I liked that she too rejected it, until she got preggers and thought it might help to talk to his simulation about it.

[Re: pig episode] It was about inherent human hypocrisy - purporting to care about the welfare of another but secretly being far more interested in the prospect of a public figure humiliating themselves live on tv.
Also (and I think not mentioned elsewhere in this thread), about how the people who joked on Twitter that they'd like to see it, didn't much like it when confronted with the reality of it. It was saying that Twitter isn't reality.

Which is also part of what the new episode was saying.

It wasn't really an assumption. As you watch things, you have predictions/expectations as to where the story is going to go - and with the increasing amount of information being exchanged to make the guy more 'real' I thought it'd be more about the dangers of that, especially since it's Brooker and he's usually making a social comment with this type of thing. But there was none of that, and the second half was just a bit all over the place and felt a bit pointless - there was no real-life 'message' to it or moral to the story - and the ending reinforced this for me, since it felt like Brooker wasn't entirely sure what the point of the whole thing was.
I liked that it didn't have a big twist, that he didn't turn into an evil dopple-ganger and try to kill her, and that it didn't really follow the sex-doll trope. I don't think it needed a "message" - it was just taking a look at the human condition.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:12
brewer480
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the second half was just a bit all over the place and felt a bit pointless - there was no real-life 'message' to i t or moral to the story - and the ending reinforced this for me, since it felt like Brooker wasn't entirely sure what the point of the whole thing was.
The second half was another upgrade from typed, to talking, to a living being. It showed that even though she wanted to replicate her bf it wasn't quite him, it showed that the technology was not helping with the grieving process but infact making her life worse, perhaps the moral of the story. The ending was essential, it was confirmation that the technology did the reverse and she has never been able to get over her bf passing away. As someone has mentioned here, the replica was kept upstairs like the pictures he was talking about earlier.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:30
jy1541
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I liked it. It wasn't exactly high-octane, but was pleasant enough. It had a several nice touches. I expect the car-crash happening off-screen was done partly for budgetary reasons, but it also focussed on the wife's experience which felt painfully real.
I have a feeling it might have been on purpose. You can think of this whole episode (bar the terrible ending), about her moving out of the first stage of grief: denial. You don't see the car crash, when she sees the police at the door she shuts it, you don't see the funeral, in fact, I don't think there was any reference to him being dead at all.

If you think of it like that, that the purpose of the Ashbot was to help her acknowledge that he is actually gone, then it was a success.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:31
brangdon
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it showed that the technology was not helping with the grieving process but infact making her life worse, perhaps the moral of the story.
Yes; I mentioned earlier it had points in common with the pig story (concerning the reality of Twitter life). It also had in common with The Entire History of You, about how technology can record so much, and that sometimes it is better to just let go of it.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:35
downtonfan
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This was hardly an original story from Brooker. There is a film called Wake Wood which this reminded me a whole lot of.
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Old 13-02-2013, 22:57
tomwozhere
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What if she had made him jump, then she just drives off. It goes black for a short time then we find our selves at her sister's house where she is visited by the police and they tell her Martha had a car crash. Naomi would be devastated and shocked they both died the same way but the audience would know that she deliberately crashed the car.

Or better yet, she crashes the car with Other-Ash inside. That would be really shocking for Naomi.
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Old 13-02-2013, 23:19
Tt88
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I think my favourite thing about black mirror is they are sci fi with elements on what life could be like in the future, but its so realistic that it could be the present. It feels so real. Ive never watched on of the shows and questioned the possiblity of things which seem impossible. The way the show flows makes it seem like all the new future things are somehow real.
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Old 13-02-2013, 23:46
doom&gloom
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This was hardly an original story from Brooker. There is a film called Wake Wood which this reminded me a whole lot of.
Maybe because he's a TV critic he's seen so much TV that he's unable to make anything original?

