Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
December 28, 2018 2:46 PM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

In 1984, a young man throws himself (perhaps bodily, if that's your thing) into the construction of a video game based on a novel by a deeply troubled author. "Bandersnatch" is an interactive presentation.
posted by kittens for breakfast (67 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I spent three hours of my life on this last night. It's an astonishing thing. The moment when you realise that Stefan realises he's being controlled! Fuck yeah! Talking about Netflix in 1984! So many choices.

I was wary about that dog from the start.
posted by h00py at 3:21 PM on December 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


"I was wary about that dog from the start."

Did you see more of the dog, besides the first scene where it digs up the flower bed? We never saw the dog again but I almost looked it up on "Does The Dog Die", because it seemed like the dog would show up later.

My SO and I spent 1.5-2 hours on the different choices. Overall, I liked it and was suitably creeped out Black Mirror-style along the way. I kind of lost interest when it got meta-Netflix-y towards the end, though - if you can really talk about an end.
posted by rawrberry at 4:23 PM on December 28, 2018


I enjoyed this and am planning to try out more endings, for sure.

One thing that was picked up from Black Museum: it’s becoming clear that TCKR/Tuckersoft is behind a lot of the tech in the Black Mirror universe. I hadn’t considered the show to be set in the same space (until last season, I figured it was all just easter eggs), but now that it really seems to be... I do wonder where things will go next. A cohesive story arc coming out of all of this would be weird and unexpected.

Really enjoyed the NETFLIX/[choice/White Bear symbol] option, almost the most. The meta stuff was fun.
posted by hijinx at 4:25 PM on December 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


The plot thread where the designers drop acid made me think of The Courtyard (an Alan Moore comic about Lovecraft) and the mirror/rabbit stuff felt very Donnie Darko. I enjoyed it (if you want to call it that; I felt sick and disorientated after about an hour and felt I'd seen enough), but I'm not sure it works terribly well as a story outside of the gimmick, which to be a fair is a lot of fun to experience.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:28 PM on December 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I went Netflix-y in my first iteration then upside down Y after that. thought it worked well for about 3 endings, the TOY vs PAC choice switching to TOY vs PAX was a good switch (and according to the walkthrough below you can get to PAC vs PAX also). After about three I started getting unsure about where stuff was going and it was running together a bit much. Ahead of that was excellent in creating the feeling of falling into insanity. Overall it made a good fist of setting up friendly characters to lead you up the garden path into making hard choices.

IGN has a list describing the endings here.
posted by biffa at 4:35 PM on December 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I could dig out the Commodore from the basement to read in the "Bandersnatch Demo" audio, but I figure someone will probably get to it in the next few days...
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:25 PM on December 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I spent about 3 hours on it, loved it, sooo clever. I felt like there were about 10 endings, so have been surprised to see people on Twitter saying there were only five! Maybe I just had about 10 pathways. And I went through it all again fast forwarding the narratives because I wanted to see the ending people were tweeting about when he dies in the psych’s office, which I’d missed first time round.

I must have made 4 or 5 attempts not to kill his dad, so I loved the progression from thinking “Oh, Stefan, I know you think you’ve got free will but you really don’t, I’m making decisions for you...” towards “Oh, shit, I don’t have free will either, the game/show designers are making my decisions for me.”

Felt smug to notice that the health centre was St Juniper’s (San Junipero reference) and also that the building/doorway Colin comes out of when you follow him was a place I used to work! Right next door to Finsbury Health Centre, aka St Juniper’s.
posted by penguin pie at 5:42 PM on December 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


I hate that I’m stuck in a murder loop.

Maybe if I hadn’t picked the sugar puffs in the beginning he’d be a productive, medicated teen with a good videogame developer job? Help.
posted by lydhre at 6:18 PM on December 28, 2018 [8 favorites]


I disliked the Netflix meta stuff.

Also the symbol was from white rabbit. And Colin's new game was nosedive.
posted by k8t at 8:52 PM on December 28, 2018


Speaking of references to the "Tuckerverse", there's something on the TV chyron (maybe in just one of the endings--I got a little confused WRT that part) that mentions the cast of Space Fleet reuniting at the Emmys.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:54 PM on December 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


I hate that I’m stuck in a murder loop.

