Every Black Mirror Episode Ranked Worst To Best

by chris mcqueer (@ChrisMcQueer)

Since it first burst on to our tellies back in 2011 with an episode based on what would happen if the Prime Minister was forced to fuck a pig, Black Mirror has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon. There’s at least one person in every group of pals who loves to tell you that it’s their favourite programme, even though you never asked. In the comments section of every technology-based news article, there’ll be at least half a dozen people cracking the same joke – ‘Ha! This is like something from an episode of Black Mirror!

Although the show has been an unrivaled success, it’s a wee bit hit and miss – to be fair, though, there’s definitely far more hits than misses. Here, I’ve ranked every episode from the absolute dirt worst to the very best.

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

19. Men Against Fire – S3 E5

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This episode is a car crash.

The premise of it sounds amazing; Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, soldiers, fitted with neural implants that heighten their senses, hunt down and exterminate mutants known as ‘Roaches’. However, the main character’s implant malfunctions allowing him to see that the mutants he’s been mercilessly killing are actually normal people who happen to be the survivors of a genocide during a global war ten years before the events of the episode take place. The roaches are deemed ‘genetically inferior’ and the main character is actually working for a global eugenics company who are trying to ‘protect the bloodline’ of humanity.

It all sounds quality, but it’s poorly executed with characters who come across as barely even two-dimensional and the ham-fisted social commentary does it no favours. I’ve watched every episode at least a couple of times and this is the only one I struggled to get through even on my first watching. Forgettable, dull and boring.

18. The Waldo Moment – S2 E3

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The runt of the litter; well, until Men Against Fire came along.

This political satire is just about every Black Mirror fan’s least favourite episode. A failed comedian finds himself running in a local by-election as the voice of a cartoon bear. It’s hard to believe the characters in this episode found the bear as funny as they seemed to – Waldo is like an old guy down the pub doing a really bad impression of Ali G. Brooker himself has admitted that this was an episode he “didn’t nail” and it’s hard to argue with that.

The episode ends with Waldo being the leader in some dystopian nightmare world but it doesn’t explain how this happened which would’ve made a far better, more interesting episode.

17. Playtest – S3 E2

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Another episode from the third series which doesn’t quite live up to the standards set by other installments.

Again, it’s an episode with an amazing premise – a guy tries out a new hallucinatory, augmented reality fear simulator, which is more terrifying than the main character could have ever imagined. It delivers a couple of twists which you’ll see coming a mile away.

It is however probably the scariest episode of Black Mirror. There’s a few good jump scares and creepy visuals and the main protagonist, Cooper, is quite likable which makes the ending all the more jarring.

16. Arkangel – S4 E2

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This episode feels like it could be set in the same universe as the far superior The Entire History of You from the first series and the White Christmas special.

Directed by Jodie Foster, it tells the story of an overprotective single mother and her rebellious daughter. The mother has a chip implanted into her daughter’s head allowing her to see everything her daughter sees through her tablet. She can then pixelate distressing images so her daughter can’t see them. After a couple of years, and a visit to a child psychologist, she realises the emotional damage she’s causing to her daughter and stops checking up on her, stowing away the tablet she used. Another few years pass by and we see the daughter has grown into a happy and well-adjusted 15-year-old. But as her daughter starts to rebel and lie about her whereabouts, the mother reactivates the tablet and starts interfering with her daughter’s life.

It’s a decent episode, just not as gripping as it could’ve been and it’s very predictable how things are going to turn out.

15. Crocodile – S4 E3

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One of the most gritty episodes, with brilliant performances from the lead actors and a great concept but it’s let down by a clunky, muddled plot.

It’s very dark, even by Black Mirror standards, featuring a lot of killing (including that of a blind baby) and an end scene which attempts to be funny but just doesn’t fit with the rest of the episode. The technology which the plot revolves around is a device which allows your memories to be shown on a small, portable DVD player-like device. It’s a nice take on a concept Black Mirror has already used, with the memories coming across as distorted, grainy footage.

An okay episode, just not the most memorable, even with the shocking scenes.

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14. Hated in the Nation – S3 E6

The first almost-feature-length episode, this installment takes place in a Britain where tiny robotic drones have replaced the dwindling population of honey bees and taken over their pollination duties.