Maybe this is a good reason why TV critics don't usually produce their own dramas?
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Old 14-02-2013, 00:21
downtonfan
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No, it's not a complaint I do like his stuff, but I think he thought no one had ever watched Wake Wood
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Old 14-02-2013, 00:27
Declan_Khan
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No, it's not a complaint I do like his stuff, but I think he thought no one had ever watched Wake Wood
... That's a very strange assumption to make of him but a valid one in a way because I haven't seen it.
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Old 14-02-2013, 09:45
Joe1500
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No, it's not a complaint I do like his stuff, but I think he thought no one had ever watched Wake Wood
I haven't seen Wake Wood, but after looking it up I don't think that's truly original either. Isn't there a part near the end of the film AI where the mother is brought back to life for 24 hours?

Anyway, I think the BM episode has nods to the myth of the golem which goes back a lot further than Wake Wood.
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:17
tellywatcher73
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No, it's not a complaint I do like his stuff, but I think he thought no one had ever watched Wake Wood
Wake Wood was a supernatural film where the child who is brought back becomes a killer. The premise of bringing someone back from the dead has been used for years and you could include The Monkey's Paw in that. This was in no way supernatural, more a comment on how far technology could go and how far we would be willing to go in our use of it. For me, the story was more that she needed to do this to accept that Ash was gone and by putting him in the attic and getting on with her life was healing, much in the way that clearing out someone's clothes is a form of acceptance. The fact that her daughter called him "Ash" and not "dad" showed that she had accepted the real Ash was gone. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one.
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:25
Joe1500
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Wake Wood was a supernatural film where the child who is brought back becomes a killer. The premise of bringing someone back from the dead has been used for years and you could include The Monkey's Paw in that. This was in no way supernatural, more a comment on how far technology could go and how far we would be willing to go in our use of it. For me, the story was more that she needed to do this to accept that Ash was gone and by putting him in the attic and getting on with her life was healing, much in the way that clearing out someone's clothes is a form of acceptance. The fact that her daughter called him "Ash" and not "dad" showed that she had accepted the real Ash was gone. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one.
It's a shame there isn't more British TV like BM, this first episode was a classic "what if" story and would have made a good written short story.
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:31
tellywatcher73
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It's a shame there isn't more British TV like BM, this first episode was a classic "what if" story and would have made a good written short story.
I agree with you there, if there was a book of short stories I would certainly be first in the queue. It's real chilling as opposed to the usual supernatural/horror chilling. The fact that the things in the first series and this one could potentially be the path we are on makes it quite scary!
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Old 14-02-2013, 11:16
DVDfever
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I liked it. It wasn't exactly high-octane, but was pleasant enough. It had a several nice touches. I expect the car-crash happening off-screen was done partly for budgetary reasons, but it also focussed on the wife's experience which felt painfully real.
I didn't think it was done for budgetary reasons, I think it worked better that we didn't see it. However, the problem with that is that we already knew he was going to die as the episode has been hyped and trailed aplenty. No BM fan could've missed the promos.
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Old 14-02-2013, 11:17
The Prumeister
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I agree with your review 100%. This programme really set me thinking, in much the same way as The Entire History Of You from series 1. I remember that story kept going round in my head for days afterwards, raising all sorts of questions about the way people record and document their lives nowadays.

The most interesting part for me was the contrast between Actual Ash and Clone-Ash-created-from-the-view-of-himself-he-was-happy-to-share-with-the-world. There were a few little subtle touches that highlighted the contrast between the two. Real Ash had a secret liking for the Bee Gees, but he didn't mention this in any of his online activities because he was embarrassed about it, so Clone Ash didn't know and commented "Cheesy" when they came on the radio.

Also, the bedroom scene at the start revealed to us that Real Ash was clearly not the most scintillating lover (or the most considerate one, more importantly....there was a weary resignation about that scene that seemed to suggest it was pretty much par for the course). But this aspect of his persona was (obviously) kept under wraps, so it didn't filter through to the clone.

