Hey guys! Today we’re diving straight into season 3 of Black Mirror, with the episode Nosedive. Let’s get into this!
Oh yeah, there’s a board game based on the episode, too! Not to mention the Black Mirror subreddit has a similar score system in place for its users.
This episode starts a trend of more Americanised episodes, as Netflix takes the helm of producing the show from here on out. And honestly, it’s kinda the perfect setting for this episode.
The whole concept of Nosedive is that you have a social credit score, and people can easily see that, with similar technology to that seen in White Christmas, but with a difference.
We follow Lacie as she tries to build up her social score, which stands at a respectable 4.2. She lives with her brother, who has a lower social standing, but seems relatively happy with it. However, Lacie immerses herself in ensuring that everyone will give her a 5-star rating. She’ll even meticulously take a photo of her coffee and cookie (which she hates) and post it on the socials to get that high rating. It’s so much pressure to keep up, and literally any and every interaction you make will affect your score. Reviewing everyone 5 stars will help to influence how you yourself are rated. But everything feels very fake in the introduction, I could never keep up with that kind of social standing. I even struggle to reply to people after a week. I’m getting social anxiety just watching this.
I love the atmosphere of the first scene, where everything is just so pastel and prim and proper. This is why the British could never pull off such a beautiful aesthetic like this (and I’m British, I would know). It’s probably one of my favourite scenes in the entire Black Mirror series just for appearances alone.
The home that Lacie’s looking at, as well as the neighbourhood itself, is reserved for the higher rating of 4.5 or higher if she has a Prime Influencers’ Program, so she strives to increase her influence score. Her childhood friend Naomi is one of those higher influencers, and Lacie is invited to her wedding as Maid of Honour. This would give her the boost that she’d need to get that home.
I can relate to her brother, who is happy without the credit score system, and doesn’t believe that people should focus their lives and attention on that score. He points out that Lacie is obsessed with it to the point where it’s like a second job for her, just to keep it on check.
Of course, when it comes to the crux of it, there are some predictable mishaps that bring down Lacie’s credit score, which result in more predicaments which lower her credit score further. The further you go down the rabbit hole with Lacie’s predicaments, you start to see just how much of your daily life is ruled by the social standing that you uphold. Like I said earlier, it’s like a credit score, so a higher score will allow you to do many things, and you can even get a double penalty if you piss someone off good and proper. I will admit, it’s all predictable, but it leads up to the bigger meaning of the episode, when Lacie meets a woman who lost faith in the system after her husband’s death, hence her lower rating. Then she pisses off some cosplayers who were headed the same way.
Lacie becomes more frazzled and erratic over the course of the episode (and I have to mention the score that incorporated the low-rating sound too, absolutely genius), and she ends up crashing the wedding and giving her speech anyway, but obviously because she made a scene, she’s marked hella low. And ironically she looked and felt more free shouting and cussing at a random stranger in jail than she ever did on the outside, in the system. And it’s in a contrast to the gloomy, grey backdrop that was so different to all of the pastels that we saw in the beginning moments of the episode.
Overall, I love that the episode doesn’t really justify the numbers system and instead questions it. Of course, it was being talked about being a thing in China, which will suck for them.
Next week, we’re looking at Playtest.