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Series 1 - Episode 2
Black Mirror: 15 Million Merits
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Just as The X Factor departs our screens, Channel 4 dances on its grave with this poison-pen satire. Written by Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq (his wife of 16 months), it imagines a depressing future where our hero Bing (Daniel Kaluuya) is one of millions who ride exercise bikes in gyms all day while watching an X Factor-ish talent show called Hot Shot.
It’s a resoundingly bleak world they’ve created: people live in cells with walls of interactive video screens playing ads you must pay to avoid; everyone eats from vending machines; and everyone wears grey tracksuits, unless they commit the crime of getting fat, in which case they wear yellow smocks and appear on a brutal game show called Botherguts.
Bing’s dreary existence is lightened when he meets beautiful Abi (Jessica Brown Findlay from Downton Abbey) and sees a way out of the drudgery for her, via a place on Hot Shot. The story evolves (very slowly, mind you) as a haunting allegory about the way TV exploits and humiliates us, and the production design is superbly grim. Shame the targets feel big and easy.
Dark satire set in a future reality where everyone is confined to a life of physical drudgery - unless they can impress the judges of a popular talent show. Written by Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq, and starring Daniel Kaluuya, Rupert Everett, Jessica Brown Findlay, Julia Davis and Ashley Thomas.
Cast & Crew
Jessica Brown Findlay
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