‘Black Mirror’ Study Guide: Joan Is Awful

The first episode of Season 6 starring Annie Murphy and Salma Hayek is a timely critique of deepfakes and AI-generated entertainment.

Howard Chai

--

Created by Charlie Brooker, ‘Black Mirror’ is a speculative sci-fi anthology series that examines the dark aspects of modern society, particularly as it relates to our relationship with technology. These study guides examine the themes each episode explores.

After a full four years, Black Mirror is back with its sixth season, and at perhaps the most opportune time.

The first episode of the new season, “Joan Is Awful”, stars Annie Murphy of Schitt’s Creek fame as the titular Joan, a mid-level manager at a tech company called Sonicle who’s quite the coffee snob.

On a particularly eventful day, Joan fires one of her employees, Sandy (Ayo Edebiri), then — after some trepidation — meets up with an ex-boyfriend, Mac (Rob Delaney) who broke up with her some time ago and has texted her out of the blue. The two end up meeting up and kissing, but leave it at that, and Joan returns to her husband, Krish (Avi Nash).

After a nice meal and some wine, the young couple curl up on the coach and sees what’s new on Streamberry, the fictional world’s Netflix. To their…

--

--

Howard Chai

I strive towards a career that ends up leaving me somewhere between Howard Beck and Howard Beale.