These drones are tapped into by a hacker and used to kill people by flying into their orifices and exploding inside their skulls. People vote on Twitter to decide who the next victim will be by using the hashtag #DeathTo followed by their chosen victim’s name. Kelly Macdonald delivers a phenomenal performance Detective Chief Inspector Karin Parke and you could imagine her starring in her own detective drama off the back of this.

There’s a great scene where hundreds of thousands of the bees descend on a safe house and try to get to their target inside which is genuinely chilling.

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13. Fifteen Million Merits – S1 E2

Probably the most Black Mirror-y episode of Black Mirror.

There’s not really any backstory for the complex where this episode is set which would’ve made the episode better, I think. It’s an episode with amazing set design that makes it stand out as one of the most visually stunning episodes. It’s a scathing critique on the class system with the unfit being assigned to janitorial tasks around the complex as well as being constantly mocked by those in the higher class who pedal on exercise bikes to earn ‘merits’, the currency in this bizarre world. As well as attacking the class system, the celebrity-obsessed culture of today also comes under fire.

It’s very clearly influenced by the likes of 1984 and Brave New World. It’s a bit depressing but also very watchable.

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12. White Bear – S2E2

This is a lot of people’s favourite episode of Black Mirror and it’s easy to see why.

It starts off a bit like 28 Days Later except the zombies are just people on their phones. It seems like a bit of a heavy-handed metaphor for the way people are, apparently, on their phones too much these days (someone once tweeted a Black Mirror episode pitch – “what if phones… but too much”) but there’s a big reveal at the end which is one of the best Black Mirror twists so far.

I admit this episode is brilliant but it’s so far down on my list simply because it’s let down by the constant screaming of the main character in the last 15 minutes which will make you want to stick your foot through your telly to make it stop.

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11. Be Right Back – S2 E1

Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson put in stunning performances in this tender episode.

Following the death of her partner, a woman signs up for a service which allows her to communicate with AI software replicating him. She then goes further by having an android made which looks and acts just like him as she tries to cope with her grief. Again, the path this episode takes is predictable but it works here and doesn’t make it any less watchable.

It’s an emotional study of grief and a very melancholy episode which stays with you a long time after watching it.

10. The National Anthem – S1 E1

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I remember sitting watching this episode for the first time absolutely stunned at what I was seeing.

The Prime Minister is woken up one morning to be told that a much-loved member of the Royal Family has been kidnapped and her captors are demanding that the Prime Minister fuck a pig on live TV or they’ll kill the princess. This was the perfect first episode and has had me hooked on the show since.

It’s the perfect mix of dark comedy, satire and social commentary. The tension throughout the episode is palpable and has you on the edge of your seat.

9. Metalhead – S4 E5

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Aesthetically one of the best Black Mirror episodes, this one is filmed completely in black and white to show us that this a world completely devoid of all hope. It’s minimal, eerie and tense as fuck.

Maxine Peake is one of the few survivors in a world overrun by sentient robotic ‘dogs’, based on the four-legged robots built by Boston Dynamics, which are hunting down and killing humans. I am desperate to find out the backstory of the dogs in this episode and how they managed to turn against humanity. Brooker said in an interview that he originally wrote a scene where it shows a man on the other side of the world controlling the dog from his as it chases Maxine Peake’s character which was cut because he wanted to pare the episode right back.

The lack of backstory is why I think this episode didn’t work for a lot of people but I thought it was class.

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8. Nosedive – S3 E1

Set in a world where people can rate everybody they interact with on an Uber-like 1 to 5-star system which then impacts your socioeconomic status, the concept for this one is on the nose but done very well.

The pastel colour scheme makes this episode beautiful to look at and it’s what I imagine a sci-fi film directed by Wes Anderson would look like.  The episode tackles the way use social media to define our own self-worth and how it affects our self-esteem. It’s yet another episode that follows a very predictable plot but it’s still well-written with plenty of humour and likable characters which makes this one of the more upbeat episodes.

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7. White Christmas – Christmas Special

Two men stationed in a remote outpost in a snowy wilderness tell each other their life stories.

