Black Mirror White Christmas (2014)
The Christmas portmanteau special is a dark view of a future where changing technology makes people more callous and uncaring. In the framing story two men who are somewhere swap tales of their lives before and it all ties together into a bleak story of immersive technology, slave labour, decaying relationships and the dangers of not caring. This has classic Christmas tunes, lies, twists, John Hamm being all unctuous salty dryness and a ‘Mad Men’ shoutout. Incredibly upsetting things happen which could have been avoided if people had just clarified and explained matters. This was okay and it is suggested that all the ‘Black Mirror’ stories take place in the same world.
“You don’t usually do anything.”
“Shouting what to think.”
“Took what you might call a dim view.”
“Packet gravy, how British.”
“That’s where real you lives.”
“Are you going to stop screaming?”
This failed US pilot was a remake of the 1998 Channel 4 drama. It opens with a close up of a pole dancer’s ass which shows how non-classy this will be. Undercover cop Viggo (Spence Decker) is getting married to Neely (Madchen Amick of ’Twin Peaks’ and ’Dream Lover’). His friend John (Eric Thal of ‘A Stranger Among Us‘ and ‘The Puppet Masters‘) looms. This had bad acting, bland faces, 90s suits and borrows concepts from all 6 episodes of the original drama. Viggo doesn’t show up for his wedding, leaving Neely looking constipated in her 1980s style veil.
John does messy pub brawling as he looks for John. Neely seems to be a cop. Russian gangsters with fake accents lurk. The CDC loom in the shadows and a hitman (Idris Elba who seems to be reprising his role from the original) kills people. Fox apparently described this as a sexy vampire soap - it is none of those things. It is so bad it makes ’Central Park West’ look good.
This may or may not be a semi-sequel to the 1998 show. It is so very 90s and looks incredibly dated. The 1991 ‘Dark Shadows’ was better than this. John just wanders into the CDC’s vampire hunters HQ. Viggo is this show’s Jack, John is this show’s Michael, Neely is this show’s Kirsty and the female CDC boss seems to be this show’s mash up of Pearse and Angie. CDC and her dyed midnight storm hair drops realms of exposition and seems like a horrible bigoted woman. Idris Elba is barely in this despite being the only competent actor of the lot. I could swear one of the Russian gangsters (aka vampires) is played by Connor Trinneer but I could be wrong.
Everything about this American remake is wrong and annoying. John is all rabble rabble and acts like a wilfully crazy nutter. He and the CDC lie to Neely for no clear reason. Neely is either impassive or contentious. There is dull surprise acting and catastrophic miscasting. Viggo is always robotic and emotionless, John has a constant rictus facial expression and the CGI of the vampires exploding is laughably bad. The burn make up on the dying vampire looks absolutely terrible.
At one point four vampires run from the CDC hitsquad - oh how scary the vampires aren’t. John is insensitive and irresponsible and accepts the existence of vampires without a twitch. Everyone except Elba stubbornly resists any attempts at acting. John gets slapped to the ground by Elba’s character at one point, which was the sole highlight. This pilot was a dreadful thing. All the characters seem incapable of actual human feeling and act out mechanical plot points. The final scene ‘twist’ is marred by a silly mirror trick. This is so crap it is grossly offensive.
“Standing on the street talking like normal people.”
“I was run over by a guy that blew up!”
“You’re upsetting me!”
“Clarify question please.”
“I’m not going to hurt you really.”
“Since when’s CDC running hitmen?”
“You can’t murder something if it isn’t alive.”
“They look human but they’re not.”
“Neely will follow.”
“Since AIDS they’ve been panicking about their food supply.”
“You resent him, you always have!”
Flash vs Arrow
Barry is a creepy navel gazing stalker and that is before he goes crazy in this crossover ep. A dude’s eyes glow red. Barry makes anal polyp faces. This crossover wasn’t keenly anticipated. Iris is sensationally stupid and Barry is annoyed Iris isn’t chirpsing him. Eddie has a task force to catch The Flash.
