Black Mirror S04E04 “Hang the DJ” Discussion Thread
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Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 4 - Crocodile
Paired up by a dating program that puts an expiration date on all relationships, Frank and Amy soon begin to question the system's logic.
Warning: this thread contains spoilers about this episode! If you haven't seen it yet, please watch it and come back to this thread later.
You can talk about past episodes, but please don't discuss future episodes in this thread!
If you don't know what to say, here are some questions to get the discussion started:
- How does the title relate to the episode itself?
- Are there any similarities between real life events and the episode?
- Are there any references or easter eggs in the episode, such as references to past episodes?
The central framing of the episode as a romance does a good job of undermining how utterly horrifying the entire concept is. Simulating thousands of fully sentient beings for the sole purpose of a dating app seems absolutely appalling to me.
Love the episode. I started to realize something was going on about halfway through the episode, but the narrative and aesthetic are so well done that you can't help but get drawn into the story.
I thought this was a great exploration of what having "AI" available to us will actually mean. These beings exist and have feelings and desires and yet are one of a hundred simulations whose sole purpose is to inform an algorithm.
With the kicker being that it's something as banal as romantic compatibility.
Were the ~100 instances of - broadly, however you cut it - miserable failures in love worth subjecting someone or something that is alive to, purely for our own statistical masturbatory insights?
One of my favourite episodes.
Also, I found this one IMDB which I didn't know but explains the episode title:
"The song "Panic" by The Smiths is played as Frank (Joe Cole) and Amy (Georgina Campbell) both flirtatiously smile at one another. Morrissey and Johnny Marr wrote the lyric "Hang the DJ," as a protest against a specific DJ named Steve Wright, whom they despised because of his insipid taste and adherence to a kind of corporate approach to music. So, the idea of singing "hang the DJ," was about rejecting the music being played for you, to think for yourself, to rebel. Which can be seen as a metaphor for the actions of 998 digital versions of the couple."
This was a top Black mirror episode for me.
I thought the story was really well done and a sort of critique in dating apps like Tinder. The characters were pretty compelling and I was definitely rooting for them throughout the episode.
I enjoyed the cinematography throughout, particularly the montage of hookups that showed how dehumanizing hookup culture can be.
Particularly coming off of Crocodile which is one if my least favorite episodes just from how boring and nonsensical it was, this was a nice change of pace.
This might be my favourite Black Mirror episode, above San Junipero even. I liked and connected with the characters and really felt like I wanted them to succeed, and the whole thing moved at a good pace. They did a really great job of hiding some very dark implications (mainly with sentient AI) behind a happy love story.
Also one of the coolest easter eggs in the series; while it was also a hint that they were in a simulation, when Amy says "count to four" and skips the puck in the pool, that was at exactly season 4, episode 4, 44 minutes and 44 seconds into the episode.