It's probably not an infinite loop, keep going.

---

I'm also especially curious about the phone number element. That's all but a neon arrow pointing to an opportunity for different alternate content.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:57 PM on December 28, 2018


The interactive element was cool. I've also noticed lately that Netflix offers the ability to re-watch scenes. I bet this is the next step.
posted by k8t at 9:01 PM on December 28, 2018


I'm also especially curious about the phone number element. That's all but a neon arrow pointing to an opportunity for different alternate content.

I used the right number the first time, so he called the Doctor's office. The second time, I deliberately chose the wrong number and he just gets a "phone number disconnected" message. But I guess there's the possibility of many different things there.
posted by crossoverman at 10:32 PM on December 28, 2018


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug: I could dig out the Commodore from the basement to read in the "Bandersnatch Demo" audio, but I figure someone will probably get to it in the next few days...

Yup, it's been decoded. It's a QR code that points to Tuckersoft, where you can download the Nohzdyve / Nosedive game (as demoed in the episode). This is from io9, which has more info on how to play the game.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:27 PM on December 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I really enjoyed the meta aspect. But I gotta say I wanted the fight sequence to go on longer because Alice Lowe kicking ass!
posted by miss-lapin at 11:58 PM on December 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


Oh there was a lot of aping of Donnie Darko, the pasttime setting, the new age soundtrack, the dream sequences, the bloom lighting, the scenes the therapist, even casting a Doe-eyed youth with a long neck.
posted by The Whelk at 5:56 AM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]




(Er new WAVE soundtrack)
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on December 29, 2018


About the Haircut video / game: if that uses YouTube annotations, it will stop working in January.

I won, I think, with Oprah.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:12 AM on December 29, 2018


I feel like Charlie Booker set out to pioneer and immediately exhaust the choose-your-own-adventure TV genre. It's going to be hard for anyone to make another one that doesn't look totally derivative.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:26 AM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


The IGN article says only 4 out of 5 endings are reachable in one go, but I somehow managed to get them all plus the Bandersnatch Demo ending on my fist shot. That said, I didn't write a single thing down so that's basically useless info...
posted by TheCoug at 12:10 PM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Pretty detailed analysis of how this was made, as well as the depth of the possible permutations, written up at Wired. According to Brooker many viewers won't get close to seeing all the possible variants:

The spidering horizontal structure of the episode also meant that some scenes ended up being a little hard to reach – locked behind an arcane combination of unlikely decisions. Fairly late in the editing process, the team decided to make it much easier to access one ending, and brought another branch of the narrative much closer to the heart of the film. Even so, parts of it may remain elusive to all but the most determined viewers. “There are some things that are really hard to find in it,” Brooker says. “I couldn’t tell you how to get to them.”
posted by myotahapea at 12:54 PM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Interesting experiment but ultimately fairly meaningless with no real plot to speak of and a very thin metaphor.
posted by Automocar at 2:00 PM on December 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


Amazing production, but I found myself a little disoriented as parts repeated and synopses appeared seemingly at random. Heck, I didn't even realize they were actual choices for me to make until the second one appeared and I took a wild-hair to exercise the cursor keys on my remote out of curiosity.

I wrote down all of my choices, but never really felt like I reached an ending even though the "Exit to Credits" button appeared. Obviously more research is required!
posted by rhizome at 2:15 PM on December 29, 2018


... so... I have only two complaints...

heh... the first is funny... after I choose to work for Tuckersoft, I was told "Sorry mate, wrong path" and at that exact point the power to my house went out... These Black Mirror folk are utter geniuses...

The second... Uh, Commodores? Wouldn't BBC Micro's be more appropriate?

Other than that, "simply amazing" ... I will do another session at another date... Working through my choices took about 3 hours.
posted by jkaczor at 2:27 PM on December 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


The second... Uh, Commodores? Wouldn't BBC Micro's be more appropriate?

