The most disturbing horror film of the season is Peloton's new commercial

It's gratifying to see the correct takes pouring in that Peloton's new bicycle advertisement is deeply disturbing. I think it looks like an ARG advertisement for HBO's Westworld series, where everyone in the house is a host.

Vice:

tell me this shit isn’t wildly sinister. Her grim motivation that pushes her to drag herself out of bed combined with exclaiming at the camera how blatantly, inexplicably nervous the Peloton makes her paint a bleak portrait of a woman in the thrall of a machine designed to erode her spirit as it sculpts her quads.

AVClub:

He smiles and she looks at him with the sort an expression that manages to convey duty and fear, mixed with a dash of Stockholm Syndrome, all at once.

Decider:

Here’s what I do know. This commercial is not the Peloton’s fault. Oh no, you may think this ad is about how a Peloton coaxed a woman into madness. I’m here to tell you this is a false read. As someone who jokes that she loved Midsommar so much she joined the cult of cycling clubs this year, I can tell you that cycling doesn’t make you crazy. Much like Captain America’s supersoldier serum, it just amplifies whatever crazy you already have. For me, that’s making jokes about Midsommar whenever possible. For this woman, that’s talking to no one on her iPhone, her eyes full of constant dread, and obsessively filming her every workout just so she and her husband can watch it together.

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Watch the trailer for the movie-length Black Mirror movie airing tomorrow

An hour-and-a-half episode of Black Mirror, called "Bandersnatch," debuts on Netflix tomorrow. From the description: "In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge." Read the rest

There's a Black Mirror book coming, and I'm gonna help write it

This morning, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and Random Penguin announced that he's editing a series of anthologies of Black Mirror novellas; I'm writing one of the three stories for the first volume, along with Claire North, and Sylvain Neuvel. I'm pretty goddamned thrilled about this. Read the rest

Trailer for Black Mirror season 3

Charlie Brooker's back, and so are six of his stories: "The Twilight Zone for the digital age," as The New Yorker put it. (Previously) Read the rest

Black Mirror episode 2: White Bear and the culture of desensitization

The last episode of Black Mirror’s second season airs tonight on UK Channel 4.

Do you remember the first profoundly shocking image you saw on the internet? Perhaps it would have been something you came across by accident; perhaps you followed, half horrified and half compelled, a trail of digital whispers to see if you could handle it.

Maybe you don’t remember the first one, but you remember some of them. Maybe you shut the window, sick at yourself, at the glimpse of a woman’s eyes glassed with something unsettling, not staged. Maybe you lingered on eruptions, lacerations, in spite of yourself. To see if the image could possibly be real. Read the rest

Black Mirror decodes our modern dread of technology

The English have a coy euphemism for addiction: “moreish.” It summons the delightful anxiety in surrendering your control to something else, the ambivalent cocktail of desire and guilt. We feel it flickering in the periphery, and we feel our smartphones in the middle of a restaurant dinner. Read the rest