The National Anthem
I liked the premise, though I correctly predicted this one right down to the post-credits reveal. The part I had the most trouble believing was the reason and intensity of the shift in public opinion. I was expecting a more serious show, and while this is treated seriously, the core idea has a satirical looniness. The recent events around The Interview came to mind while watching.
Fifteen Million Merits
This one started slow and unsure, but I loved the way they realized the world. Right now there are apps that give credits if you watch their ads. How long till it's reversed where you lose credits by skipping them? I initially thought the story peaked at the audition, which repurposes something I've noticed about modern female celebrities into much more blunt language. If you want to be famous, you have to become sexual victims. His being forced to watch her ad I took to be the final twist, but it finds new footing. The score and editing become truly excellent at this point. I'm disappointed in his moment at the end. The writing's not strong enough to make what happens believable. However, this is an hour like no other on television.
The Entire History Of You
I've noticed there are two types of fans, those who prefer the way technology is incorporated into the story and those who prefer watching how that technology impacts people's lives. I am of the first group, but for fans of the second, these next two stories are for you. You can debate if the tech just brings out bad qualities that were already there, but I think it certainly enables people's natural ability to be secretive or paranoid.
Be Right Back
I wish this one were shorter. It's a nice little story, but a bit too on the nose, combining parts of Her and About Time without tapping into the magic of either film. We only get the surface plotting here. All the stuff with Hayley Atwell by herself doing things isn't deepening the emotional content.
What a dramatic gear shift. This is like a segment from the VHS series, with overt references to The Signal, The Purge and You're Next. In other words, a white knuckle horror film that's right in my wheelhouse. So I probably will like this more than others. It's messy, but thrilling until... Well, let's just say it's not as messy and not the simple-minded commentary on our need to record everything on our smart phones that I thought it was. The turn raised some new questions, but this is the boldest, brashest story in the pack and the one I'll re-watch first. My favorite post-credits epilogue.
The Waldo Moment
Ugh. I heard this was the bad one and boy is it. The biggest problem is that Waldo isn't a fraction as funny as the laughing audience makes him out to be. This undermines everything else. How much more interesting would it be if Steven Colbert were to actually run for office? That's kind of what this is going for, with a cartoon avatar. It just doesn't work.