Their respective stories from the 3 part narrative which comprise the episode and explain the two men’s situation. Blocking people in real life, a dating coach who can see everything you see and give you advice piped right into your ear and a perfect copy of your consciousness used to control your smart home make up the technology used in this excellent episode. Jon Hamm changing the way the copy of a woman’s consciousness perceives time so she experiences months of isolation while only a few seconds pass in the real is a harrowing scene and the ending of this episode takes it even further.

There’s a lot happening here but it’s brilliantly-written and the 3 mini stories link together brilliantly. After watching the newest series, this episode now feels like it was almost like a dress rehearsal for the superior…

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6. Black Museum – S4 E6

Following the same kind of structure as White Christmas, this is another anthology episode.

This one, however, is bigger and better, perhaps owing to the bigger budget Netflix provided. The proprietor of a museum which houses ‘criminological artifacts’ gives a tour to a young woman, recounting to her the chilling stories behind 3 of the artifacts. A doctor is fitted with a device allowing him to feel the pain of his patients (based on a short story written by one half of the magic duo Penn and Teller, Penn Jillette), a woman in a coma’s consciousness is transferred into her husband’s brain allowing her to live again within him as a ‘passenger’ and the consciousness of an executed murderer is reborn as a hologram and visitors to the museum can pull the lever on the electric chair, punishing the man for his crimes over and over again.

The stories and characters here are all worthy of full episodes to themselves. The episode is also littered with plenty of Easter Eggs to look out for such as the hunter from White Bear.

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5.Hang the DJ – S4 E4

I first watched this episode while in the throes of a behemoth hangover and at the time, I said it was my favourite episode of Black Mirror ever and it turned me into an emotional mess. Having now recovered from said hangover, I still think it’s a great episode, but it’s not quite the best.

From the very start, we become emotionally invested in the two very likable lead characters as they are brought together through a Tinder-like dating app. There’s very heavy-handed foreshadowing about the eventual twist but it’s a beautiful reveal and has an uncharacteristically happy ending. Someone described this episode on Twitter as “San Junipero for straight people” which leads us neatly on to…

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4. San Junipero – S3 E4

This episode won multiple awards and has been almost universally acclaimed. It’s a lot of people’s favourite episode and it’s in just about everybody’s top 5.

On first watching, you’d be forgiven for not knowing what is going on but after 20 minutes or so all becomes clear and it paves the way for a truly emotional love story. Two women meet and fall in love inside what is revealed to be a simulation, a haven where the elderly’s conscious minds can be uploaded and live on even after death.  It’s good to see technology being portrayed as a force for good for a change and the episode asks some cool questions about the afterlife.

And since it’s set largely in the 80s, the soundtrack is absolutely banging as well.

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3. USS Callister – S4 E1

When I first saw the trailer for the newest series, this episode looked to me like a Galaxy Quest style parody of Star Trek etc. and I wasn’t looking forward to watching at all.

Thankfully, it turned out to be the best of the new series and one of the best episodes so far. Merging the simulated reality story with a real-world one may have been done before in Black Mirror but here we see it on a much grander scale. It’s a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on the way guys tend to abuse their authority as well as their sense of ‘superiority’ over women and PoC. The episode explores these heavy themes with humour and a great storyline. Jesse Plemons (AKA Meth Damon) is brilliant as the twisted Robert Daly.

Brooker has managed to deliver an ending here that is somehow both dark and uplifting. He also recently revealed what happens to Daly after his consciousness becomes trapped in the game – he dies of starvation due to the ‘Do not disturb’ sign he puts on his door.

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2. Shut Up and Dance – S3 E3

Where do you even start with this episode?

It’s phenomenal. Honestly, my heart was pounding watching this and you can practically feel the anxiety that Kenny, the main character, is experiencing over the course of this episode. After being videoed via his laptop webcam by a hacker as he has a wank, Kenny is blackmailed into doing increasingly bizarre and criminal acts. The pace is just completely relentless and breath-taking. You are rooting for Kenny throughout the whole episode, it’s easy to so see why, as a young guy, he’s so desperate to keep the video of him masturbating from being sent to his friends and family.

And then, right at the end, comes the twist. It’s one you don’t see coming and that will leave you feeling sick. It’s the best twist throughout the entire show by a mile.