It's the Speccy... Micros for posh kids only

*Engage nerd voice*

Although, among the numerous other errors, commercial Spectrum games were not written on the Spectrum itself... that's why I knew it wasn't real.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:06 PM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


There were retail titles written on the machine itself in the early days. Mined Out was written in basic, and there were others. Not unusual for a bedroom coder to be working like that.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:15 PM on December 29, 2018


First watch didn’t do it for me, but the 2nd time was with my 9 year old daughter, and she loved it, exploring all avenues, so now I see it’s pretty good
posted by growabrain at 2:23 AM on December 30, 2018


Lifehacker has the flowchart
posted by growabrain at 2:32 AM on December 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Not seen it yet - doesn't work on my telly, so we'll need to sort something out with the iMac - but just to say if there's one writer who you can rely on to get the intricacies of the early British computer game industry right, it's Charlie Brooker.

Spectrum/Commodore kids were the generation after me - I was more interested in bleak industrial noises on the electric guitar - but I knew at least one boy who made a bunch of money from something he programmed in his bedroom. He used it to buy a Mac II and grew up to be a reggae producer. Early 80s, huh?
posted by Grangousier at 2:46 AM on December 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed this. Great use of modern technology to experiment with the medium. And I especially loved it when things went super meta.
posted by hoodrich at 3:29 PM on December 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Fairly late in the editing process, the team decided to make it much easier to access one ending, and brought another branch of the narrative much closer to the heart of the film

IIRC, this was lampshaded (or maybe was already there, in the best metatextual way) in the film itself--about there actually being fewer choices in the final product, although there was still the illusion that there were more.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:00 PM on December 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think my big problem with the show was that the multiple narratives made it seem there isn't a consistent underlying plot. It's kind of like how there's five different endings for Clue -- if your murder mystery can plausibly yield five different killers, then it's a waste of time for me to try and solve the mystery. Similarly I don't think there's a Truth at the core of Bandersnatch; I don't think it's a simulation, or that the designer's dad was an actor, or that the designer was completely delusional and went insane just like the guy who wrote the book (although that feels like the storyline that's friendliest to Occam's razor), or that the designer died in his therapist's office for no apparent reason. Or rather, I think all those things are simultaneously true and false, because it doesn't really matter. That's not how I wanna feel about a movie I just watched, but I guess it's an okay way to feel about a game.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:04 PM on December 30, 2018 [9 favorites]


"Maybe this will be the thing that makes me like Black Mirror." Reader, it was not. All setup and no payoff, the gimmick wore thin real quick. There were a couple of neat moments but ultimately just left me feeling irritated.

I hope other writers take a crack at this format because this was a fine proof of concept but still left a lot to be improved on.
posted by Tevin at 7:29 PM on December 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


I expected to dislike it, but I ended up enjoying it by refusing to be the completionist gamer-type. I only had to rewind and make a different decision three times. (I wonder how many people turn down the job offer? I didn't.) I saw only one ending. And I like it that way.

It gave me the wonderful moment of not only realizing he was aware of me, but I got his exasperated WTF reaction when I selected "chop up the body". Then it sent me back, I let Colin live, and went to prison.

And I absolutely fucking refused to discuss his mother with the therapist. I'm very annoyed that the show just doesn't want to let me stop watching without going back to that, but, no, fuck you, I think this is a better story. I don't want to know what the deal is with the mom. For that matter, I don't want anyone to know.

So I got a pretty coherent narrative, with a throughline. What exactly is happening when we make a choice? Are we choosing, really? Does it matter? That is less interesting the more it's belabored. PKD is always most upsetting when it feels like you, with the protagonist, is poised right at the precipice between sanity and insanity. My relatively brief run-through, lacking a god's eye view (which is, in any case, no more than a comforting illusion) placed me as a viewer right at the uncomfortable awareness of both being the manipulator and the manipulated.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:14 PM on December 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


I would rather have spent that time replaying The Stanley Parable.

