Note: this article is updated from an article originally published on Jan. 2, 2018.
Black Mirror is one of the highest rated, most buzzed about shows on Netflix. If you haven’t heard about it by now, you likely don’t have an internet connection…which is to say, you’re not reading this right now…nevermind.
With season five having dropped today, it seems as good a time as any to rank the 23 episodes of the show, from worst to best.
For an episode-by-episode review of season four, click here. For season five, click here.
With Black Mirror season five dropping on Netflix, the internet is adequately abuzz. Following the hit-or-miss experience of Bandersnatch, the new slate of Black Mirror episodes is understandably thin. With only three episodes to feast on, the binge-worthiness of season five is questionable.
But the real question is: how do these three episodes compare to the pantheon of Black Mirror episodes? Do they hold up as engaging, compelling mini-movies, or are they a disappointing lot?
Michael (Mark Duplass) sits in a doctor’s office listening to his diagnosis. Andy (Ray Romano) stands at his side. They’re friends, of a sort, though their go-to descriptor for the relationship is “neighbor.” As Andy tries to wrap his head around Michael’s diagnosis—cancer, most likely of the terminal variety—he stammers. Flustered, he tries to get a straight answer out of the doctor, who has nothing to offer.
Then, Michael and Andy go about their regular day. They play a racquetball variation called “Paddleton.” They watch the same kung-fu movies on VHS. They do puzzles together. They say little and share a lot.
Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne)—it’s like “Volvo,” but “with more letters and dyslexic”—wants little to do with her own birthday party. With a sigh, she exits her friend Maxine’s (Greta Lee) bathroom and enters the party. She does not mingle with her guests or accept any attention. She just smokes a joint with Maxine and picks up some schlubby academic type named Mike (Jeremy Bobb) for a one-night stand.
David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King, dictating a semi-historical retelling of the leg of the Scottish War for Independence led by Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine), presents itself as a modern update of Braveheart. Picking up the thread where William Wallace’s uprising ends (we see a limb of Wallace’s quartered body hanging as an instigator for Robert the Bruce’s rebellion), Mackenzie commits to a similar level of visceral bloodshed that Gibson did in his 1995 film.
Each year, when the Academy announces its nominations, there is always a certain frustration that comes with finding some of the smaller films in award contention. The 15 short films that receive nominations, in particular, are always tricky to find before the Oscar ceremony.
The Cloverfield franchise continued its adept surprise-marketing technique during Super Bowl LII. With a brief teaser trailer dropping for The Cloverfield Paradox (once entitled God Particle), the Netflix-acquired film from Bad Robot announced that the film would be coming very soon. Opening up the Netflix app revealed further that the film would be available to stream immediately following the big game.