Charlie Brooker reviews 2016

I am not a fan of year-end reviews but I will make an exception for Charlie Brooker’s annual sardonic take on events and how the media covers them. He is always entertaining even when I had not heard before of the news that he is commenting on. For those who think that TV in the US has become too lascivious, the clips he showed of some British reality shows are astounding. Those shows make US TV seem extremely prudish by comparison. One of them seems to be a version of these popular matchmaking shows in which the men are shown naked from the waist down and the woman picks the man by comparing their genitals.

Incidentally, I have watched all the episodes of his excellent series Black Mirror, the earlier episodes which I reviewed here. The series takes a dark look at the impact of technology, especially communications technology and social media, on people’s behavior, and it is not encouraging. It shows how technology that can serve positive purposes ends up being used to harm others. There is just one episode that can be said to be somewhat upbeat. Incidentally, one episode reinforces once again the importance of covering the lens of the camera in your computer when you are not using it.

In general, the episodes are not explicitly political but the very last episode of season three dealt with government spying and drone technology that seems to be clearly inspired by the Edward Snowden revelations. The plot concerns an effort to combat the collapse of bee colonies by creating vast numbers of bee-like tiny drones that are spread all over the UK and mimic the behavior of bees and pollinate flowers. Of course, the British government sees the potential of creating a vast ubiquitous spying network and forces the company that made these bee drones to install a backdoor that they can exploit to make the bees serve as spies, and that backdoor is exploited to create havoc.

Although all the episodes are available for viewing on Netflix, this is definitely one series that I could not binge watch. After each episode, I had to take some time to digest what I saw.

Here’s the trailer for season three.


  1. says

    Its unfortunate that Charlie parrots the slightly anti Corbyn line re JC`s opinion of the EU pre Brexit (ie that he was about 7/10 for it)
    JC has the disturbing characteristic of answering questions soberly and honestly rather than pushing a line of political hype and it always seems to get up peoples noses when his comments are not 100% on (their perceived) message.

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