DAVID BIANCULLI

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BLACK MIRROR
June 5, 2019  | By David Bianculli

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

 

SEASON PREMIERE: Season 5 of Black Mirror is only three episodes long – but that was true of Season 1, and look how well that turned out. All three of these new editions are impressive, one is astounding, and every one is better than anything CBS has yet served up with its Twilight Zone reboot. Black Mirror is the modern spiritual and creative descendent of Rod Serling’s classic anthology series, yet Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have made this series their own. This season’s three stories are “Smithereens,” about a grieving man who blames social media for his personal tragedy; “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” starring Miley Cyrus as a pop star whose personality is replicated in an Alexa-type computer interface; and my favorite, “Striking Vipers,” about two old friends who reunite for, and in, a new virtual-reality version of their beloved vintage battle-action videogame (pictured). The special effects are mind-blowing – but so are the ideas explored by writer Brooker in this unforgettable episode. For my full review on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, listen to today’s show, or visit the Fresh Air website later today.

 
 
 
 
 
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