Barry manipulates lies and steals. He is morally treasonous git. Eddie has very quickly recovered from being shot. The metahuman with the glowing eyes gets off on making people lose lucidity. Arrow and his parka vision shows up in town with a bemused Felicity and Diggle. Oliver whines. Felicity takes her blouse off due to Barry scorching her. Joe and Wells don’t trust the Arrow. Barry is impetuous and Oliver prevaricates. Barry is lazy, Wells is creepy and Cisco names the metahuman Prism. Felicity is allergic to sleeves; Barry is an ass with brilo pad hair and is unruly. Then he goes crazy and is spectacularly dishonourable.
Barry speeds around screaming and having abruptness and impatience. Wells knows who is the Arrow is and smugs. The Flash attacks Eddie and isn’t sorry showing that Barry is a typical dudebro ass. How did the gang catch Prism? Oliver lectures, Joe kiss-asses and Oliver thinks Wells is creepy. Eddie and Iris don’t like The Flash. Oliver meets his baby-mamma. Barry is an inherent lying ass. Oh boo. Ronnie shows up. This was static.
“She writes fan fiction about him.”
“Carry out a dark reckoning.”
“Silly code names.”
“He’s a crazy man.”
“I find the unknown to be toxic, dangerous.”
“Have some real anger.”
“No desire to go MMA.”
“Tweaking or just cold?”
“There is something off about that guy.”
1781: Ichabod Crane fights in the Revolutionary War and chops the head off a masked mercenary with an axe. The next thing Crane knows he wakes up in modern day Sleepy Hollow. All this is under two minutes. This was okay, creepy and directed by Len Wiseman. The Headless Horseman shows up and kills the Sheriff (Clancy Brown of ‘Earth 2’) and the magic using Reverend. Abbie starts to believe Crane when he goes on about his wife Katrina being a witch and him being from 1781.
Crane has future shock and is a glowering presence. The Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse; to be specific he is Death. Abbie’s boss Captain Irving is paranoically obsessive and annoying. There are flashbacks to George Washington. Whilst clunky in places this was jam-packed with stuff and is enjoyable. Abbie has a past, the late Sherriff has secrets and Katrina despite apparently being burnt for witchcraft in 1782 is hanging around in purgatory in a Goth dress and excessive blusher giving Crane instructions.
Where did the Horseman get the horse? How can he ride around and swing a blade and fire a rifle? How can he ride around murdering people unnoticed? Nestor Serrano appears as a polygraph examiner and John Cho shows up as a doomed co-worker of Abbie’s.
“And hell followed with him.”
“Don’t you find it odd, all the unsolved cases around here?”
“Beheading him seemed the next logical step.”
“The darkness that lives in Sleepy Hollow.”
“I have a preserved head in a pickle jar.”
How is Katrina talking to Crane? Katrina says the End Of Days will start when the other three Horsemen (Conquest, War and Famine) show up. What no Pestilence? This has a grounded emotional reality despite the bizarre goings on. Abbie and Crane team up to fight evil. Irving has abuser logic. Deliberate lies and ingrained hostility cover up the truth. The opening credits debut. Andy (John Cho) returns as demon controlled zombie. There are unneeded flashbacks to 1x01. An evil executed witch tries to resurrect herself. Abbie’s ex Luke shows up and he is all fissile glibness. I’m not ecstatic over this show but I enjoy it. Crane shows Abbie a secret tunnel and this was okay.
“Doughnut tax outrage.”
“We burn her to the ground?”
“With great enthusiasm.”
For The Triumph Of Evil
People are entangled by bad dreams. The innocuous sound Sandman isn’t so innocuous. Sleepy Hollow is an intimidating environment. Where has the Horseman gone? Abbie’s sister Jenny is locked up in a loony bin and Crane encounters her. The Headless Horseman story and the Tim Burton film don’t seem to exist in this world. Abbie shows off her two cupsizes too small bra. Abbie reveals some back-story. Endless malevolent thoughts are thought. Crane and Abbie visit Geronimotors (tomahawking prices since 2004) and Crane learns of the eradication of the Native Americans. This was intricate and creepy and okay.
“There’s no way out.”
“She found one.”
“It’s all over but the crying.”