Like all couples, they had flaws in the relationship, and there were flaws in Ash's personality, but the clone was programmed not to include any of those flaws....yet ironically, the clone's airbrushed version of Ash was unsatisfactory too, albeit in a different way and for different reasons.

I thought the ending worked well, but I would have half-liked to see a whole series in which Martha gradually got to see more and more of those contrasts, perhaps eventually coming to realise via Airbrushed-Ash that Real-Ash wasn't as perfect as she remembered him, and at the same time rejecting the clone as she realised he wasn't the answer. But having said that, I really liked the way it was tied up, (or rather *not* tied up), and I thought the whole thing was very clever and well written.




I saw that more as being that sex - along with sleep and food, was something he didn't 'need' - but as a clone he was automatically programmed to 'do the deed' to a very high degree of satisfaction.. (I think he mentioned that he was programmed to watch porn or similar). The rest I would agree with though - i.e. the liking of The Bee Gees.

Yes, it was flawed, but overall, I thought this was bloody fantastic; absolutely brilliant and thought provoking stuff.
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Old 14-02-2013, 19:36
SnapeyDS
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I've been enjoying Brooker since PC Zone magazine and his comic book sketches like Cruelty Zoo.

Black Mirror isnt perfect but it is highly enjoyable, more original than regular tv and something I look forward to watching. Its brilliant to escape the usual drivel that gets served up.
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Old 14-02-2013, 20:17
Pob-Bundy
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I enjoyed it but the bloke was an utterly annoying t*** alive, dead and robot!!
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Old 14-02-2013, 22:12
emma555
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I haven't seen any of the references mentioned on the thread, but someone coming back from the dead not quite the same is obviously a story that everyone has come in contact with. That doesn't mean this wasn't good though, it had a slightly different spin on it, technology being the focus of course.
I don't think it's surprising that the 'real Ash' could not be captured by the clone entirely. I thought it was brilliant when he was looking at the photo of himself and saying 'funny', because that's the way he'd put it across online, not understanding the emotional resonance that photo had for the real Ash. Of course we don't present our real selves online, it's all a facade, look how fat that celeb is, says the twenty stone woman, look at the great night out I'm having, says the girl who spends the whole night taking pictures and reapplying her makeup for those pictures, what 'fun' she must be having! So jealous.
It isn't real, that's the message I got from the episode, and kudos to Charlie Brooker. And Mark Kermode is good at the job he has, he doesn't need to prove himself to you by writing a tv series.
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Old 15-02-2013, 00:01
Declan_Khan
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I haven't seen any of the references mentioned on the thread, but someone coming back from the dead not quite the same is obviously a story that everyone has come in contact with. That doesn't mean this wasn't good though, it had a slightly different spin on it, technology being the focus of course.
I don't think it's surprising that the 'real Ash' could not be captured by the clone entirely. I thought it was brilliant when he was looking at the photo of himself and saying 'funny', because that's the way he'd put it across online, not understanding the emotional resonance that photo had for the real Ash. Of course we don't present our real selves online, it's all a facade, look how fat that celeb is, says the twenty stone woman, look at the great night out I'm having, says the girl who spends the whole night taking pictures and reapplying her makeup for those pictures, what 'fun' she must be having! So jealous.
It isn't real, that's the message I got from the episode, and kudos to Charlie Brooker. And Mark Kermode is good at the job he has, he doesn't need to prove himself to you by writing a tv series.
No one said Kermode had to do anything. I suggested he has shown his writing talents in his books/reviews and also has enough of an audience he could if he wanted to try his hand at it. I think the other poster was saying at least Brooker is trying to make TV shows, not just criticise them whereas Kermode has not done the same in regards to movies. It is arguably why people wait on Scorcese and Tarantino to reveal their lists of their favourite films of last year because they are fans, critics and auteurs of cinema both new and old.
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