Weekly roundup: Black Mirror receives mixed reviews and Ezra Miller attends The Flash premiere

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Jun 16, 2023 at 12:08 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Welcome to SCREENSHOT’s weekly roundup: TV and film edition. Things happen hella fast these days, which is why we’ve collected five major on-screen stories from the last seven days to give you all your weekly fix of important online moments, stories from around the world, and other gen Zer insights.

1. ‘Black Mirror’ season six receives mixed reviews

Considering the fact that it’s been a whopping four years since the last season of Black Mirror was released, it’s no surprise that the quality and content of season six has been subject to such hotly contested debate and discussion. All five feature-length episodes dropped on Netflix on 15 June 2023, and almost immediately publications and netizens alike flooded the internet with their astute opinions, reviews, and thoughts.

While there’s definitely not a completely unified consensus online regarding whether or not season six matches up to the previous five series, for the most part, people seem generally pleased with Charlie Brooker’s most recent attempt at tech doomism gone mad.

I think for a lot of people, the mystique and magic of Black Mirror may have slightly dissipated. Yes, we still can shudder at the horrors of a dystopian future where we all have implants and can access memories at the click of a brain button. But the problem is, Black Mirror now feels a bit too much like a set of stories we could see coming true. AI and the advancement of technology is no longer a fantasy or the plot of a Will Smith movie, it’s our reality.

2 Ezra Miller makes rare public appearance at ‘The Flash’ premiere

Ezra Miller, an actor who’s been at the centre of a torrent of criminal charges and accusations, made a rare public appearance at the world premiere for their upcoming superhero film The Flash. Miller, who is the protagonist in the DC production, had previously been keeping a very low profile after being arrested twice for disorderly behaviour, being caught on camera allegedly choking a woman outside of a bar, and being accused of grooming a minor.

Despite all of this, it appears as though both Warner and DC executives have been broadly supportive of Miller, defending them in public and stating that they’d made great strides in working on their mental health. The Flash is now available to see in theatres.

3. ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is banned in the United Arab Emirates

According to The Independent, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has been banned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after failing to pass the country’s censorship requirements. The ban comes a week ahead of the film’s intended release in the region.

A scene which features a poster in the background that depicts the transgender flag and reads “Protect Trans Lives” is said to be one of the reasons it’s now being banned, as reported by Variety.

Trans individuals are condemned in the UAE, as are same-sex relations. In truth, any gender expression that diverges from the heterosexual cisgender category could be punished, even by death. Last year, Disney and Pixar’s film Lightyear was also banned in the country due to a scene depicting a same-sex kiss between two space rangers.

4. ‘The Idol’ episode two dropped, and it successfully cringed out the entire world

I know, I know, I’m sorry, but we have to address it. There will come a point when we can put The Idol to rest and stop obsessing over how truly awful it is, but that day is not today. I think it says a lot about how genuinely insane and ridiculous this show is that despite the fact that I have not watched either of the episodes in full, I’m still fully aware of everything that’s happened—bless you TikTok.

My FYP is brimming with reviews, predominantly the videos I’ve been served involve cringed-out faces of gen Zers as they think back on some of the truly horrific lines The Weeknd delivered in episode two. To say that this show is catering solely to the male gaze would be an understatement. I fear to think what they have in store for us for the rest of the season. The only saving grace seems to be that at least BLACKPINK’s Jennie is absolutely killing her acting debut.

5. Jennifer Lawrence’s new film ‘No Hard Feelings’ is a bit of an odd one

As someone who treated The Hunger Games franchise like a Shakespearean tragedy, I’ve always had a soft spot for J-Law. So, I wasn’t best pleased to learn about the plot of her new film No Hard Feelings. It follows a struggling millennial (Lawrence) who agrees to date the 19-year-old son of a wealthy helicopter family in return for a new car.

I think the reason a lot of people have an issue with this film is due to the fact that it not only perpetuates quite a lot of outdated stereotypes, but it also includes a number of “seduction” scenes that just read as problematic and uncomfortable.

If this film had been made a decade ago, no one would’ve batted an eyelid. But we now operate in a society that is much more sensitive and in tune with the delicacies of presenting sexual and romantic relations on screen. And glamourising an intimate connection between a woman in her 30s and a 19-year-old boy—regardless of whether or not it’s “fake”—just doesn’t sit right.

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