233 Black Mirror Season 5: Striking Vipers Analysis
We’re back this week talking about the Striking Vipers episode from season 5 of Black Mirror – the episode that has been equally raved about and ripped apart online. We bring our freshly queer eyes and analysis to the episode!
In This Episode
- Valedictorian rips school staff and calls out teacher for “alcoholism” in graduation speech (CBS News)
- Student Uses Snapchat’s ‘Gender Switch’ Filter to Nab Cop Allegedly Looking to Hook Up With Teen Girl: Police (NBC)
- 72 Police Officers in Philly Just Got Put on Desk Duty for Writing Violent and Racist Facebook Posts (Vice)
- Mexie’s tweet showing police violence against Nazi rally counter protesters (Twitter)
- NowThis- A Trump official tried to argue that detained children don’t need soap, toothbrushes, or beds to be ‘safe and sanitary’ while in Border Patrol custody (Twitter)
- ICE Raids- Tweet by AOC (Twitter)
Joke in the Middle
Why did the raisin hang out with the prune?
We read ALL kinds of reviews about the Stiking Vipers episode from the much-hated season 5 of Black Mirror. Some accused it of queerbaiting and avoiding queer representation of black bodies while others hailed it as a great exploration of toxic masculinity and homophobia in the black community. Some thought it didn’t go far enough, others felt it went were it was supposed to. We overall enjoyed the episode and took our things from it, seeing it not so much as a “queer” episode, or one that was even trying to do a deep analysis on sexuality and gender identity, whether in general or in the black community specifically, rather than an episode introducing technology that could change the way we relate to one another and that could facilitate experimentation in a whole new way.
Ultimately, Black Mirror episodes generally offer us ideas and information that are open enough to be interpreted in a way that is meaningful to the individual, and we found this episode to be no different. We respect the varying viewpoints on this episode and are just adding ours to the mix.
We read a lot before talking about this, here’s some of our favorites that represent differing viewpoints on the episode:
- HOLDING A ‘BLACK MIRROR’ UP TO MASCULINITY (AfroPunk)
- The ‘Black Mirror’ Episode “Striking Vipers” Questions Heterosexuality In The Best Way (Nylon)
- BLACK MIRROR’S ‘STRIKING VIPERS’ GETS TO THE HEART OF BLACK MASCULINITY AND THE LONGING FOR CONNECTION (Syfy Wire)
- Black Mirror: The Weird, Intriguing Intimacy of ‘Striking Vipers’ (The Atlantic)
- ‘Black Mirror’ Showrunners Say ‘Striking Vipers’ Started as a VR ‘Grease’ Musical (The Wrap)
- Black Mirror strikes out with unimaginative queerbaiting in ‘Striking Vipers’ (The Wussy)
- Black Mirror Recap: Wish I Knew How to Quit You (Vulture)
- Black Mirror’s ‘Striking Vipers’ uses fighting games to flirt with the theme of queer desire (Polygon)