Dee Discusses: Black Mirror “The Waldo Moment”

Posted: October 21, 2016 by Dee in Dee, Recaps
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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Okay. It has to be said. This episode is very, very weird considering what’s going on in America right now. While Donald Trump might not be a cartoon dog, he is certainly a candidate that when he first started running, people saw it more as a big joke. Remember all those articles that were “okay now it’s no longer funny” because he started winning? I thought about this episode a lot. It’s not the same thing but … it definitely has an element of truth to it.┬áLike all of Black Mirror, the real chilling thing about the science fiction is how realistic it is. We can all imagine worlds where this exists. This one is just more grounded in reality than most, unfortunately. Unfortunately because oh my god this could potentially happen and that is horrifying.

So here’s the story. Jamie is a comedian who didn’t make it on his own, however he managed to get insanely popular by creating the crude blue cartoon bear Waldo. It’s done through performance capture. Mostly he’s like the Insult Dog, he just mocks people and does crude humor and makes people laugh. No big deal. It indicates he should be for kids, but he’s not, and people love his show. Jamie however feels dissatisfied and depressed in his life. Perhaps because people don’t love him, but the dog and humor he presents, and he wants to be the person in the spotlight, so to speak. He gets that chance when as a lark his boss suggests they have Waldo run for office. It’s mostly just to mess with the candidates and political process, and to make people laugh and push the envelope. Jamie’s uncertain, because no sane person willingly gets involved with politics, but he gives in.

Black Mirror - The Waldo Moment

Purposely they’re messing with the conservative person running, going on his campaign trails and projecting Waldo onto the side of a bus to mess with him. On the trail, Jamie meets Labour party candidate Gwendolyn, who can’t win but wants to push her political career anyway. They hit it off and sleep together, but her consultant recommends she distances herself from Jamie/Waldo, and he gets bitter about it. During a debate, Jamie gets insulted by the people involved, and he decides to just go off on them. He rants about the superficial nature of the politicians, including Gwendolyn, and how they’re as much of a lie as he is. While it was just him yelling, eventually it becomes a smash hit on YouTube and everyone loves him. So he starts to WIN, or he might even have a chance to win, and Jamie’s like ?????? He is replaced by his boss since he refuses to keep going, and begs people not to vote for Waldo. He becomes homeless and miserable and it’s all very sad.

So. This is probably my least favorite? I mean, I guess it all does make sense, but it’s not as cutting edge as Black Mirror usually is. At least the first episode was pushy and daring, but this was a little too typical. A lot of shows could have made an episode like this, Black Mirror usually goes one step above. It’s average, is what I’m saying, and after two really strong episodes it’s kind of a let down as the last one of that season. I thought it was going to be the last entirely, until the Christmas special, and now there are more episodes coming from Netflix. Anyway, this isn’t a terrible episode, it’s still good, but it lacks real messaging and in the end I just kanye shrugged and forgot about it. But man does it make me think about Trump a little now. I’m not the first person to make the connection, believe me. It’s sad that he has such a tragic ending considering he’s generally not a bad guy. But that’s sometimes how it goes.


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