Little over 24 hours ago season 5 of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror dropped on Netflix. The eagerly anticipated series follows after the world wide phenomenon that was ‘Bandersnatch’ and with the confirmation that International superstar Miley Cyrus was to feature in one of the episodes, the buzz surrounding the release intensified. It is no coincidence that May ended with a gloriously wacky and totally raving mad but completely perfect EP from the lady herself, Miley Cyrus, proving the sublime Segway in to the eerily realistic world of Black Mirror.
Miley’s character is a pop star who is essentially a puppet, thrust in to the limelight to perform for the adoring fans, feigning a smile and hiding a darkness as soon as the doors close. The puppet master, her over bearing Aunty who is making her take drugs so that she writes happy songs and keeping her under a close watch. It’s all a little bit . . . familiar. This is why it is uncomfortable but important viewing.
It’s safe to say that Miley Cyrus has endured her share of tabloid abuse, unnecessary criticism and misinformed judgments over the years, many failed to look beyond the skimpy outfits and sometimes outrageous lyrics to see a young woman who has spent her life pleasing other people, especially a rather large company called Disney. At the peek of her Hannah Montana days and at the tender age of 14/15, it was long days on set, followed by sessions in the recording studio, world tours and being a teenager, it’s a lot for anyone. Some say she lost her way, others said that she is just being Miley but many things are for certain mainly she is an incredibly talented, thoughtful and intelligent human being.
Edge of reality
What Black Mirror does well is it teeters on the edge of reality. Although the scenarios aren’t necessarily real you certainly feel it could be and it makes you wonder, is this our future? Is this the way the world really is going. It makes us question everything we do, everything we say, over think our actions and make us really despise the current way of the world. With Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too it kind of changes course slightly because in actual fact this isn’t what we expect from the future, it is what we are living in now. This is exactly what is happening in the modern world and has been for a long time, we just choose to pretend it isn’t going on and judge the fall from grace. In a recent interview promoting the new run of episodes, Charlie Brooker shared his surprise that Miley Cyrus accepted the script, it was sent to her on a whim but sure enough she wanted to be involved and add her creative input. Is it any wonder though when it seems so reflective of a life she led?
I wouldn’t go as far as to saying that this is the best episode of Black Mirror ever made but it certainly packs a solid punch. It should make us re-evaluate how we see our favourite celebrities, how we treat them and how we desperately want them to be perfect. Of course, we don’t do this because we don’t want reality, we want an image that suits our interpretation. We want machines.
Credit where credit is due Miley Cyrus is a talented woman, someone who has made it through some of the deepest darkest aspects of fame, as an LGBTQA+ fan I will always be grateful for the support she has shown our community. She is a hero and this episode is a sad reminder of how poorly we treat popstars.