The multiple plot twists of Playtest, Episode 2 of Season 3 of Netflix’s Black Mirror, is the same as Perchance to Dream, from the first season of The Twilight Zone. In Playtest, we’re supposed to believe that everything Cooper is going through is really happening. He’s really playing whack-a-mole, he’s really talking to Katie and living his worst nightmares in the mansion, he’s really seeing his mother with Alzheimer’s, and he himself is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But of course, we see in the end that all of the plot twists and endings were fake, in reality, Cooper died less than a minute into the experiment due to his cell phone going off when his mom tried to call him. This is eerily similar to the episode of TTZ, Perchance to Dream. In this episode, a man is terrified to go to sleep because of his fatal heart condition. He keeps having nightmares that trigger his heart and cause him to suffer health wise. If he falls asleep he’ll die, and if he keeps staying awake he’ll die. There’s no way out for him. We see him talk to a psychologist about his problems, him contemplate suicide (a surprisingly common theme in the TTZ), him thinking that one of the character’s from his nightmare has come to life, and him actually committing suicide. Only for it to be revealed at the end that none of the things we’ve witnessed has happened, rather he died within five minutes after lying down on the psychologist’s couch. All of the things in both shows were just grand illusions. The rug was pulled out from under our feet in both occasions. There is no pay off, rather an anti-climax.
I guess not a lot of people have thought of this comparison because this episode TTZ is rarely talked about among critics and even fans of the show. Maybe that’s why Netflix decided to take the idea, unintentionally or not. Another friend pointed out to me that Season 3 Episode 1, Nosedive, of Black Mirror on Netflix was exactly like another movie named, Nerve with Emma Roberts. It’s about doing extreme dares and the more you do, the more popular you get. It’s not exactly the same as rating people for how polite they are, but it’s similar - people using technology to become powerful in real life. This reverberates to something that has taken over our community, the Blue Whale Challenge. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but from what I can gage, it’s a series of challenges that are fatal, and hundreds of children and teenagers world wide have committed suicide because of the game. The more dares you do, the more “cool” you are. I guess Black Mirror and Nerve’s warnings are real, and needed, but I wish they weren’t.
Civil Engineer and Technician in Civil Construction from Brazil. Loves learning more and more about Civil Engineering and dreams about giving his contribution to improve Civil Engineering. Favorite hobbies are travelling and solving puzzles that involve science. Believes that we should be the change that you wish to see in the world.