This publish accommodates spoilers for the “Hang the DJ” episode of Black Mirror in season four.
Nothing Black Mirror does is by chance, so the truth that season four, episode four “Hang the DJ” is a reference to a lyric within the Smiths track “Panic” must be telling. A track by which Morrissey sings about burning down a disco as a result of he hates what the DJ has determined to play in all probability does not seem to be the inspiration behind one of many uncommon optimistic episode Black Mirror offers followers this season. Yet it’s; the track, just like the episode, is all about rebelling towards a system that does not all the time get it proper.
We be a part of Frank (Joe Cole) and Amy (Georgina Campbell) as they’re assembly for a primary date in a restaurant. It’s clear there’s something particular between these two, who’ve met by way of a courting app that, with assist from a “coach,” leads you to your excellent match.
This app (ominously known as “The System”) takes the entire surprises out of courting by telling you proper from the beginning how lengthy your relationship will final with an individual, claiming that even the briefest of encounters “happen for a reason.” It’s relatable commentary for our TMI world the place earlier than happening a date you possibly can Google somebody and observe them on Twitter and Instagram, to not point out stalk their Facebook. By the time you sit down for that first date, you could possibly already be well-acquainted with a stranger. In truth, you would possibly already be on to the subsequent one, swiping proper to search out your subsequent match in the event you really feel this one is not fairly ok.
That notion that there is all the time one thing higher on the market rendering most relationships disposable is a cynical one, and Black Mirror tackles it by taking a look at how know-how could make courting really feel like a online game. You undergo one stage to get to the opposite — on this case, fairly actually. With The System, each date an individual goes on will get them one step nearer to their soulmate. They should undergo the motions to earn love, not not like the best way Mario has to gather cash to get an additional life.
While Black Mirror might have gone all in on this miserable tackle the state of romance in 2017, it as a substitute chooses to take a look at the brilliant aspect of affection. At the aspect that may be quantified or mounted by an algorithm. There isn’t any straightforward option to discover your real love, you simply should undergo it.
Frank and Amy spend their first date, which is able to expire in simply 12 hours, nervously making small discuss, which turns into shit discuss, actually. They query whether or not they need to sleep collectively, selecting, to put side-by-side holding arms, as a substitute. After saying goodbye and shifting on to the subsequent relationship — his horrible one is destined to final a yr, whereas hers is a nine-month fling — they understand they need one other date. Damn what the app says.
The two find yourself rebelling towards what their coaches inform them, however the twist is that the 2 have been residing in a simulation. It’s all been a check of their bond they usually have handed with almost flying colours since they’ve rebelled collectively 998 instances out of a thousand simulations. They are soulmates IRL, even if their romance has solely performed out in The System. It’s solely within the ultimate moments of the episode by which the actual Frank and Amy uncover they’re an almost excellent match (they’re 99% suitable) on this very large world. An indication that not all love is disposable even within the technology-obsessed courting panorama.
The episode, which is able to certainly soften even the coldest of hearts, has already been in comparison with final season’s feel-good episode “San Junipero,” which ends with two aged ladies selecting to stay in a simulation collectively for all eternity than die alone. It’s one thing government producer Annabel Jones totally denied to The Wrap, noting that this ending was proper for this story.
“There’s a loneliness running through a lot of the show,” she said. “So it felt right that these two people come together at the end and that there is some sort of sense of hope and that they do belong together and there is a sort of love will prevail attitude. So it absolutely felt right for the story.”
What additionally felt proper is that caveat that the know-how nonetheless performed a job of their love connection. “So though there’s an algorithm that brought them together,” co-creator Charlie Brooker informed Entertainment Weekly , “and now they’re about to take the first step on that journey together.”
I might agree, that disappointment in “Hang The DJ” is what makes it totally different than that specific Black Mirror episode, nevertheless it’s what makes it so much like Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind. In the 2004 film, Clementine (Kate Winslet) goes by way of a medical process that erases her ex Joel (Jim Carrey) from her thoughts utterly. He, in flip, decides to do the identical, however ultimately, they simply can not seem to overlook one another. Their lives are intertwined in methods they did not understand. They are destined to be collectively and expertise the great, the dangerous, and the ugly.
That appears to be a theme in “Hang The DJ.” The simulated variations of Frank and Amy cannot deny their chemistry, however they do as a result of it is what The System tells them. After all, this courting app is meant to know what’s finest for them. The coach typically repeats “everything happens for a reason” as the explanation for why Frank and Amy cannot be collectively. It’s a saying that invokes logic, not love, however the concept that this know-how is omniscient is reassuring, even when it is unfaithful. There’s this sense that it’ll all be okay, so why stray away from that?
Black Mirror offers us a compelling cause why we must always observe our instincts and be prepared to take an opportunity on one thing we really feel strongly about. You can idiot your mind, however you simply cannot idiot your coronary heart and with “Hang The DJ” we’re given cause for why we must always begin listening to it.
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