Black Mirror: "Hated in the Nation" (2016) Review

10 May 2023

Black Mirror, the renowned science fiction anthology series, has garnered a reputation for its thought-provoking and often unsettling portrayals of our relationship with technology. "Hated in the Nation," an episode from the third season, exemplifies the show's ability to captivate audiences with its chilling narrative and exploration of societal consequences. 

Directed by James Hawes and written by Charlie Brooker, this techno-thriller delves into the dark side of social media and the dire implications it can have on society.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Black Mirror: "Hated in the Nation" (2016) Review

The episode is set in a near-future where the world is heavily reliant on social media platforms. As the narrative unfolds, the episode cleverly intertwines elements of detective procedural and speculative fiction. The story follows two detectives, Karin Parke (Kelly Macdonald) and Blue Coulson (Faye Marsay), who investigate a series of mysterious deaths linked to an online hashtag game called #DeathTo. As the game gains popularity, users nominate individuals they despise, inadvertently triggering a swarm of robotic bees known as ADIs (Autonomous Drone Insects) to kill the targeted individuals.

One of the standout aspects of "Hated in the Nation" is its ability to build suspense and tension throughout the episode. The pacing is masterfully executed, creating an atmosphere of unease and mystery that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. As the detectives uncover the truth behind the killings, the plot takes unexpected twists and turns, leading to a climactic conclusion that leaves a lasting impact.

The episode's exploration of the dark side of social media is both timely and thought-provoking. It raises pertinent questions about online anonymity, cyberbullying, and the power of mob mentality. Through its portrayal of the hashtag game, Black Mirror highlights the potential dangers of dehumanization in the digital age, where people can hide behind screens and launch virtual attacks without facing consequences. This cautionary tale serves as a stark reminder of the ethical responsibilities that come with technological advancements.

The performances in "Hated in the Nation" are commendable, particularly Kelly Macdonald and Faye Marsay in their roles as the detectives. Macdonald brings a quiet determination to her character, while Marsay adds a touch of rebelliousness. Their chemistry and contrasting personalities make for an engaging dynamic onscreen, and the depth of their characters adds an emotional weight to the story.

Visually, the episode is stunning, with its sleek cinematography and striking visuals. The scenes featuring the ADIs swarming and attacking their targets are particularly memorable, showcasing the series' knack for creating visually arresting moments that linger in the viewer's mind.

If there's any criticism to be made, it's that "Hated in the Nation" occasionally feels slightly drawn out, with some scenes needing tighter editing. Nonetheless, this minor flaw doesn't detract significantly from the overall experience, as the episode manages to maintain its grip on the audience's attention.

In conclusion, Black Mirror's "Hated in the Nation" is a thought-provoking and gripping techno-thriller that delves into the dark consequences of social media and mob mentality. With its strong performances, intriguing narrative, and pertinent social commentary, this episode stands out as a standout installment in the Black Mirror series. It serves as a stark warning about the potential dangers of our growing dependence on technology and the importance of ethical considerations in a digital age.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
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