Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Emmy Episodes: Black Mirror

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the fifth year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Black Mirror: Season 5, Episode 2 “Smithereens” (B+)

This was actually my first time ever watching this show. For some reason, it’s one of the few, like “Outlander,” that I inexplicably missed when they first premiered and therefore have never seen. I didn’t do a great job of monitoring the TV movie races in previous years, and even though I am finally covering those fully this time, it just so happens that this show is competing as a drama series this round. I’m a fan of Andrew Scott and didn’t get to appreciate his unfortunate Emmy snub last year for “Fleabag” when nominations were announced since I was behind and hadn’t yet watched season two, but once I did, I couldn’t believe he was left off the list. Fortunately, the nomination he did get this year isn’t merely a makeup nomination but instead one that’s wholly deserved. It was hard to know exactly what to think of Chris from the moment that he took Jaden hostage until the very last time we saw him, when his captive was fighting desperately to prevent him from taking his own life. Scott managed to find humor in this deadly serious situation, and he conveyed a range of emotions throughout the tense standoff that somehow kept him alive until the closing moments of the episode. I thought I knew his passenger from somewhere, and that’s because Damson Idris, who stars in “Snowfall,” appeared in “Replay,” a fantastic episode of “The Twilight Zone,” a show that I had heard was similar to this one. He doesn’t seem to be getting much credit for his performance, but it was a very good turn. Topher Grace, who also appeared in a recent installment of “The Twilight Zone,” was a good fit to play the CEO who was more honest than expected but just as cocky. This seventy-minute experience was indeed immersive, and though it’s not going to make me rush to catch up on what I’ve missed thus far, I’m more than open to watching it in the future. And I’d be very happy to see Scott won an Emmy for this role.

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