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1. The Entire History of You – S1 E3

I’m expecting to receive some pelters for ranking this as the best-ever episode of Black Mirror. The episode is based on a piece of technology that you can imagine coming true in the near future; it’s called a ‘grain’, an implant that allows you to record everything your eyes see and then play it back in front of your own eyes for yourself or share on a screen for others to see.

Liam leaves a job appraisal and heads to meet his wife Ffion at a party where he notices she seems to be flirting an old friend called Jonas. It starts off with Liam picking apart his appraisal at work but then moves on to him picking apart his relationship, ultimately uncovering his wife’s infidelity and the fact he might not even be the father to his daughter. It’s very dark, it’s very tense and it’s very uncomfortable to watch at times as Liam forces Ffion to replay her memories for him. It’s not the most in-your-face episode of Black Mirror, instead, it’s more understated. Some episodes are let down by a lack of backstory but here, as the implications of the world where everyone can record their memories are slowly revealed through snippets of conversation.

For me, this is Black Mirror at its very best.

 

 

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BoJack Horseman & Loss

By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

*Spoilers ahead*

It’s become common knowledge that BoJack Horseman has become an anomaly in of itself: starting off as a seemingly normal albeit crude show about the titular alcoholic horse, voiced by Will Arnett, no one could have possibly guessed how the Netflix original would become not only one of the funniest shows on TV but also one of the most depressing. 

It’s assumed that if you’re reading this that you’re familiar with this show but if not, here’s a quick synopsis: in a world where humanoid animals and, well, humans live side by side, BoJack Horseman takes us to the city of Hollywoo where our eponymous, culturally forgotten protagonist attempts to reclaim the fame he had during the 90’s and make a come-back.

With support from characters such as his feline manager Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), homeless but wholesome friend Todd (Aaron Paul), ghost-writer and kindred spirit Diane (Alison Brie) as well as sitcom “rival” Mr Peanutbutter ( Paul F. Tompkins), the show avoids putting all its eggs in one basket and diversifies its cast to show a truly varied world with a whole host of interesting perspectives.

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While this setting sounds like one that would be rife with laughs, and it definitely does so with its twenty jokes per minute attitude, the satirical series has hit on a lot of hard notes over its run, none more so than in its latest season that aired last Friday. With all the promotional material revolving around the absence of our lead, “where is BoJack” being the tagline, many assumed this would leave a void in the show and though it didn’t, it gave viewers their first taste of a season revolving around loss.

Last time we saw BoJack, he was over-encumbered with grief even if it wasn’t apparent: having lost one of the last people to care about him via a drug literally named after him, pushing away all of his loved ones and his acting going without academy recognition, one of the few things the sombre lead ever thought he was good at, it wasn’t looking good. Ruining everything around him, it’s not until given some harsh love that BoJack finally realises what’s causing all of this – it’s him.

You can’t keep doing this! You can’t keep doing shitty things, and then feel bad about yourself like that makes it okay! You need to be better! … No! No, BoJack, just stop. You are all the things that are wrong with you. It’s not the alcohol, or the drugs, or any of the shitty things that happened to you in your career, or when you were a kid. It’s you. All right? It’s you. – Todd

Season 4 sees BoJack on what can only be seen as his last life-line and life isn’t making it any easier: episode two sees him return to his grandparent’s home while flashbacks reveal to us how the grief and torment he has faced have been inflicted by a mother who faced the same. In addition to this, a fly who he befriends named Eddie is a mirrored version of BoJack, eventually revealing to have lost his wife and explicitly stating that he wants to die. This moment hits home as an ultimatum of sorts – BoJack can continue with his downward spiral alone or return to the place that has been described as a “tar pit” by the show. He may have a choice but much like a Telltale game, this illusion of having a real say only entertains this idea of having control.

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When he eventually returns to Hollywoo, it seems like the characters there have found this out all too late. Mr Peanutbutter and Diane’s marriage is hanging on by a tether, their only moments of intimacy arising from hatred-fuelled actions which stems from the two of them feeling lost and having no way to get out: our favourite Labrador Retriever is being made to run for Governor, a role he admits he has no idea about, while Diane finds herself in a workplace where her hard hitting pieces are given less priority in comparison to click-bait pieces about sex. When she finally gets the chance to do what she wants and reclaim some command, she threatens to ruin the only good thing that has ever happened to her and time will only tell if that’s the case.

