At 10/31/16 06:57 PM, TheMaster wrote:
I watched the first two episodes tonight and thought they were probably the weakest in the show's history. The first makes its point in the first 5 minutes and then goes on for an hour with absolutely nothing surprising happening, and the second is a concept that has been done to death already.
I don't agree but I can see why you'd say that. This show has never been overly clever or subtle and each season has had a pure, on-the-nose satire episode (Fifteen Million Merits, Waldo). Nosedive is similar in that it's all fairly obvious from the start but I still found it an enjoyable episode, it's well made, paced, acted, has some of the more interesting and polished aesthetics, and the main character's arc felt smooth and natural rather than a sudden heel turn. She has to learn through gradual experience rather than just being told what she's doing wrong which they sort of subverted. Ending was good too.
It's also a real thing in China if you didn't know, a numeric score for everyone based on how good of a citizen yu are. Implemented in 2012 and will become mandatory for everyone in 2020. There's some misinfo and exaggerations about what this system actually is, but at its most insidious it will trawl your social media activity and lower your score for political dissidence and wrong-think, and best of all is that you are affected by the people you're associated with. If you're friends with a free thinker on china facebook it'll drag you down, so you need to cut ties.
The episode wasn't a mind blow or anything but I think what it depicts is valuable. As someone who keeps social media use to a bare minimum it didn't hit close to home but I've seen reddit posts claiming it was a real eye opener, people realizing how much value they place in likes, both in how much they get and what they think of people who get more or less, and re-thinking about the reddit upvote system.
A couple scenes stood out too, like the airport. When the guard gives her a social death sentence while maintaining a friendly smile.
Playtest I thought was just a fun if unchallenging hour, like a popcorn horror film. Once things start escalating it's remarkably tense despite fully knowing it's a simulation. Also the guy was Kurt Russel's son and kind of swoon worthy justsayin. There was a good bit of foreshadowing on a rewatch too - it starts with him being told to turn off his phone to prevent interference, there's multiple spiders scattered around, a character design for the guy that pops up is on a computer Cooper walks past, that kind of thing. All the game references were nice too I suppose, it was directed by the same guy who did 10 Cloverfield and that Portal short so he's a certified #gamer.
This is basically what I expected when they ordered 12 or 13 episodes for a series that so far has only three episodes per season, more light and easy stories in the bunch rather than all bleak all day. I guess I went in with rock bottom expectations but both of these episodes surpassed them, though they're not massively impressive on their own. I haven't had any desire to rewatch Nosedive.
I absolutely loved Shut Up and Dance though, and San Junipero is genuinely beautiful and completely different to anything the show has done before. That's more what I want from the rest of the season, the high episode count means they can take so much more risks and try new ideas.
Men Against Fire is similar to Nosedive in that its extremely obvious from the start how it's going to go, but still done quite well and makes an interesting point. Haven't seen the final episode yet since it's an hour and a half long.
Shit, Rick and Morty did the whole "simulation inside a simulation" thing better.
To be fair Rick and Morty does most things better than most shows.
Hell of a long way from something like the Christmas special, with the utterly terrifying ending, or White Bear, with the amazing twist.
White Christmas is still my favourite episode and totally underrated in general. The National Anthem would be my runner-up but San Junipero and Shut Up and Dance would be up there too.
At 10/31/16 07:16 PM, Auz wrote:
That infamous "...and that's how I found out there is no Santa" monologue, though. So many ruined childhoods.
You should see Gremlins 2 as well, people who hate it don't know what they're talking about. It's an intentionally ridiculous parody of the entire concept of sequels.
I think it was Ebert who said Alien 3 is the best looking bad movie he's ever seen, that about sums it up.