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Black Mirror’s Twist: “Bandersnatch”

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Black Mirror’s Twist: “Bandersnatch”

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Netflix’ release of its highly anticipated episode “Bandersnatch” of the show Black Mirror on Dec. 28 was a turning point for the network. Black Mirror is not an ordinary series, with each episode being unrelated to the other, having its own different plots, characters and conflicts. This science-fiction anthology explores the dangers of technology alongside the darkest parts of humanity. Many of the episodes deal with dangers and controversies of social media, advancement in medicine and technology, blackmail, politics, and more.

Similarly, “Bandersnatch” is not a regular episode; with the new interactive feature, viewers of the show are able make choices about the storyline as they watch. In certain scenes throughout, an option is given at the bottom of the screen. The main character, Stefan Butler, is a young programmer, being controlled by the viewer. The plot revolves around him trying to create an interactive video game based on a book called Bandersnatch. The viewer may notice the many parallels of the episode itself, the book and real life. The Tuckersoft company hires Butler to create the game for them, and he meets famous game creator Colin Ritman. While rushing to meet the deadline, Butler faces many events with decisions the viewers choose. There are no perfect and ideal endings, just like many other Black Mirror episodes. Fans of “Bandersnatch” consider “winning” getting a good review on the video game.

The episode took many different twists and turns leading to a variety of endings. At first, the choices are seemingly innocent, such as Butler’s cereal choice. But then these choices go on to be more impactful, with life or death decisions. After watching “Bandersnatch,” sophomore Olivia Erndl talked about her experience: “I thought ‘Bandersnatch’ was really interesting. I really liked the interactive feature because I have never done something quite like it. The cast was also really well picked and fit the role of the characters perfectly.” Sophomore Madison Crofts gave her opinion as well, stating, “I thought it was overall a cool and interesting idea. The interactive feature made me think and really pay attention to what was happening. Although, I thought the cast could have been better.”

Fans of the show, including myself, have been waiting months for the release of this special. Personally, I have a mixed opinion after watching “Bandersnatch” and getting multiple endings. I enjoyed the cast, especially the main characters, and felt as if the episode was executed well. One of the negatives, in my opinion, is the confusing plot. I also felt as if this episode did not match the high-tech aspect of other Black Mirror installments. I recommend watching other episodes of Black Mirror to understand the concept of the series prior to watching this episode. Overall, “Bandersnatch” is a new kind of entertainment experience that everyone should try. “Bandersnatch,” along with other interactive shows on Netflix, is helping to pioneer a new form of visual and movie entertainment.

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Black Mirror’s Twist: “Bandersnatch”