Hey guys! How’s 2021 going so far? And in the grand Wednesday tradition, we are continuing our Black Mirror reviews series, starting off with Hang the DJ. I must say that there are no DJs actually harmed in the making of this episode.
The episode is centralised around dating, and there is this ‘System’, where each individual’s sole purpose is to find their ideal match, going through a series of dates and relationships, via the Coach, which is this device that tells them how long the couple has together, and alerts them when their ideal match has been found. I suppose it makes things a bit easier for people, not having to worry about having to find a partner.
In this episode, the pairs meet up, check their allotted time, and also have their own specific accommodation to stay in for the duration of their relationship, then at the end they leave it, and just…wait for the next date to roll around, and repeat the cycle.
Frank and Amy are two people that are part of this world, where they meet dates at the Hub. They meet each other, and after a bit of nervous first-time awkwardness, hit it off right away, but only have 12 hours to spend together, which is underwhelming considering their compatiability (in my eyes anyway). They get these little golf carts that automatically take them to their accommodation, which is actually really nice. It’s the kind of place I’d love to see myself living in, except I’d require more space. Oh no, he put his feet up on the sofa, that’s just giving me pure stress. I’m a ‘shoes off the furniture’ kind of person.
The whole point of the System is to get people serial dating in order to find that one compatiable person. Man, I just couldn’t do that, but I know why some people enjoy that – playing the field, that kind of thing. Amy ends up with a nice guy that honestly is pretty damn attractive, while Frank gets someone that just deeply dislikes him. The relationship between Frank and Nicola was a long-term thing, if you can call one year a long-term, that she just couldn’t wait to get away from. And I couldn’t wait to get her off my screen, no personality.
Of course, with an episode about dating, there’s obviously the element of…doing the dirty (guys, it’s hard to think of more phrases). They did try and make Nicola the worst person, and Frank can’t get away from her.
The Pairing Day is probably the most cultist thing to appear in this episode, where it’s a celebration of two people finding their ideal match. It’s like a wedding, but worse. The female of the couple, Edna, states ‘Do have faith in the System, because it does deliver’, especially with Edna’s appearance makes it look way more cultist than it should be.
During this Pairing Ceremony, it looks more apparent that Frank and Amy are supposed to be together, and this is highlighted when they have another chance at the relationship, after Amy has several partners while waiting out Frank and Nicola’s expiry date. The reunited couple choose not to look at the expiry date though, because Amy has had a lot of short-term flings and felt very detached. But Frank being Frank, eventually he checks the expiry alone, and it was initially going to be five years. But due to the lack of trust involved, the expiry date actually keeps being brought forward.
Amy gets ‘The One’, and gets to see Frank one last time. And they run away, rebelling against the System.
At the end of the episode, it’s revealed that the pair is just a part of a repeated simulation as part of an actual online dating app. It maps out how many times Amy and Frank rebel against the System, to give that 99.8% compatiability that has been alluded to earlier in the episode, the couple having rebelled 998 out of 1,000 times. It’s revealed that the real Amy and Frank meet each other after finding each other on said dating app. In reference to the title of the episode, Panic by The Smiths is playing in the background. As a fan of their music, I’d actually already had this song in my head just from the title alone.
And it was funny because Amy in the simulation actually joked about it being a simulation.
I feel that the technology involved in the episode would be handy for those who thrive off being in a relationship, and literally cannot live happily as a singleton. I still think the Pairing Day ceremony feels very much like a cult activity, even though it’s their equivalent to a wedding ceremony. But that’s just me – a woman happily in a relationship (without a dating app) analysing the ins and outs of a dating-based Black Mirror episode.
I’ve also realised this time around that there aren’t really any same-sex couples featured, aside from one of Amy’s passing conquests. I’d have liked to have seen a bit more diversity in terms of couples.
Next week, we got Metalhead, and oh boy.