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sci fi

Unnerving USS Callister

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Finally Black Mirror is back and perhaps in the same chaotic way you feel after watching an episode – my thoughts are going to be sporadic and non linear below. I was well and truly ready for my disturbing dose. Eager with anticipation, I wondered just how far down the technological rabbit hole will we go this time? Well, it seems rather than going down a rabbit hole we were out in space hurtling towards an all consuming black hole.

Revenge of the socially awkward nerd indeed!

When I was at university studying film, we often discussed that some horror films walk that fine line of being scary then falling into the cheesy and laughable zone. Once it crossed into a B grade kitsch movie it lost your engagement and the purpose of what a horror film is meant to do. USS Canister definitely had elements that were blended with that uneasy heightened humour but the horror was still very real.

On completion my brain jumped to thinking about this – what will become of mental health services and treatment in the future when you are dealing with the likes of Robert Daly? How many undiagnosed secret personality disorders will be floating around in cyberspace world. If your behaviour isn’t being exhibited in the real world is it even justifiable to condemn someone for online behaviours?  It immediately made me think of the brilliant play ,The Nether, that questions this very idea.

Perhaps the highlight for me was the brilliant Jimmi Simpson. You all know by now I love the characters that he plays. I was having some kind of withdrawal, I admit,  from Westworld so this was a nice appetiser to get me through. Playing Walton we see a two dimensional asshole in the real world in the role of CEO, but a submissive man with layered emotions and a black sense of humour on the spaceship. My favourite bit is his constant shot drinking and referring to drinking poison – because they can with their non existent livers. I think it is safe to say we all might be nicer to our work colleagues just incase on the monthly fridge  they decide to pilfer your leftovers  because you didn’t fill the printer back up with paper.

As is always the case, each episode has so many socially relevant topics we could deep dive into and get very academically focused over them (but my dads of critically theory are over) however, I found the aspect of fandom or worship taken to the extreme in this episode. Imagine the threat this would pose to the generally well protected celebrities of the world or our government leaders. A true and dangerously intimate invasion of privacy.

This is the future people – if we can come up with it in a writing room it is only a matter of time before this is real.

 

 

 

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Wondrous Westworld

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I was bursting for Westworld to start .  I am certain I drove most of my closest circle crazy in the lead up to the air date. I am still hoping my parents will watch it after I broke them down and they watched The Night Of AND OBVIOUSLY they liked it – I mean, what do I have to do to explain that HBO simply don’t produce anything that’s not quality…I digress.

As an avid TV watcher you reach a certain point where you crave something that stimulates the brain, that makes you think. Sure, there are TV shows where I want to tune out to like Scandal and get lost in the romantic dilemmas of Fitz vs Jake and then there are other shows that I want to be a part of it, get lost in the world and piece together the complexities and intricacies of the world and what’s going on.

There is so much to say about this show, the episode,  MANY questions – but there are loads of articles, with paid writers, who can do that articulately for you. I have already argued about the scalp and the maze, and a multitude of theories in the office today!  This is just a bit of dribble…

The second episode excited me somewhat because the fantastic  James Raymond “Jimmi” Simpson was introduced as William. Let’s be honest , I love James Marsden and now another James…well Jimmi, is gracing our screens. (Just in case you needed a purely VISUAL reason to watch Westworld  if the dramatic setting and insanely good looking hosts weren’t doing it for you …)

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Jimmi’s  roles thus far, casted to perfection, he is in interesting shows and plays fascinating characters.. If he seems familiar to you, no you aren’t in a loop or narrative,…he is in a lot of things but notably and in more recent times, The Newsroom and House of Cards in recent times.  I am yet to watch Hap and Leonard but will. Underrated and just a dream – perfect for the James Brolin equivalent character casting.

When we meet William he is rather hesitant and timid in front of his stunning host.  He is told “How far you go is entirely up to you.” aren’t we all immediately wondering what he is capable of? We haven’t had this insight  or privilege with any character to start the park journey with them from the beginning.

Then we are taken to the final detail – a cowboy hat.

A striking and deliberate visual of picking up the white hat?! I hope this hints at his core nature.  The show is intriguing me on this psychological level – I suppose I am waiting to see a characters journey unfold of seeing just how far they will go.

Then we realise we are in a train carriage…. A clever introduction to propel the story forward and reveal more to the viewer and starts to answer the questions we had from episode one –  how do you get there? how do you get the clothes? Do they get any information or an induction package?

So far, he is the only character, where as a viewer, we feel like he is experiencing it from the same POV. We experience the park how he might – taking it all in, asking questions, being curious by the stories the hosts start to tell  – unfortunately his friend Logan, played by another dream boat, Ben Barnes, squashes most of his natural curiosities – a familiar and frequent visitor to the park who has his own agenda.

I have enjoyed the dialogue that hints to reveal more of William’s personality – we are told he works too hard, we see his tender moment with Dolores (the new Teddy) . I can’t help but think he is in the park for the magic and wonderment of it as opposed to the violence and sex like Logan.

If you haven’t famliarised yourself with Jimmi you should! Check out this article… see, he get’s as excited as we would by Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood… humble…normal…. worth watching  🙂

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