Imagine a world where every single person you meet on a day to day basis uses their phone to “rate” you, and you use your phone to “rate” them, as you walk past them in the street, as you buy your morning coffee from them, or as you get your morning newspaper from them. This is the odd, but all-too-foreseeable kind of society Black Mirror – Episode 1 – “Nosedive”, focusses on, forcing viewers to contemplate a life like this, a life where even the coffee boy at work, rates you, and you him.
Bryce Dallas Howard plays the main character Lacie; a cutish, bouncy, overly-fake woman, who scrapes her social rating up from a 4.2 to a 4.5 by being overly nice and overly helpful to everyone she meets. 4.8 is pretty high, and belonging to the elite of the elite, is pretty unattainable for Lacie.
Like Facebook, people have their own online accounts where whole lives are broadcast for all to see with the use of captions, slogans, and photos. And accompanying these pages is a massive rating in the top right-hand corner, that is forever updating itself to reflect your social success or your social awkwardness – how people have rated you, using a five star system.
Alice Eve plays Naomi; a very successful blonde socialite who has a rating of 4.8 – and hers is a rating that never drops below that. Her online presence makes it seem that she lives a perfect life, and as she is about to marry the perfect man, she will also have the most perfect of futures as well. She and her fiance do not have any friends with a rating below 4.2 – that would be an absolute social faux pas in her opinion and in the eyes of many others.
As it goes – high-raters stick with high-raters, and low-raters have no choice but to socalise with fellow low-raters, for high-raters will not accept them in their social circles. It is a very abstract, but kind of realistic analogy for society’s current climate – people socialising with people with the same kind of social status, and excluding anyone who doesn’t fit their mould, per se. However in 2017 rating people using our phones isn’t something that has started trending as of yet, so let’s just hope that this concept doesn’t filter into real life any time soon.
As a lover of concept shows I would give this episode a rating of 4.8, meaning that it was pretty damn good.