Okay, I kid, it was fun, but ultimately it felt hollow. I suppose that's because when any other episode of anything ends you can sit there and think about it (if it's worth thinking about) but I didn't spend a second of contemplation on any of the endings because I was just thinking about "okay time to go back and find other endings" and if I'm doing that for fun I'd rather be playing an actual game. Huh. Maybe I wasn't kidding.
posted by komara at 10:40 AM on December 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


This came up in my "Popular on Netflix" queue in the Netflix app on our Apple TV, but when I tried to watch it, I learned that I can't watch it via the app that encouraged me to watch it. Talk about user-hostile. If Netflix is able to give non-Apple TV viewers a unique experience, then Netflix should be able to give Apple TV viewers an experience that doesn't include an advertisement for that movie. Our 34-inch TV has a small enough screen, and I'm not going to watch a movie on my laptop or phone. Disappointing, because I love the Black Mirror series. I hope this isn't the shape of things to come.
posted by emelenjr at 11:21 AM on December 31, 2018


it felt too short, but i enjoyed it. the meta Netflix stuff was great because the actors were so convincing. and the poignant Rabbit ending was touching and I felt like that could've been a true ending, complete with time manipulation because he died in the past but his body is already in the present and can't fade away.
posted by numaner at 1:24 PM on December 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


My first time through I barreled through to the "Chop" ending, with a brief detour into "Netflix action sequence". I figured that must be the grimdark bleak ending, so I should try it out before some of the grayer ones. Joke's on me, this is Black Mirror, so the grimdark ending is the "canon" one, at least judging by the epilogue sequence being much longer than any other ending.

This was a problem with Life is Strange as well: if you're going to have multiple endings, try to make some of them equally fleshed out or it feels like the text prefers one over the others.

What IGN calls the "Death" ending (may as well be the "Donnie Darko" ending) caused me to burst into tears and wail audibly. As the parent of a toddler with a bunny toy, the music along with the resignation of that 5 year old closing his eyes on the train destroyed me. Which made the part where he's dead in the therapist's office feel cheap; it was very abrupt and seemed like a retread of the ending for "Playtest".

I was surprised when first reaching the Chop ending that Netflix kicked me out of the CYOA flow and made me restart the whole movie to see the other paths. They did so much great work with the recap sequences and subtle changes to sequences you've already seen that it was a shame to undo all that and start again. I particularly liked replaying the "Bury body" sequence to cycle through all the people who can arrive at Stefan's house.

The payoff for the one non-binary choice (entering the therapist's number) was extremely slight considering that's probably the hardest content to get to. I wonder if that's one of the places they cut content? Or if they deliberately left it in as a place to add easter eggs later?

This is perhaps one of the most well-produced FMV games ever, but I kinda wish it actually was a game and had some structure aside from the left-right choices. Colin makes such a to-do about the ability to change the past, and the therapist puts such strange emphasis on revisiting the mom memory, that I expected at some point deep in the story to be able to mechanically restart near the beginning and get to something like the "Death" ending that way.

The "toy" password seems like a weird mechanical compromise: they wanted to show the consequence of changing the past, but didn't have the ability to actually let you jump more than two choices back after collecting enough flags. Playing it as a PC game with the ability to make and restore saves and perhaps visualize the branching paths would be better for completists, but I understand that's probably not what they were trying to make.

For an arguably more positive take on the meta-CYOA genre I highly recommend the free game Save the Date
posted by tjgrathwell at 2:09 PM on December 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


I wonder how many people turn down the job offer? I didn't

I was overruled on turning it down but you were given an in show warning about accepting it when Tucker plays your demo and accepts an offer from PAX, thief of destiny
posted by biffa at 8:28 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Just reminded that it was directed by David Slade. Who directed Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night then entered director jail after doing a Twilight film after he'd previous slagged them off.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:02 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


This is my first BM. Wait, let me start over. This is my first episode of Black Mirror, so it's hard for me to judge it as an episode of the series. But, I feel as a piece of interactive fiction, all the decisions and twists are pretty standard part of the medium. I think it's more the presentation, polish, and that it's on Netflix that really carries it. And because of that, I didn't think it was bad.

Also, I was definitely drawn in to the story a couple of times. But when something is interactive, my response (and I think a lot of other folks) is to start digging and seeing where it goes. And it became frustrating to dig a bit and keep hitting walls. Yeah, this is reflective of the theme of the episode that free will is an illusion, etc. But as I wrote, that's been done before. And my own thought is that I as a viewer always, always have the choice of just not watching/playing. And as a creator of any media, I don't think you would want your viewer to do that, right?

