BLACK MIRROR | S02 | E03 | 2013
Comedy and Political probably should not mix, you’d found yourself crying instead.
Jamie Slater is a disgruntled comedian whose voice bring zest and crude comedy through a blue, animated bear named Waldo. After an interview with local politician on a late night satire show, Waldo crude humor and mockery became a success. People seems to get off on seeing pompous political candidates humiliated by penile jokes. Waldo become a symbol and representation of public alienation to politic hogwash.
You know how some political figures in the US often went on Sesame Street to promote their ideas and vision? Well this is kinda remind me of that, only instead tame muppets comedy, they went against a CGI bear that is 10 times cruder and mean than SNL political jabs (and this is coming from me who actually love SNL). Waldo gives a very plausible scenario that can happen in the near future, or probably had happened in a lesser scale. Waldo more than pokes fun at political satire. The thing is, there are truth in what Waldo had to say, and it is no surprise that people actually relate to what he got to say. Waldo, initially is voicing the opinion of the bitter, cynical man that sees himself as a failure, and he’s not fluent in politics. Yet his opinion is well received because people empathize and feels they are in the same shoes with him (Waldo). See this is how politic actually works, people who distanced themselves and put him/herself on a pedestal above others will never won the heart of public. But politician who appeal to public and put himself in the shoes of the many will won more sympathy. Now after winning the sympathy, its up to the kind of propaganda that is going to be spread afterwards. Gaining public trusts and sympathy is like obtaining powers as superhero, you can do great things or resort to wicked ways.
We have an idea how widespread and horrifying the effect is through public poll result. When Waldo popularity soar and people demands are hiking, Jamie must face the fact that he’s irreplaceable and temporary, while Waldo lives on and unstoppable (he lived on as long as there’s no tech glitch anyway). The finale twist came at the ending where Waldo popularity is adopted and become an existence that can threaten not only Britain’s but also global scale political landscape.
Origin of the idea behind Waldo came from a story for a show called Nathan Barley which Brooker co-created with Chris Morris. The premise of that series was how anyone can developed his own cult through the aid of internet culture (oh, hello youtube-ers). This actually put emphasis on Andy Warhol’s famous quote: ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. This is the least emotional of Black Mirror, probably the weakest episode so far (as weak as it can be, mind you). Charlie Brooker thought-provoking conclusion of the series still challenges the viewer of how we regard our society nowadays, but it lacks the emotional punch that it usually posses.
THE WALDO MOMENT (2013)
BLACK MIRRROR | SEASON 02 | EPISODE 03
GENRE Drama, Thriller, Science Fiction
DIRECTOR Bryn Higgins | CREATOR Charlie Brooker | WRITER Charlie Brooker | CINEMATOGRAPHER Mike Spragg | PRODUCTION DESIGN Joel Collins | EDITOR Ben Yeates | CHANNEL Channel 4 | COUNTRY United Kingdom | BROADCAST DATE February 25, 2013
STARRING Daniel Rigby, Chloe Pirrie, Jason Flemyng