Thursday, June 01, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) - Black Mirror: "San Junipero"

Black Mirror: "San Junipero", is about love.

It's actually about a lot more than love, but frankly, this is the kind of story that really helps if you see it cold. I literally had never heard of (or at least paid any attention to) Black Mirror until I learned of this finalist, and I only checked Wikipedia to find out if I was going to be completely confused due to not knowing some previous plotline. When I saw "stand-alone anthology series" I was reassured and read no more.

I just want to say, right now, that if you have not seen this, go find it - seek it out - and watch it NOW before you read any further. Please. It's worth it.

This was a total mind twist and I love pretty much every minute of it. The concept was great, the execution was lovely and the acting added just the right amount of pathos without drowning us in fake emotion. I can honestly say I loved this.

The good: Everything. I enjoyed the slow revelations of what was really happening, the careful set up and deliberate movement towards each new fact. From the start I wondered why the date was made so evident, but that became clear soon enough. And the date... oh, the music! The music was so perfect at every turn. The songs combined with the fashions worked so well. Every time the characters mentioned something strange, like the midnight limitation and the car crashes, I only had to watch a bit longer before that was revealed. Our two main characters are fantastic as well. Yorkie is so perfectly uncertain yet determined, while Kelly was sassy and wonderful, but also exposed her vulnerability. The older characters were also wonderful, with older Kelly being perfect both in her conversation with Greg and her decision to do something great for Yorkie. The final shot of the banks of computers gave me chills, especially with "Heaven is a Place on Earth" playing. Wow.

The bad: If I have any nit, it would be the slow pace - but the pace seemed necessary, so I feel like I'm cheating by nit-picking that. The only other problem I have is something unrelated to the plot itself, regarding what else is available in San Junipero besides nightclubs... are there libraries? Do people make and display art? Is there more to eternity than just dancing the night away? Again, not something that particularly touches on the plot, but something of interest to me.

Conclusion: This is definitely at the top of my ballot, and the remainder of the finalists would have to be incredibly good to push it off. While I can't imagine any being good enough, it would be a delight if one was, because this was SO GOOD.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): I've watched Doctor Who and Black Mirror. I need to watch The Expanse, Game of Thrones: "Battle of the Bastards", Game of Thrones: "The Door", and Splendor & Misery [album].