One of the few upbeat things about last season was Princess Carolyn’s story-line, seeing the pink feline becoming the strong woman she always was capable of being but never had the chance to. With a new rodent love interest in the shape of Ralph Stilton, it seemed like no matter what challenges that our anthropomorphic ensemble faced this time, we’d still have one bit of positivity throughout.

It feels like that’s exactly the case, at least from the start as the couple try for a baby but as Carolyn finally meets her partner’s family, resulting in this universe’s equivalent to animal racism, as well as her own paranoia, this all eventually ends up as more of a 500 Days of Summer kind of segment than a rom-com kind. The fact that Carolyn still soldiers on, and has her actions set up what’ll no doubt be the premise of Season 5, shows that while she’s faced negativity for years, she isn’t about to let the pit drown her, meaning we don’t end up with a show full of BoJacks.

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There’s plenty of other characters moments that add to this loss, BoJack’s mother could be a whole piece in of itself, but it’s worth noting that while most of these characters have little say in what’s happening, it’s not all bad. Todd has consistently been the ying to BoJack’s yang and while it seemed like his negativity would rub off on our lovely beanie wearing buddy, it thankfully hasn’t.

Struggling with accepting his asexuality, Todd finds himself not being able to cope with this revelation from last season’s finale but as the show progresses, one of the oddest story-lines revolving around clown dentists and dentist clowns culminates into one of acceptance and romance. If this is the first mainstream representation of asexuality then it’s hard to think of one done better than seen on this show.

BoJack is undoubtedly one of the most emotionally complex characters and shows in TV, easily sitting alongside the likes of The Sopranos and Tony, and loss has played a huge part in making him who he is – for better of for worse. However, as this season draws to an end and we see our final shot of him before another year long wait, we see a smile: something as rare as an eclipse and one that feels just as important for our protagonist. Much like the disastrous political year that the show clearly parodies, BoJack somehow keeps hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel no matter how bleak things may seem.

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Game of Thrones’ Most Shocking Deaths

By Fraser Nunn (@badknitbear)

As you may have expected, SPOILER ALERT

Hello, Bingewatchers! With Game of Thrones penultimate series making its way to our telly screens, it’s time to look back at the series and its host of iconic moments of character biting the big one. There are a lot of phenomenal deaths, so I’ve narrowed it down to named characters whose deaths were cool, emotional, satisfying or unexpected. 

10: Tywin Lannister

Tywin’s death was not the coolest of deaths, but he managed to make the number 10 spot because he was killed on the bog by his son the dwarf, Tyrion. Tywin’s death was plenty satisfying for the viewer as well. 


9: Walder Frey

Oh, speaking of satisfying deaths – after the events of the Red Wedding, we’ve been waiting for our good pal Walder to get his comeuppances. Thankfully, it finally came at the end of season 6 at the hand of Arya Stark as she uses her time with the many faced God to its full potential, slipping right under the noses of Frey and even Jaime Lannister. Arya feeds Frey a pie made of his own sons before slicing his throat: satisfying. 


8: Red Viper (Oberyn Martell) 

A far more brutal one here, we see a trial by combat between the nimble Oberyn and his adversary, the Goliath ‘The Mountain’ (Gregor Clegane). Clegane squashes his much more minute opponent, pushing his thumbs into his eyes and caving in his skull though not before Martell lands a good few hefty hits to the Mountain with his poison blade, getting vengeance for his sister who was raped and murdered by Clegane. 


7: Viserys Targaryen

The brother of Daenerys, mother of Dragons, Viserys sold his sister to the Dothraki back in Season 1 with justice brought swiftly as he is ‘paid’ with the crown he was promised. Khal Drogo is more than happy to pay this price – a golden crown as was promised though, unfortunately for this Targaryen Prince, still molten. 

6: Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun 

Season 6 episode “The Battle of the Bastards” had a pretty apt title considering it has the best fight of the series. It also has some of the best deaths which includes the emotional end of the Giants. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun is the last remaining giant and he sacrificed himself for Jon Snow, bursting down the door to Winterfell only to be shot down by Ramsay Bolton.

