What if you could block people in real life, like you can on social media? That’s the main techno-paranoia drive of Black Mirror’s Christmas special. I bet you’re all thinking “yeah, that would be awesome!” but the special puts another view on the table, looking at the reasons one might be blocked in the first place. Be careful what you wish for!
I refuse to talk too much about the plot itself (watch it on 4OD!) save to say that Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall are astounding as our enigmatic lead characters Matt and Joe, sharing Christmas dinner and drinks in an isolated cabin in the snow – where they share a mysterious job that it seems only the lonely would apply for – swapping stories of grim Christmases Past.
Most would think that Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror would offer up a Christmas special more miserable than EastEnders but most would be wrong: This could be the most hopeful Christmas Special we’ll get this year, albeit told in a grim and grumpy way, as expected. Sure, it’s dystopian, but only on a personal level; by not doing what the leads do you’re guaranteed a Happy Christmas.
Think of this as a sort of Black Mirror “Tree House Of Horrors” – three not-so-festive tales of techno-paranoia, dealing with themes of loss and loneliness, with a really hard-hitting message: Maybe it’s beneficial to talk more in person; maybe it’s time to put the screen down, just for a while, and give your loved-ones the attention they deserve before it’s too late.