1 March 2013

Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment Review

So here it is, the final episode from series 2 of Black Mirror, and, in my opinion, it's probably the weakest episode of Black Mirror. Don't get me wrong, it's still brilliant but compared to masterpiece episodes like 15 Million Merits and Be Right Back, it is easily the weakest. So why do I think this is the weakest Black Mirror, let's find out.
Firstly with the plot, the premise of a failed comedian's only success being a cartoon bear on a late night topical news programme (which reminded me a lot of Brooker's work on 10 O'Clock Live) does feel like something that could happen in real life, and I'm guessing has happened for a few comedians, and the whole idea of a fictional character running for an MP office again feels like something that could happen. All of this stuff works well and the ending revealing just how big Waldo could get at the expence of the creator is really powerful stuff. My problem: a lot more could have been said about the nature of British politics, especially career politicians. One of the main characters is a politician running for the seat in the hope of advancing her career, not because she wants to make any actual change. A lot could have been made comparing Waldo to career politicians but this only really comes up in one scene, which was easily the highlight of the episode. Just a few more scenes like that and this episode could have been up there with 15 Million Merits and Be Right Back.

The main way this episode is made great though is through the acting. Daniel Rigby as Jamie/Waldo is brilliant, he brings in a full sense of disdain for what he is doing but resigned acceptance that he would have nowhere else to go without Waldo, which is especially true in regards to the ending of the episode. Chloe Pirrie and Tobias Menzies both do great jobs as the politicians, really getting into the mindsets of a Labour and Tory MP respectively in a safe Tory seat. Christina Chong does a really good job as Jamie's representative but the best performance is from Jason Fleymng. Fleymng does a brilliant job with the material, making his character really likeable at the start and becoming increasingly threatening and devious as the show goes on making the character really fascinating by the end, especially with regards to the major twist.

Overall, I really like The Waldo Moment, while it could have done more political stuff, the character focus in this episode is brilliant and aspects like this are what make Black Mirror so brilliant to watch. It is the weakest Black Mirror, but even that is exceptionally high praise.

My Rating: 4/5

So that's the end of my Black Mirror review series. Here's hoping that the film adaptation of The Entire History of You will be just as good as the TV episode, hopefully leading to an American release and that there will be a third series of Black Mirror in the near future.

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