Black Mirror Bandersnatch: Gimmicky And Unnecessary.
Picture this, George R R Martin finally gives up on the his upcoming Game Of Thrones masterpiece, he only releases two hundred pages of the novel but the entire book is five hundred pages. You as the reader will be given three hundred blank pages for you to fill in your own ending, you choose what happens to Jon Snow and co.
This doesn’t seem fun does it?
Don’t get me wrong in terms of technological innovation, Black Mirror’s interactive episode is a masterpiece, with a good wi-fi connection when you pick your choice the transition is seamless. The move towards interactive episodes will also ward off those pesky pirates, but it will only be a few month of pizzas and beers before coders have cracked this technology.
In my opinion interactive experiences only belong in games, one of my favourites series of games is the GTA franchise, these games give you more control over your character’s destiny as opposed to other games. In gaming this makes sense because you want to feel like you are in control.
Although when it comes to films and TV, we watch things as a form of escapism, I’m certain if Francis Ford Coppola gave me the choice of not letting Johhny die in The Godfather, the movie would not be as enjoyable. In a film or an episode, I want to leave the story line to the director and screenplay writers, I want their narrative.
We have all watched something and wanted characters to act a certain way, not to do certain things but it is the action of these characters that gives the story line its impact. I already have a problem with the fast-food model Netflix has been promoting, which gives you entire seasons all at one go so you can just watch you favourite show in one night.
This has meant that people now watch things faster than they are being made, so it has led to a rise of theory blogs and YouTube channels where people try and predict what the writer is going to do, instead of just being patient and waiting for the actual show to be released.
To me this interactive model could ruin TV, this includes the role of directors and screenwriters. I can imagine Quentin Tarantino having an epic meltdown after being asked by studio executives to write five endings for his next film.
At the end of the day this interactive model is just a way for Netflix to flex the skill off their coders and to get a head start on Internet pirates but at what cost?