12 February 2013

Black Mirror: Be Right Back Review

Ever since it first came on in 2011, I've been a massive supporter for Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror. Not only was it some of the best TV written in the past few years but each episode made a brilliant statement about the current, technology heavy world. Now it feels like Black Mirror is getting the recognition it deserves, not only is there a second series currently out but Robert Downey Jr has bought the rights to the third episode from the first series, The Entire History of You, to adapt to the big screen. To celebrate this, I will be reviewing all the episodes from series 2 of Black Mirror, starting off with the insane love story of Be Right Back.
Now this is only going to be a short review as there are only two aspects of the show I want to talk about, the writing and the acting. Now the writing in the episode is incredible, there's a perfect mix of powerful drama and black humour that has been present in a lot of other shows written by Charlie Brooker. The episode moves at a very steady pace, building itself up slowly to allow the audience to fully come to terms with what is happening, and considering the strange places that the episode goes to, that's no small feat. Speaking of that, the writing of the episode really makes you feel that the service could exist in real life, I mean how many of us use social media to reflect our personalities to the world and how easy would it be for these aspects to be used by others to create an alternate version of ourself. The last thing I want to note is the unpredictable nature of the script, there are certain points in which I thought I knew what was going to happen but Brooker actually wrote the complete opposite of what I thought it would be.

The acting though is the main drive of this episode. Simply put, Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson are incredible. Now I can't fully talk about Gleeson's performance without giving away major plot points and, since it will probably be a while before anyone outside of Britain can see this episode, I won't do that. Instead, my focus will be on the incredible performance from Atwell. Simply put, Atwell is the heart and soul of the episode, all of the creepy and disturbing stuff from her character is made fully believable by her performance, especially near the end of the episode when the final stage of the system is in place. It also helps that Atwell and Gleeson have a brilliant chemistry so that you believe everything that her character does, again mainly at the end.

I really wish I could talk about this episode some more but since the plot goes to so many strange places and since many people outside the UK won't be able to watch it, I don't want to spoil the episode. This is a brilliant episode to start off the new series of Black Mirror and if all of the other episodes are like this then this will be one of, if not the, best TV show of the year.

My Rating: 5/5

Come back next week for my review of the next episode: White Bear


  1. I think Charlie Brooker is great (I love his books) but it seems I haven't been paying close enough attention to him as I've managed to completely miss even the first series of this show, even though I love in the UK! It does sound very dark though, is it scary? I have every intention of tracking it down now, but my g/f isn't too keen on horror/gore, so do you think she could cope with it?

    1. Well I wouldn't call the show scary, it's more creepy, it plays much more as a dark romance than as a horror so yeah, I think your g/f could cope with this. Also, if you want to catch up with the first series, it's available on YouTube and 4OD and I suggest you start with 15 Million Merits

    2. Honestly, the only time with anything that could be gory you don't see, the most disgusting stuff it gets are with 2 scenes of vomiting

  2. So glad that there are other people that really rate Brooker, it's definitely creepy. Throughout Be Right Back I could definitely see something not dissimilar happening like that one day. Happy to have found your blog. I have nominated you for a Film Q&A Tag, would love to read your answers if you're up for it!