Oh, and when I watched it the first time they showed this little Portal-stickperson-like animation about how the choices work, and then they asked if I understood. I intentionally chose "No", because I wanted to see what would happen if I kept saying "no", and after two times nothing happened and it rudely dumped me into the story.

So, I guess I should have seen that as a sign of how deep the interactive element actually was.
posted by FJT at 4:57 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


For an arguably more positive take on the meta-CYOA genre I highly recommend the free game Save the Date

Well, on a similar vein, someone edited together a good ending for Stefan.
posted by FJT at 7:08 PM on January 1


Oh, and when I watched it the first time they showed this little Portal-stickperson-like animation about how the choices work, and then they asked if I understood. I intentionally chose "No", because I wanted to see what would happen if I kept saying "no", and after two times nothing happened and it rudely dumped me into the story.

I did nothing at that point because I thought it was just an on-screen simulation. It started the story after asking twice, then the cereal choice came up and I thought hey, check the cursor keys on my remote. But I thought it was just part of the show.
posted by rhizome at 10:40 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I wish the big motivating regret was something other than dead parent/child/sibling but what can you do. At least they undercut that in one of the timelines.

A small thing I liked was on the TOY path, the second time through when Stefan didn't go with his mum, it plays a few notes of O Superman then Stefan wakes up with a horrified jolt which matched my own feelings, escaping from that heartwrench.

I really appreciate the compressed versions of events after you've gone back in time. Sometimes things are a little different with Stefan or Colin being more meta. Technically it's very good, I think it's doing it just right. Save states and fine control would not be good. Maybe in interactive fiction, the first phase of enjoyment is the naïve playthrough, and the second phase is the "hunt down and consume the rest of the content". Many games don't design for phase two as if it was part of the experience, and so it's clumsy and/or unendurable, but I think Bandersnatch wove that second phase into the experience in a pretty effective way. In a CYOA book or a text-heavy game you can just skip paragraphs, but I dunno if a fast forward button would really work for video.
posted by fleacircus at 2:27 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


So I've gone through it a few times with varying intentions, but now I'm interested in doing things to find easter eggs. Has anyone gone through it doing all the defaults? Or all right side selections (or left)? Things like that? I tried instead of using the phone number, using Stefan's file number from the cabinet, but either I got it wrong (should have jotted it down) or it did nothing.
posted by wellred at 5:19 AM on January 2


Apparently I can't watch it using my Chromecast, which I guess makes sense but also means I'm not super likely to jump in. Three hours in front of my shitty little laptop screen is just not how I want to experience a movie, interactive or not.
posted by asnider at 10:51 AM on January 2


The meta discussions that come up in the game/episode (“we’ve met before, haven’t we?”, “I’m sure we’ve talked about this already...”) remind me of how difficult it would be for a time traveller to keep track of rewritten timelines. This CYOA approach applied to something like Primer or even that Tom Cruise movie with several titles could be stellar.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:44 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


BY FAR the best dramatic moment in all of this is the point when we first see him consciously try to resist our commands.

You know something significant is coming whenever the two choices seem either inconsequential or 'the same.'

When he was in his therapist's office and the two choices were "bite nails" or "tug earlobe," I chose "tug earlobe" (though I assume this happens the same way for "bite nails") and when I saw him use all his effort to resist – to keep his hand from rising to his earlobe – I was so impressed.
posted by kalapierson at 10:35 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]


But okay, how do folks feel about this episode, which is directed by a white man, casting (iirc) a female POC to play the director of this episode in one of its meta-endings?
posted by kalapierson at 10:40 PM on January 2


What a strange question.
posted by h00py at 10:50 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


I think it was well intentioned and not harmful. It wasn't really "this episode" of course, it wasn't like turning into a found footage bit fake documentary with David Slade and Charlie Brooker playing themselves. Though it might have been interesting if they'd done a stylistic shift like that, so the viewer thinks "okay choices are over", then the final choice.
posted by fleacircus at 4:43 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


But okay, how do folks feel about this episode, which is directed by a white man, casting (iirc) a female POC to play the director of this episode in one of its meta-endings?

