Black Mirror S4, E4: Hang the Dj – Tim Van Patten (dir)

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SPOILERS AHEAD

One thing I like about Black Mirror is how some episodes just focus on current trends and give them a new perspective. In the case of Hang the Dj, online dating and dating apps in particular are the central themes of this episode.

As seen in the media online dating is a big thing and Van Patten manages to keep within the basic idea (profile matches) and yet manages to give it the Black Mirror treatment and present something that is imaginative.

The setting is a sort of utopia. Grass is green, blue sky etc and a lot of dating occurs which is controlled by a white palm shaped object called The Coach. This machine automatically finds matches pairs the couple for a certain amount of time (which is called the expiry date) and then after a while The Coach finds the perfect match and as the tagline states there is 99.8 chance that a person will find the right one.

Amy and Frank are part of this service, however they fall in love with each other and despite other pairings they find out that they need each other.  The problem is that they cannot exceed the expiry date of their relationship.

After a couple of setbacks Amy and Frank decide to rebel, ignore the expiry date, destroy The Coach and escape the utopia by climbing the massive wall that encircles the place. Suddenly their world disintegrates into blackness and the place is filled with copies of Amy and Frank together, then all the Amys and Franks evaporate and a sign stating that there were 998 rebellions from all the Amy and Frank clones ( I’m guessing the remaining 2 just settled for the life partner assigned). The episode shifts to the real world where a real Amy and Frank are looking at their mobiles and find out that they are 99.8% compatible. In other words the utopia at the beginning was really the algorithm of the dating app that Amy and Frank are using in real life.  In other other words rebellion is part of the matching process.

oh yeah this song is playing at the club where real Amy and Frank meet.

This episode is FANTASTIC. It is intelligent, well plotted, makes you think and, actually has a happy ending that even borders on being twee. I enjoyed watching Hang the Dj and it is the first time in season four that I felt completely satisfied with the show. Do I want more episodes like this? no but I do want the remaining two episodes to have credible. creative aspects like this.

 

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