epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Black Mirror: Fifteen Million Merits (2011) Review

The 2nd in the miniseries. In the dystopian future Bing and many others exist in a high tech hell hole. At night they are locked into tiny cells where all four walls are computer screens where they can also play violent games or buy things for their virtual avatar/doppel and spend their days peddling on stationary bikes to earn merits. While peddling they watch idiot tv game shows like 'Bothergut' or talent show called 'Hot Shot' or 'Wraith Babes' which is violent porn. They own nothing and it is a bleak existence. Bing fancies new arrival Abi.

Abi likes penguins and Bing. They peddle their days away thinking of a better life. If you get too fat to peddle you can be demoted to a cleaning job which is a despised underclass, the thunderingly unlikable Dustin loves to verbally abuse cleaners. Nobody asks why they endlessly peddle bikes in a hermetically sealed existence.

How does this society function? Why is mob cruelty encouraged? Nobody notices that their diets are controlled to create the fat hated underclass. Bing (Daniel Kaluuya of 'The Fades' and 'Psychoville') wants out of buildings that look like car parks and the useless constant peddling. He hears Abi sing and enters her into 'Hot Shot' at the cost of 15 million merits to give her a chance.

Abi (Jessica Brown Findlay of 'Downton Abbey') really can't sing. But she takes her chance before the judges. But it all goes horribly wrong as Abi is bullied into working for 'Wraith Babes'. A broken hearted Bing sits in his cell forced to watch Abi's drugged up shark eyed porn career as he does not have enough merits to pay to switch 'Wraith Babes' off. And he can't close his eyes, if he does - sirens blare and he is ordered to "Resume viewing."

The other peddlers seem content with their child like state but Bing makes a plan. It all leads to Bing having an emotional freak out in front of the repellent 'Hot Shot' judges as he rants about the cycles: "Going where? Powering what?" and how everything is "One more ugly joke" and everyone being tricked into buying unreal crap and staring at meaningless lights. It's a fantastic truthful rant but it is not received the way he thought it would be. In fact Judge Hope (Rupert Everett) offers Bing his own slot on tv to rant for 30 minutes twice a week.

This was very good. The ending is bleak. Bing gets a somewhat better life but is his view real or just another screen? And Abi is lost as Vol#47 of her 'work' is released. So very, very sad.

Best Lines:
"It is that or the bike."

"You have the magnetism of a towel."

"You come across as fundamentally unlikeable and really quite worthless."

"Farewell forever, til the same time next week."
Tags: black mirror, psychoville, the fades

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