Whisper & Trouble

Black Mirror

Podcast Episodes

Black Mirror

Black Mirror

Black Mirror and Social Media

Friday August 4, 2017 | Download episode

We examine social media in the world of Black Mirror, where it gets it right and where it doesn't quite capture our own experiences. This theme is explored specifically through two episodes: Nosedive and Most Hated in the Nation. This is a spoiler-filled deep dive, so make sure you've watched those episodes before listening to this episode. We won't spoil any other episodes, though.

— 0:43 - Episode recaps and major themes
— 1:44 - Nosedive's realism: the perks of being an influencer, China's social credit system, US analogues
— 5:20 - Most Hated's realism: Online voting systems, Twitch Plays Pokemon, the real-world violence of online abuse
— 9:21 - Asynchronous rating: Avoiding social conflict, Yelp's non-realtime ratings, rating extortion
— 12:23 - 5 star systems: the meaning of a 4, the 1/5 binary
— 13:39 - Social hacking, bots, selling likes, the role of money and existing privilege
— 17:15 - Ad-tech, who owns the system
— 19:40 - Praising Black Mirror's world-building

Black Mirror

Black Mirror

Black Mirror and VR / AR

Thursday August 10, 2017 | Download episode

We continue our Black Mirror deep dive, this time with a focus on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. We discuss the tech and related themes by examining three season 3 episodes: Playtest, Men Against Fire, and San Junipero. As always with our deep dives, this is spoiler-filled, so make sure you've watched all three episodes before listening. We explore the concept of reality, how close Black Mirror VR/AR tech is to real-life, empathy, Black Mirror's relationship with the Twilight Zone, and living forever, among other topics.


- 1:38 - Questioning reality, Twilight Zone
- 7:10 - Playtest, VR and the horror genre, subverting expectations
- 12:45 - Machine learning fears, poking holes in the tech
- 15:00 - What didn't work in Playtest: time compression, the last twist
- 18:04 - Men Against Fire, the believability of AR tech and military exploitation of it
- 20:39 - VR/AR tech inhibiting/enhancing empathy
- 24:21 - San Junipero, VR and medicine
- 26:42 - Happy endings, living forever

Black Mirror

Black Mirror

TV Roundup - The Deuce, The Good Place, Mr. Robot, Bojack Horseman, Black Mirror, You're the Worst

Saturday September 2, 2017 | Download episode

Need a show to watch after Game of Thrones? We, in a spoiler-free fashion, discuss some of the shows we're most excited about for this fall — some returning, some new. If you're looking for something gritty, try The Deuce (1:12). If you want a fun sitcom, binge The Good Place (6:06). If you crave excitement and fan theories, give Mr. Robot a go (12:05). If you want something emotional, weird, and hilarious, you want to watch Bojack Horseman (16:35). If you want sci-fi dystopia in standalone episodes, watch Black Mirror (20:37). If you want something cruel but funny and romantic, watch You're the Worst (26:16).


Black Mirror excels at throwing unexpected twists and subverting genre tropes. Here in Playtest (S3E2), the show anticipates our expectation of a horror “jump scare” (via Cooper’s dialogue) and turns it against the audience when we let down our guard 😱. Cooper's dialogue also helps to pull us deeper into the world…as if we’re “playtesting the game” along with him. ➖ More Black Mirror S3 deep dives / analysis on our latest podcasts (link in bio) ➖ #blackmirror #cooperredfield #wyattrussell #playtest #blackmirrors3e2 #nosedive #sanjunipero #piggate #deathto #hannahjohnkamen #virtualreality #VR #AR #hatedinthenation #menagainstfire #scifi #thriller #whisperandtrouble #blackmirrors #blackmirrorseason3 #charliebrookerisagenius

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