TV Club: On Black Mirror, there’s no such thing as a game that can’t hurt you

Boy, computers are scary, huh? Virtual reality is pretty scary too. Also scary: the crazy things they’re doing with video games these days. Also also scary: dementia, responsibility, death, and something to do with the Singularity.

“Playtest” isn’t a terrible episode of Black Mirror, but it is a disappointingly unfocused one, covering a fairly cliched concept in a lot of vaguely modern trappings that never quite add up to anything more than a series of “Oooo, isn’t that something” moments. Curiously, it’s running time is both a strength and its greatest weakness. The full hour(ish) allows for an extended first act in which we meet our protagonist Cooper (Wyatt Russell), an American traveling abroad in order to escape some difficulties at home. We see Cooper hooking up with a British woman, Sonja (Hannah John-Kamen), learn just what those difficulties at home actually are, and then …

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