Here's the annoying thing I find about "ugh, Black Mirror is so obvious, it tells you smart phones are bad" criticism (let's not even get into the fact that comparing Black Mirror to the Chronicles of Narnia is so, so dumb, because you have to literally be a child to miss that it's about Jesus): Brooker has said that his concerns are not with the technology, but our reactions to the technology. He's said that people are going to be shit or subject to their own foibles no matter what technology they use. The Oona Chaplin character in "White Christmas" would probably always have a maid or someone she treats like crap. The Toby Kebbel character in "Entire History" was probably always doomed to sabotage his relationship due to his inability to let stuff go. Jon Hamm would probably be really into talking to Neil Strauss. (This is one of the reasons why I think 15 Million Merits doesn't entirely work, ama.) You could certainly argue that something like "Be Right Back" has a narrative dependent entirely on the technology, but even then, I think Brooker, there, is playing with our concept of how we grieve in the digital age, and our ideas of a ghost story. So to say it's all about how "technology is bad" (something, again, that Brooker has said he thinks is wrong) is missing the point, big time.
I ultimately think a lot of it comes from people who tend to favor optimistic stories (Hulk, Joss Whedon, various people I've seen sharing the Slate/Vulture thinkpiece on Twitter), and as such, the bleakness of a "White Bear" (which is all about how people don't change!) or a "15 Million Merits" don't appeal to them. I find it particularly odd that Hulk would have that reaction (at least, based on what y'all are saying, I can't read him) to "Entire History," since at its core, that is an awkward domestic drama about people being awful to each other - just like one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."
It just seems like it's Black Mirror's time for backlash, and pointing out the "obviousness" of it is the easiest way to gin up a think-piece. Forgetting, of course, that while the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt and any number of anthology shows I can name had value and were often amazing - but subtle, they were not.
And that's not even getting into the fact that Joltin' Joss, the man who gave us the black widow monologue in Avengers 2 and the analogy that magic equals drugs, thinks Black Mirror is too obvious...
sorry i just really like black mirror
Edited by Boone Daniels - 10/28/16 at 6:33am