Her name was listed on the Chyron as "Pearl Ritman", which makes her Colin's daughter. She was played by Laura Evelyn.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:59 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Rock Steady, Laura Evelyn played the person developing the next iteration of Bandersnatch, I think kalapierson is referring to the person (Rochenda Sandall?) directing the Netflix scene after you choose 'Netflix' and the protagonist and his therapist fight or he attempts to throw himself out of the window.

Choose your own adventure sure makes describing 'shared' events more difficult.
posted by biffa at 6:13 AM on January 3


Oh! I don't think I've seen that yet...
posted by Rock Steady at 6:47 AM on January 3






I think the Laurie Anderson ending was the best.
posted by Catblack at 9:58 PM on January 3 [6 favorites]


I was conflicted about whether it was any good or not... and even more conflicted if I would recommend other people spend the time "interacting" (limited) with the episode. The meta-construct of limited interactivity based upon the designer's choices was a little mind-blowing though. You think you have free choice interacting with the episode, but ultimately, you don't as it wants you to go down certain roads (at least at certain points in the video).

It was a real good effort, however, I will give them that. As entertainment goes, I was initially annoyed by the mundane "choices" I was making for the character. That improved as the episode went on, but I ultimately left the episode feeling like, "What did I just watch? What was the outcome?"

I have no idea.
posted by docjohn at 2:45 PM on January 6


It's technically impressive just because it's got a bunch of people playing IF on Netflix, but I didn't find either the story or the game to be especially interesting. Meta-commentary on control / destiny / agency in games is old hat at this point, and (although I guess it's the capital P "Point") there are lots of eye rolling false choices that most real IF has designed beyond since the 80s. Beyond the novelty there isn't really a coherent plot, and it's just a bunch of stuff happening. At the end it was kind of like "that was neat, but eh..."

Maybe it will make people interested in better interactive fiction?
posted by codacorolla at 4:57 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


As an IF player, I thought the "game" of Bandersnatch (as in, the interactive film, not the easter egg game) was much more sophisticated than I expected. In particular, the early instance of the forced "NO" made me sit up a bit, as it indicated to me that repeated playthroughs would open up new avenues. I also suspect that the initial plan was to not have the cluing flashbacks immediately precede the telephone password input, which would have made it quite a devious puzzle indeed - though maybe too hard for the average Netflix viewer.

It still doesn't stand up against the modern masterpieces of IF, but I was impressed.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:12 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I could dig out the Commodore from the basement to read in the "Bandersnatch Demo" audio, but I figure someone will probably get to it in the next few days...

It's definitely ZX Spectrum. I know the tape loading sound off by heart:

Duhhhhh, boop. Duhhhhhh, bccckbup. Duhhhhhhhhh, bckssssshhhhhhhhhshchchshxxxxxrxrxrxrc…
posted by popcassady at 8:09 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


It's definitely ZX Spectrum. I know the tape loading sound off by heart:

Duhhhhh, boop. Duhhhhhh, bccckbup. Duhhhhhhhhh, bckssssshhhhhhhhhshchchshxxxxxrxrxrxrc


That was a pure Proustian moment
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:57 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


I just saw this, and I think I liked it better than most. Partly that's because it was pandering to me and I will absolutely take it. The dark '80s? Computer nostalgia with a side of creepiness? Fucking thank you, yes. Possibly I also liked it because the interface was inviting, if much clunkier and absent any save points, and the payoff was actual prestige-quality acting instead of text or CGI cutscenes (or God forbid the bargain-basement live-action from the '90s).

It is a very 2019 touch that the happiest possible ending--so far as I can tell--is the one in which Stefan dies as a child.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:38 AM on January 12 [8 favorites]


While it wasn't super innovative from the interactive fiction side, super cool to see on netflix.

Also Bandersnatch was a real ZX Spectrum game that was famously never released - see the description and the magazine ad if you want an extra layer of creepiness.
posted by xiw at 7:35 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]




Season 5 Trailer
posted by rhizome at 10:33 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


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