"Here’s the thing: 'sellout culture' when it comes to television is a strange phenomenon to think about, especially when you take into consideration 'save our show' culture as a concept as well," says LaToya Ferguson. "You want a show to have as big of a budget and distribution deal as possible so that as many eyes watch it as possible. Then it’s more likely that people will be talking about it, and there’s a better chance the show you love is able to continue on even longer. How many times when a show is canceled do fans look to Netflix or Hulu for help? Netflix’s fourth season of the formerly Fox-canceled Lucifer just recently dropped, and it’s been called the best of the series as Netflix’s budget and belief in creative freedom worked in its favor. So on a pragmatic level, I understand a mainstream show can’t 'sell out,' both because the point of television is not just storytelling—it’s profit—and because selling out is the way it survives. As much as Black Mirror felt 'underground' prior to Netflix, that was only because Americans couldn’t watch it (and weren’t 'legally' watching) when it still aired on Channel 4 in the UK. But that doesn’t change the fact that Black Mirror has changed, and the reasons behind it feel very much in tune with the concept of selling out. The decision of bigger is better, from the gimmicks (Bandersnatch) to the elongated episode lengths to the celebrity names to the very technological components of the episodes, they all fall in line with the idea of selling out. An anthology show like Black Mirror exists to say something, and this season truly does say, 'What if phones, but bad… and also we have an Avenger in the building.'"
Black Mirror continues the trend of making teenage girls the punchline: "'Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too' falls into the familiar trope of mocking teenage girls for their wants and needs, without examining what they are and why they exist in the first place," says Beth Elderkin. Teenage girls, she says, are "relentlessly mocked for the things they enjoy. There’s a reason Twilight was recently voted the worst movie of all time, and it’s not because it actually is the worst movie of all time. It’s because teenage girls’ interests are an easy punching bag. Whether they like romantic movies, optimistic pop music, or makeup tutorials, it’s all a joke that they need to grow out of in order to be taken seriously. When 'Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too' ended with Rachel listening to the 'real music' while others angrily fled, it didn’t feel like an empowering message about finding your true self. It feels like a show trying to tell us what the empowering message is supposed to be."
Why Black Mirror has three episodes and why they dropped on a Wednesday: Charlie Brooker says Bandersnatch, which was originally intended to be part of Season 5, was too time-consuming for a longer Season 5. As for the Wednesday premiere, Brooker says: “I think it’s partly an experiment, but I think it’s not unprecedented. Also, probably because it’s a slightly shorter season, you’ve got more of a chance of watching it and discussing it with your coworkers before the weekend, at which point they can catch up. Maybe that’s the reason.”