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YMMV / Black Mirror: Shut Up and Dance

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Black Mirror YMMV
Series Three
NosedivePlaytestShut Up and DanceSan JuniperoMen Against FireHated in the Nation

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: A lot of Kenny's actions are ripe for this, but noticeably his suicide attempt at the end of the episode. Can he truly not live with himself now that he's admitted to someone else that he's a pedophile who viewed child pornography, or is it another attempt to evade responsibility and a more painful death at the hands of the (stronger) man he's up against?
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  • Awesome Music: Radiohead's Exit Music (for a film) plays during the ending.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The blackmailers exposing the crimes of each of their victims, even if they do what they're demanded? Cruel. The fact that they send trollfaces to each of the blackmailees? Hilarious.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Even by Black Mirror standards, this episode really cranks up the misery, particularly the ending where all the information is leaked anyway, meaning everyone suffered for nothing, and we find out that our "hero" is actually a paedophile trying to keep it a secret.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: After Wikileaks revealed in 2017 that the CIA has the ability to spy on virtually anyone with a webcam or GPS even when they are apparently switched off, this episode hits a bit closer to home.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • What seemed like an establishing character moment to make Kenny sweet and likable — giving a little girl a toy — becomes chilling after his crime is revealed.
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    • The thought of being spied on and getting caught in a compromising position through your everyday tech devices is already enough Paranoia Fuel on its own, but this one particular email scam that's been on the rise since 2018 basically rings Kenny's experience word-for-word.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Hector's relationship with Kenny. He does seem genuine in his attempts to try to help the younger man and goes beyond self-interest to comfort him in their hellish situation.
    • On the other hand, Hector basically browbeats Kenny into robbing the bank after Kenny initially refuses to go through with it. Hector — who believes that Kenny's only "crime" is being caught jerking off by his laptop's camera — paints an incredibly bleak and humiliating future for Kenny (essentially that he will be known as Wank-Boy for the rest of his life, especially when it becomes known what exactly he was wanking off to, something Hector, a family man, thankfully doesn't find out) in order to bully him into committing a felony. He does apologize afterward though, so a bit of a wash.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Hector the adulterer.
    • 19-year old Kenny also has to go through a lot of shit, all for having a wank that happened to be caught on camera. Of course, once you figure out exactly what he was masturbating to, he loses a lot of his sympathy. Still, in the vein of "White Bear", the audience has to ask itself if it's all even deserved in the end.
      • Kenny's attempted suicide with the pistol implies he at least feels shame and remorse over his pedophilic urges, so make of that what you will.
  • Narm:
    • The trollface during what is supposed to be a serious reveal at the end would be this to some people.
    • If you're a fan of Father Ted, it can be difficult to hear "Exit Music" without thinking of Tommy Tiernan going from happy to depressed instantly. Doesn't stop the ending from being hard-hitting all the same though.
  • Squick: Kenny keeps child pornography stored on his hard drive and regularly masturbates to it. Yuck.
  • Tear Jerker: Despite the revelation that Kenny was masturbating to child pornography, it's hard not to feel sorry for him, especially with the way things end.
  • What an Idiot!: Kenny. It should have been obvious to anyone who would be expected to fix laptops that the malware software he downloaded was malware in itself. It was the first result on the search, the website design was suspect and the name of the installer was in a format that malware programs often are. He also didn't search for opinions on the software, but this is a TV show and that would've been boring, would it not?
  • The Woobie: Kenny's family and Hector's wife after both of their crimes are revealed.

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