The most atypical season of ‘Black Mirror’ has had chapters as varied as the sea of striking. One of them (and, for the writer, the best) is ‘joan is horrible‘ (Joan is Awful), an existential nightmare in parody formprecisely, from Netflix.
Starring Annie Murphy and Salma Hayek, the episode revolves around a woman who discovers that a streaming platform, Streamberry, has made a series about her life starring Hayek. Worse yet, the fiction is wildly realistic and does not cast a benign light on it.
A rather interesting concept through which the episode not only talks about algorithms, artificial intelligence, leonine conditions of service that we blindly accept but also the how we see ourselves versus how we are seen. All in a tone of comedy as exaggerated as realistic.
And the inspiration for this episode came in a relatively unexpected way: by watching a biopic. Specifically the brilliant miniseries ‘The Dropout’, which we can see on Disney+, which tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos fiasco. A series that Charlie Brooker was watching with his wife and that became the germ of the episode:
“We were talking about how weird it would be if you were that woman and you were watching the dramatization of your life, one of the most disturbing bits would be the scenes where she fools around, dancing to music. I would think, “how do they know that?” I found it a fun existential nightmare. What if Netflix started making a high-end drama based on your life and you couldn’t do anything?
‘The Dropout’, one of the best of 2022
Starring Amanda Seyfriedwhich we can now see co-starring in ‘The Crowded Room’ on Apple TV +, ‘The Dropout’ was one of the best miniseries of the 2022 vintage with the fascinating story of a young woman who dropped out of college to found a leading medical technology company promising the ultimate in clinical diagnosis. It was a lie.
A wonderful biopic created by elizabeth meriwether from the eponymous podcast that, in some way, deconstructed this subgenre of scams by negotiating with the viewer the ideas that could come preconceived, in addition to other tropes of the subgenre.
Seyfried, moreover, is stunning in the miniseries. Something that was rewarded with the Emmy award for best leading actress in a miniseries; award that “repeated” at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice.
In Espinof | Our favorite series and movies of 2022