Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment
December 25, 2014 8:32 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

A failed comedy who voices a popular cartoon bear named Waldo finds himself mixing in politics when TV executives want Waldo to run for office.
posted by oh yeah! (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I liked this episode, but it is a bit of a mess. Mostly I read it as a take on the need for creator control.
posted by Catblack at 10:08 AM on December 25, 2014

Sorry for filling the front page up with these - I don't know when season 3 airs (aired?), so I figured I might as well get all of S1 & 2 up together so that someone else could keep the rest of the series in order in future.

Merry dystopia, to all!
posted by oh yeah! at 11:38 AM on December 25, 2014

I've got mixed feelings about this one. It starts off with an interesting enough concept, and I've got a soft spot for people who are really only articulate behind an online avatar (I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY), but it just takes a hard left turn into an unearned dystopia in the last couple of minutes.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:22 PM on December 25, 2014

The ending dystopia was pretty over the top - but I also had a hard time buying Gwendolyn telling Jamie all about her campaign and sleeping with him. Maybe that interview with her party was meant to show that she was a very unsavvy politician, but we'd have to be pretty far into the future for me to buy the idea of a female politician not being super-paranoid about her sex life. I think what made most of these episodes work was how believable the characters were in the midst of the exaggerated technology, but in this one I think the characters became secondary to the themes.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:04 PM on December 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

The coda was so bleak and so unearned that it bordered on self-parody, but if you shave off that last two minutes this is quite an episode. There's so much to think about.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:51 PM on December 25, 2014

Oh yeah! Do you know there is an Xmas special this year, shown in the last week? With Jon Hamm no less, in a role that I guess Brooker didn't write for him but wasn't going to say no on.
posted by biffa at 12:37 AM on December 27, 2014

biffa: Check the "Next Episode" in the "Show Info" box on the right. The special has already been discussed.
posted by KMB at 3:53 AM on December 27, 2014

Yes, since I'm a no-spoilers type of fan, I won't be venturing into the Christmas special thread until whenever Netflix US adds it to their streaming options. (Also, I figured a web search for S1 & 2 episode recaps/analyses might show me too much about the special, if anyone else wants to add them please do.)
posted by oh yeah! at 4:48 AM on December 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

This was the least compelling of the six regular episodes for me. The credits said it was originally written for Nathan Barley, which I haven't seen and may have illuminated it a bit, but it was fairly straight-ahead for me. I just don't think it jelled and the various factions never really engaged in a convincing way. I also think it shared a weak-opener with "The Entire History of You" by having so short of an initial interview and too little character establishment. Ten minutes later I was asking myself what the murders thing was about.

I think Ike Barinholtz would work well in this as a US version.
posted by rhizome at 11:09 PM on February 4, 2015

The idea of a US version of Black Mirror... Man, that could be so monumentally awful. Like, US Coupling bad. Matt LeBlanc "Pucks" level of bad (I really should have started a Fanfare thread for Episodes when S4 started last month, I can't be the only one watching). I'm not familiar with any of Charlie Brooker's other tv shows, but if the "15 Million Credits" monologue was inspired by his own tv-making experience, I cannot imagine what the US Network showmaking experience would do to him.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:26 AM on February 5, 2015

It could never exist without a laugh track. You're right, a US version would be terrible, would be *required* to be terrible, and possibly adapted by Chuck Lorre, but if it did, I.B. is the kind of goofy schlub that US TV would require of the role.
posted by rhizome at 9:58 AM on February 5, 2015

I just marathoned the first two seasons after seeing a recommendation on the blue to watch White Bear.

The show's wildly inconsistent and generally a little overlong but I mostly liked it, and obviously enjoyed it enough to marathon. Much more thoughtful television than I've encountered in a long time.

I felt that the left turn at the end of this episode was justified; there was that snark about youtube near the beginning and then the notion of returning democracy to the masses. Would things be any better or worse if the typical youtube commenters decided policy (or rather, selected the policies that are presented to them) compared to the games that politicians currently play (gerymandering, vote suppression, earmarking)?
posted by porpoise at 4:52 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

The ending dystopia was pretty over the top -

If I had watched it a year ago I would have agreed with you all. But I watched it tonight, April 1 2016, and the unbelievable dystopia of 2015 is today's unbelievable reality in the US if A.
posted by kanewai at 2:55 AM on April 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

rhizome was right. The U.S. version is terrible.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:28 PM on December 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

But I watched it tonight, April 1 2016, and the unbelievable dystopia of 2015 is today's unbelievable reality in the US if A.

Meanwhile, in 2017, Waldo is the goddamned president of the goddamned United States.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:28 PM on April 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

Ugh, this show was oddly prophetic about some things, and this darkest timeline certainly makes catching up on this show a struggle at times, not because it's so terrible, but because its bleakness is indicative of the bleakness in our own horrible world.
posted by numaner at 10:26 AM on April 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

This episode, which I've only just seen for the first time, seems hopelessly naive now that President Waldo exists. But also it was prescient. So I guess this now both feels dated but was also right on the money. Ugh. (Agreed about the unearned dystopia though.)
posted by crossoverman at 8:29 PM on July 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

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