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Monday, December 5, 2016

The 10 Best Television Episodes of 2016

10) "Shut Up and Dance" Black Mirror (Netflix)
Season 3 / Episode 3
Premiere Date: October 21, 2016
Starring: Alex Lawther & Jerome Flynn
Directed By: James Watkins

Brief Description: "Shut Up and Dance" mainly follows a young man named Kenny (Lawther) who is being blackmailed by an anonymous hacker to do horrendous things after getting caught masturbating. Along his journey he meets up with Hector (Flynn), and the two are asked to do one horrific act after another.

"Shut Up and Dance" may not be the best Black Mirror episode that premiered in 2016, but it's certainly the one that elicited the biggest emotional reaction from me. That reaction was mostly horror and anger, but at least it made me feel something. A lot of what Charlie Brooker and company did this season was to show the downsides of technology, whether it was how horrible it is to get your self-worth from online ratings or how terrible technology can be in the hands of the military amidst mass hysteria, but that's all most of the episodes did. We all know technology and the device you're reading this blog post on is bad for us, but so what? That's why the best Black Mirror episodes bring a human element and a very specific story (which in turn creates a broad audience) to the downsides of technology, and "Shut Up and Dance" did that and then some. This episode was Black Mirror at its bleakest, and I loved it.

9) "Master Slave" Mr. Robot (USA)
Season 2 / Episode 6
Premiere Date: August 10, 2016
Starring: Rami Malek & Christian Slater
Directed By: Sam Esmail

Brief Description: My personal  favorite moment of Mr. Robot was in the second half of the premiere when Scott Knowles takes a suitcase full of money and then lights it on fire while "Take Me Home" by Phil Collins plays, but this is a list of the best episodes, not the best moments (sort of). Therefore, I had to go with the best and weirdest episode of the series- the one were Elliot is stuck in a 90's sitcom with Alf. Mr. Robot has always been a show that's clearly, and for the better, different than any show on television. Creator, writer, director, producer Sam Esmail proved that once again with "Master Slave" where he used his main character's mental illness in order to tell the most creative stories possible.