Review: Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 6 “Hated in the Nation”

This episode of ‘Black Mirror’ initally comes across as absurd and ridiculous when the bees (or ADIs) are first revealed, however, this shock, surprised reaction is key to the writers intent. By proposing such a silly threat, the show is able to make its larger arguments all the more impacting with the director showcaseing the threat’s relentless force in numerous, tense, horror-esque, sequences. As the episode continues, it becomes clear that this form of antagonism is very much grounded in our very world, narrative decisions that allow ‘Black Mirror’ to be culturally relevant. One may argue though, that this choice of such an absurd premise is simply to make the episode stand out amongst many other texts making similar statements, especially when considering that outside of this general idea, not alot about this episode is all that unique. The discussions regarding the relationship between individuals and social media, and subtle remarks regarding humanity’s eagerness to solve natural problems through mechanical means are well incorporated, albeit an obvious reason for utilising such a setting and symbols. While the wider intellectual message this episode presents is well constructed, the characters are rather standard, with Blue more or less being enforced to translate technical jargon to the audience and also provide some emotional innocence to the key protagonists, that never really shine. The acting however, is impressive. I also don’t think the choice to reveal the larger ‘villain’ was a wise decision as it almost defeated the argument about social media’s anonymity and the power of collectivism. Ultimately, while this episode is certainly not flawless from a character perspective, and probably didn’t need the feature-length running time, it presents another striking message about our current technological climate, yet unfortunately one that is starting to be overdone. 8.5/10

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