TV Reviews

Thoughts on Black Mirror S5 E3; Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

via Netflix

Spoilers ahead.

After finishing this episode, I initially felt underwhelmed. Then I sat and thought about it for a while and realized it is my favorite episode of what I believe was a stellar season. I think Black Mirror benefits from only having three episodes max.

The thing that got to me most about this episode was its disturbing parallels to Miley Cyrus’s own life. She talked about drawing from her own experiences as Hannah Montana on Disney Channel in a recent interview. It’s horrific to realize how capitalism will choke the life out of teen pop idols and, in turn, their young and impressionable fanbases without batting an eye.

The same can be said for how this episode dissects empowerment feminism. “Girl power” as a phrase has become so asinine and meaningless. What does that mean? It is supposed to be about strength, but the point is that it only goes skin-deep. Distract the masses by making feminism palatable and male-friendly. Make it harmless and marketable, so the real issues like racism, pervasive sexism, trans rights, and abortion are not in focus.

It’s easy for corporations to slap shallow messages of inspiration on t-shirts and sell it as them being “part of the change” when in reality they’re doing nothing but milking a cash cow, a fad. Wherein women will continue to suffer all over the world because this shallow form of empowerment is virtually meaningless.

As an episode, I liked the way this episode unfolded quite a bit, but I admit I still felt some aspects of it fell flat. I’m pretty confused about the entire sub-plot regarding their dad and the pest control. It seemed superfluous. I mean if it was just about their dad being a pest guy and having the truck, fine, but why add the extra scenes?

It’s a small gripe though, in an otherwise exceptional hour of television.

Also not to be a total hypocrite but can they please release all the Ashley Too songs in this… I need them.