5: The Red Wedding

This is maybe a bit of a cheat answer because so many died at this well named wedding, but we see at least 3 named primary characters being slaughtered, including the young wolf Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn, his wife and unborn child (Eddard) and his Wolf – the Starks faced a real battering here. The attack, orchestrated by Walder Frey (this is why we’re glad he bit the bullet in season 6) saw Robb gutted at the hands of Roose Bolton and Catelyn’s throat slit in a heartbreaking scene at an event intended to be a celebration. 

4: Shireen Baratheon

Gosh, talk about heartbreaking. In a scene that’s honestly damn hard to watch, Shireen Baratheon, the young girl saved from a stony demise from Greyscale at a young age, and only child of Stannis Baratheon, is sacrificed to the Lord of Light. Man, screw the Lord of Light taking away the girl that taught Ser Davos to read. Melisande assures Stannis that sacrifice will save his troops as they march on the Boltons. But for fuck sake, the little girl we’ve all grown to love is burnt at the stake and it does nothing for the Baratheon troops or Papa Stannis – devastating.

3. Hodor

A fan favourite is our Hodor, recently spoofed in a KFC advert, his death is used to explain how he can only say one word Hodor. Young Bran Wargs (honestly, don’t ask me to explain what that means) is in a moment in Hodor’s past (seriously don’t ask me to explain) while simultaneously in the present Wights attack. Bran warns Hodor in the past to “Hold the Door” and we see the phrase morph into the characters Catchphrase “Hodor” while he holds back the Wights. Briefly. A seriously intense moment.

2: Jon Snow

Labelled a traitor by the men of the Night’s Watch whom he commands, Jon is lured to a sign in Castle Black that says traitor and is stabbed a good few times while his former people chant “for the watch”. Little did they know, our boy Jon is a potential candidate for the Azor Ahai and is resurrected shortly after (so like, I’m not entirely sure this counts). Regardless, it’s an emotional, unexpected death. 

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Booby Prize: 

Before I get on to the best death in the series it’s hard not to mention one of the worst, Khal Drogo. One of the Biggest guys in the series, taken out by a pillow. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely extenuating circumstances here but it’s a little funny. 

1: Ramsay Bolton

Finally we’re at the number 1 choice, and it’s another Season 6 belter. Bastard Ramsay Snow, who was granted his father’s name shortly before murdering him. The man who raped and beat his wife Sansa, the man who killed Rickon Stark, the man who maimed Throne Greyjoy. The most satisfying death of the series so far, we see Ramsay torn apart by his own dogs who he swears are loyal to him. But how loyal can a starving dog be? Sansa watches as Ramsay sees justice.

So folks, are we ready for the next series? Anyone you think is getting ready to bite it this series? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @badknitbeard or in the comments below. 


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On A Lighter Note: The Funniest Simpsons Moments (Part 2)

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

As bloggers will argue night and day about what is the best program ever to be aired on television, it’s likely that The Simpsons will be missed out in favour of your Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad though that shouldn’t be the case. While animation tends to get the cold shoulder when it comes to serious recognition, there aren’t many programs like Matt Groening’s yellow cult classic hit.

Back in July, I touched on all the times the show left us a little bit teary eyed though it’s the moments that left us clutching at our sides, bursting with laughter that we all tend to remember most fondly when thinking about one of the longest-running sitcoms on television. Seeing as part one was so well received, it’s time to do what Hollywood does best and make an unnecessary sequel: without further ado, let’s do it!


