A twisted parable for the Twitter age, ‘The National Anthem’ looks at how information is now disseminated so quickly and public opinion now so loud, powerful and quick to change, that life is very much harder for the rich and supposedly powerful.
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At the same time I think this is bad cinema, I think it touches a few valid topics: in a hypothetical reality, what do you do? [saving somebodyelse's life or saving your image?] . Mass and obssession taken to guilty pleasure extreme, I give it two stars for being bold, over the top, naughty, nasty and sick.
Probably a nice episode to start, because of the shock, but the premise is not rich enough to go beyond a few elaborations on the morbid expectations of viewers, or how in a performative culture, image can easilly be used for bullying and terrorism. The whole convergence of the narrative in a single point makes sense, but also makes this episode the most predictable and boring.
Only acceptable because it has shocking idea (sex with Pig live on telly/it describes forbidden fantasy as human pleasure in the eye of audience) but the execution itself seems so mediocre or should I say, the conclusion is so dramatis-film-indonesia? Nothing new in the end.
An extension of a lot of the themes (Internet as echo chamber; "post-ironic" cruelty; memeified terrorism) Brooker already explored in 'Dead Set' and 'Nathan Barley'. A little dry, in spite of the immensely squicky central premise. Deserves an extra star for miraculously anticipating 2015's "Piggate". A bold episode to open with and w/ retrospect after season 3, more specifically culturally British than later eps.
Why am I discovering the immense writing talent of Charlie Brooker only just now? This is one of the best things I have recently seen on TV. Absurd, surreal and yet lucidly clever and insightful for the ways it analyses modern society and the uncontrollable effects of technology. Thanks to the out of the ordinary situation it depicts, it forces the viewers to identify themselves with the characters more than ever.