Black Mirror, Episode 2×03: The Waldo Moment

Black Mirror - The Waldo Moment.jpg

A fifteen minute bit stretched out into a full episode, The Waldo Moment predicts Trump’s rise to power if Trump had a modicum of talent and was occasionally funny.

Jamie (pictured) plays Waldo (pictured, blue), a cute bear who tricks celebrities into interviewing for what they believe is a children’s show only to find out Waldo is vulgar and mean. I would liken his comedy to that of Jeff Ross: occasionally witty and funny but frequently devolving to base and offensive humor. Waldo is incredibly popular and Jamie’s manager convinces him to have Waldo run for office, his platform being no platform other than hating on all politicians. Naturally, Waldo is getting close to winning. Jamie, thankfully tired and disgusted by the prank, tries to quit. But he’s threatened with the loss of his livelihood if he does. When Jamie realizes that he’s on the verge of winning, he completely breaks, his character and his psyche, sabotaging Waldo and his career at the same time. The show ends some years later with Jamie being homeless in a police state, Waldo’s face ubiquitous and horrifying.

This episode breaks no new ground. The unwitting political candidate has been done before and more poignantly. The new technology–The Waldo device–is not terribly interesting. And the denouement is utterly ridiculous, the bridge between realistic tragedy and post-apocalyptic nightmare basically nonexistent.

2 thoughts on “Black Mirror, Episode 2×03: The Waldo Moment”

  1. Often times, it seems as though the writing staff of this show is WAY better at coming up with concepts than they are at fleshing out those concepts or building realistic characters. The basic formula seems to be:

    1. Come up with cool, tech-related nightmare world.
    2. Add flawed people
    3. Keep adding flaws
    4. Misery.

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