Lawyer: Robert, if released, would you pose any threat to one Bart Simpson?
Sideshow Bob: Bart Simpson? The spirited little scamp who twice foiled my evil schemes and sent me to this dank, urine-soaked hellhole?”
Jail Representative: Uh, we object to the term “urine-soaked hellhole”, when you could have said “pee-pee soaked heckhole.”  – CAPE FEARE (S5,E2)

LNNY

Homer: Guys are always patting my bald head for luck, pinching my belly to hear my girlish laugh.
Marge: Hmm, that doesn’t sound like they like you at all.
Homer: You know, I think you’re right. First thing tomorrow morning, I’m gonna punch Lenny in the back of the head!
– Last Exit To Springfield (S4,E7)

Announcer: Attention, Marge Simpson, your son has been arrested.
Woman: I’d be terribly embarrassed if I were that boy’s mother.
Announcer: Attention, Marge Simpson, we have also arrested your older, balder, fatter son.
– Itchy & Scratchy Land (S6, E4)

Burns'_Heir

Mr Burns: Now I have no one to leave my enormous fortune to. No one.
Smithers: Ahem —
Burns: You, Smithers? Oh no, my dear friend. I’ve planned a far greater reward for you. When I pass on, you shall be buried alive with me. 
Smithers: Oh…goody.

– Burn’s Heir (S5,E18)

– Treehouse of Horror III (S4,E5)

Lisa: Don’t you people see anything wrong what Malibu Stacy says?
Celeste: There’s something wrong with what my Stacy says.
Malibu Stacy: [in a low voice] My spidey sense is tingling — anybody call for a web-slinger? Lisa vs Malibu Stacy (S5,E3)

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Lionel Hutz: Now don’t you worry, Mrs. Simpson, I– Uh-oh. We’ve drawn Judge Snyder.
Marge: Is that bad?
Lionel Hutz: Well, he’s had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog.
Marge: You did?
Lionel Hutz: Well, replace the word “kinda” with the word “repeatedly”, and the word “dog” with “son.”
– Marge In Chains (S4,E21)

Hans: You’re certainly doing your job today, Mr. Sun. Oh rats.
Bart of Darkness (S6,E1)

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Mr Burns: If it’s a crime to love one’s country, then I’m guilty. And if it’s a crime to steal a trillion dollars from our government, and hand it over to communist Cuba, then I’m guilty of that too. And if it’s a crime to bribe a jury, then so help me, I’ll soon be guilty of that.
– The Trouble With Trillions (S9,E22)

Marge_potato_its_pretty_big

Marge: Why don’t you take this potato? It’s pretty big.
Bart: Mom, you’re always trying to give me potatoes. What is it with you?
Marge: I just think they’re neat.
Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song (S5,E19)

– Secrets of a Successful Marriage (S5,E22)

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Marge: How’s your father’s project coming along?
Bart: I think he’s almost done. Yeah, he’s done.
– Mom And Pop Art (S10,E19)

Mr. Burns: Men, there’s a little crippled boy sitting in a hospital who wants you to win this game. I know because I crippled him myself to inspire you.
Milhouse: (to his mom and dad) I hope they win, or Mr. Burns said he’s coming back.
– 
Homer Loves Flanders (S5,E17)

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Barney: Man, you’d never get me into a ring. Boxing causes brain damage.
– 
The Homer They Fall (S8,E3)

Moe

Moe: Them immiggants. They want all the benefits of living in Springfield, but they ain’t even bothered to learn themself the language.
Much Apu About Nothing (S7,E23)

– Last Exit To Springfield (S4,E17)

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TV REVIEW: House Of Cards – Season 1

Breaking Bad meets politics meets Shakespeare in Netflix’s greatest, grittiest show.

“There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong. Or useless pain. The sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things. Moments like this require someone who will act. To do the unpleasant thing. The necessary thing” says protagonist Frank Underwood before proceeding to break an injured dog’s neck. “There, no more pain.” And with that, House of Cards begins as it aims and succeeds to be for the entirety of its first season: a delightfully dark masterpiece.

Politics is an absolute minefield of a topic and creating a show that revolves around it can be a hard sell to many, least of all those from outside the US who may be oblivious to how it all works with words like senate and delegates being foreign to them. Thankfully, for the most part anyway, this is all window dressing for a dark and narcissistic tale where the aforementioned  Underwood  is our hero.

Or so it seems. Underwood manifests unprecedented charisma while also possessing the traits of some of literature’s most twisted beings, more specifically Shakespearean ones as he sets outs to get revenge on none other than the President with an intricate and well thought out plan which is reminiscent that of Iago.

