This article acts as a sequel to a piece written about porn in Black Mirror last year, so I’d recommend taking a cheeky peek at that one over here before reading this one. There’s also major spoilers for series four throughout this article, and a trigger warning for discussion of sexual abuse, so careful with this, kids.
It’s 2018, it’s been over a month since Black Mirror season four was released, and I still have a concerning obsession with sex in Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology series. Delving deeply into the in’s-and-out’s of these new episodes gives an insight into the accessibility of sexually deviant behaviour in the modern age – paraphilias such as voyeurism and BDSM exist in new forms now with so much online pornography and fan fiction floating around the net (bet Brooker would love to know what kind of antics he and David Mitchell get up to on Archive of Our Own, arguably the kinkiest fan fiction site out there). Black Mirror finds some really zanyways of exploring how technology allows its characters to bash one out in the most inappropriate and morally questionable ways possible.
All four of The Defenders have seen some crap. In fact, they all continue to get themselves into seriously messed up situations time and time again, and probably need a good therapy session. Yet, without their past traumatic experiences, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist probably wouldn’t have discovered each other and teamed up to take down the Hand. So, should we be glad that they experienced such trauma? Of course not; that’s messed up. Nobody should have to deal with that. But, that’s exactly what happened, and now they’re stuck dealing with even more crap because the NYPD are way out of their depth. Fantastic.
Superhero team-ups are usually brought together by sharing ideologies, but Netflix’s band of misfits are brought together by their shared trauma, making for some interesting television.
So, on top what these guys deal with in their eight-episode Netflix superhero extravaganza, here’s how the Defenders’ dreadful lives link them to one another, and why that’s so important to the series.
Warning: Here’s the part where I let you know that there’s spoilers littered around this article, so be careful out there.
With Sherlock being one of the BBC’s most popular drama TV programs, there is, quite shockingly, a lot of drama in it. From the face-off between Sherlock and the murderous cabbie in the very first episode, ‘A Study In Pink’ to that horrifying moment concluding the series’ latest episode, ‘The Six Thatchers’, we’re no strangers to shitting our pants at the intense events Holmes and Watson find themselves in during their ludicrous adventures.
There are some other moments during Sherlock that are undoubtedly dramatic, but… unusually so. Here’s a brief, spoiler-free look at the times Sherlock and John ended up in some unexpectedly action-packed circumstances in the first three series of this quirky crime drama.
There’s a lot of sex in Black Mirror, which probably shouldn’t be that surprising considering that as a society, we seem to be obsessed with the act of mushing things together. But, it’s also because technology and sex are very closely linked. Thanks to modern creations like the internet, we can now watch two (or more) people we don’t know get it on in the comfort of our own homes. It’s actually really weird when you think about it, which is probably why we don’t really tend to think about it.
In true Black Mirror style, we’re being forced to consider something we’d prefer to ignore. All throughout this series, there’s some sort of reference to porn, whether it be the blatantly obvious one in “Fifteen Million Merits” or the mentally scarring one in “Shut Up and Dance.” Without seeming condescending or overly preachy, it highlights the problems with porn, giving us something to reflect upon next time we open up the spank bank — which we probably won’t do, but should at least try.
It’s no secret that Black Mirror is all about highlighting the sombre, more disturbing aspects of our society. This satirical series, written by everyone’s favourite cynic Charlie Brooker, touches upon themes that we might prefer to ignore; but Black Mirror makes them impossible to ignore, waving them in our faces and leading us to having an existential crisis by the end of each episode. The whole beauty of the show is how similar the scenarios that play out are to real life, making us as an audience fearful of the future of the technological age we live in.
By now we know that Orange is the New Black loves to give its viewers a social commentary. It’s not exactly a shock either that a lot of that social commentary focuses upon racial tensions, making Litchfield Prison a little microcosm for the events happening in America right now, drawing its audience’s attention to problems they might not even be aware of. Kohan and her team of writers do a great job at humanising the characters in the show, making us realise that they’re far more than just prisoners; we sympathise with them, we love them, we hate them, but we all look at the way they’re treated, whether it be by guards or by each other and think, “wow, that’s pretty fucked up”. What we need to do now is consider how these story lines apply to real life, and what the writers are implying about these problems. (Warning: major spoilers ahead.)
First thing’s first: that season finale is probably going to stop me from sleeping for the next month or so. I can’t cope with all those cliffhangers. I’m half mad at Manson and Fawcett for doing this to us, but also half impressed that they and their team of (super) writers have been able to pull off another fantastic season for this brilliant, brilliant show. By now I’d somewhat expect some sort of falter in the quality of the writing (being the pessimistic little shit I am), but still the story has stayed fluent and beautifully paced, and taken us right back to the tale’s origins, and have thankfully not left Beth’s character in a dusty box in the attic – she’s brought back into the limelight, and with her she’s brought another addition to the clone club (M.K.), who I’m (almost) starting to love. Additionally, we’ve got another tasty slice of character development on Felix’s side of things, and Rachel’s back at her antagonistic ways once again. Any major criticisms? They really need to cut Cosima some slack. (Warning: major spoilers ahead.)