Since the return of black mirror, something has felt “off” about this season, although the storylines are compelling and engaging, they were missing that dark undertone that makes you question the entire episode. Thankfully ” Shut up and dance” solves that problem and brings that feeling back to Black mirror, but how far is too far? ……Join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
Answer me this: when you found out the truth about Kenny, did you think “good. I hope he dies”? That seemed to be rather the point of this one, which hinged on the revelation that the sympathetic victim we’ve seen put through his paces by an anonymous blackmailing group is nowhere near as sympathetic as he first seemed.
Kenny is a normal boy, albeit a little on the quiet side, he lives with his mum and sister and has a job at a local fast food place. His male co-workers mildly bully him, so he does what he can to avoid them.
It soon becomes clear that Kenny values his privacy, becoming on edge when his sister borrows his laptop (the first warning sign in this episode). Soon after he places locks on both sides of his bedroom door.
At first glance this appears to be nothing more than a teenage boy who values his privacy, but the truth is much, much darker.
Shut Up And Dance acts like a fairground strength-o-meter for viewer compassion. To begin with, we’re all mercy and sorrow for Kenny’s pathetic situation, then as soon as his opponent asks “how young were they?” it vanishes and is replaced by a desire to see him suffer.
Its a dark story, full of twist and turns, not to mention great acting, making you believe the pain Kenny is going though every step of the way. But just as it looks like this is all over the blackmailers have once last trick in store for all their victims.
Benevolence goes out the window and suddenly you find yourself on the side of the cruel anonymous blackmailers, now reframed as heroes of vigilante justice.
Its a simple story and for me puts Black mirror back on form with its previous seasons. And as sick as it may sound, it has been my personal favourite episode this time around ….. that’s a scary thought!
This episode will linger with you for sometime to come …. even if it is for all the wrong reasons.
What did you think of this episode?
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