A complex and chilling character, Underwood, played superbly by Kevin Spacey, will immediately remind anyone smart enough to watch Breaking Bad of that show’s anti-hero Walter White. Whereas we started off with Walter White as a nice natured, family man and slowly witnessed his transformation, House Of Cards lets us know from the get go that Underwood is a man out for himself, unwilling to stop for anyone and anything that prevents him from getting what he wants.

This makes the show, just like its characters, a conflicted one. The viewer will go from praising Underwood for his drive and dedication to being repulsed by his actions and his lack of empathy, usually all within the space of a few minutes. Being a Netflix show, House of Cards benefits from this as it’s immensely difficult to predict what Underwood may do next, meaning that watching”one more episode” will undoubtedly lead to you devouring the season within a day.

A show is only as strong as its characters though and thankfully House Of Cards provides more than just one interesting one. Just like Frank himself, his wife Claire is someone that yearns for power, a true Lady Macbeth figure who isn’t totally reliant on her husband for storylines. The chemistry between Claire, played by Robin Wright, and Spacey’s Underwood is magnificent and a true joy to behold, showing both respect and resentment towards one another in an almost serial killer-esque fashion.

Not only that but we’re introduced to even more characters at battle with themselves. There’s perky new journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) who walks the line between, as IGN expertly put it, becoming a shark, or simply learning to navigate the waters infested with them. U.S congressman Peter Russo also has his own battles though unlike Mara’s character, his demons lie at the bottom of a bottle, something he must deal with on his road to redemption. All of this means that there are hardly any filler scenes as each moment in an episode is as essential as the next.
As the show came out three years ago, there’s very little new insight I can give when reviewing House Of Cards but I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen whenever it was on. Full of tragedy, multiplex ties, fourth wall breaks and great cinematography (what else do you expect when David Fincher produces the show), House of Cards stands amongst some of my favourite shows with its sublime execution.

Any show that can do that is worth more than just a mention.

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Alternative Jobs For Students

Originally posted back in August of 2014 and before I received my exam results, I decided to have a bit of a laugh and list some possible career paths if uni doesn’t work out for you.

 

If you’re a student from Scotland or any other part of the UK then you’re no doubt revising relentlessly, maybe constantly checking UCAS or you’re already at Uni and crying into your fifth can of energy juice in the library. Worrying about if you’ll ever get your degree and even when you’ve got that you’re not even guaranteed a job afterwards. With the state of the world today you’re never short of new things to worry about, whether it’s a new virus or another Sam Pepper prank.

Fear not though because as much as your parents may blame television and video-games for turning your mind into a bunch of mush that resembles mashed potatoes, how about we take some inspiration from them to get us some money?

Become a Meth Kingpin

Yeah, maybe you’ll need a PHD to create your own unique type but people have been doing it for decades without a single grade to their name so there’s that problem sorted with, BITCH. All you’ll need is the chemicals, a sidekick who’s more emotionally unstable than a bridge made out of Mars bars and a bad ass alias with some form of headwear. Just don’t go for a fedora, no one finds a drug manufacturer who talks about feeling euphoric and crying about being friendzoned menacing at all.

Become A Mob Boss

From eating as much food as you could ever wish for to having enough money that would make a small third world country envious, this one sounds the most appealing out of all the jobs listed. That’s if you can put up with the multiple hits put on you and anyone you’ve ever loved, gotta take the good with the bad I suppose. Also calling anyone you hate a cazzo or a puttana would be way more satisfying and cool so it’s the dream occupation.

Join A Biker Gang

Just like the previous job, being in a biker gang is gonna get you into a lot of shit. If it’s not bad enough having your friends and family targeted, there’s the FBI wannabes breathing down your neck and watching your every move and they’re not ones to take bribes. I don’t know what’s worse, that or the fact you’ll need to get a stupid looking haircut as well. It’s not all that bad though, like a great psychotic man once said, first you’ll get the money, then you’ll get the power and then you’ll look like a cheap Kurt Cobain knockoff.

Open A Bar

Any job that revolves around alcohol is bound to have its perks and having your own bar is no exception. Drinking your own stock while coming up with other schemes to make money like living on welfare whilst addicted to crack or becoming a male escort, it’s the dream situation. If can’t Charlie write and a bar run then can anyone do!

Work at the banana stand

THERE’S ALWAYS MONEY IN THE BANANA STAND

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