Your Media Guide to the Good, the Bad and the Viral

BreakingModern — Welcome to The Good, the Bad and the Viral, a semi-regular column in which I dig up all sorts of pop culture to provide you with the information you need to parse the best and worst in the media and entertainment. In addition, I’ll show you that video your friends keep telling you to watch.

The Good

black mirror media good bad viralWhat Is It?

In the event you’ve somehow avoided Netflix over the past several weeks, you should know about Black Mirror. The Charlie Brooker-created, U.K.-based television program is an anthology, meaning each episode is a self-contained story. Every week we get a glimpse into a new twisted, often darkly humorous world. It’s essentially The Twilight Zone for the tech gen.

black mirror media good bad viral 2

Of special note is the series’ second episode, “Fifteen Million Merits.” The story is set in a dystopian world where the masses are confined to a restrictive compound and forced to work as society’s energy source. The only way to escape this dire situation is to impress the cartoonish judges of a popular talent show. With strong statements about the perception of talent and beauty, and the way our sense of self can be so easily lost when we’re tempted, “Fifteen Million Merits” is a profound hour of television.

Where Can You Watch It?

The first and second seasons of Black Mirror are available on Netflix, but the 2014 Christmas special starring Jon Hamm is currently only accessible in the U.K. With only six episodes in the first two seasons, this show is a perfect candidate for binge watching.

The Bad

love actually media good bad viral

What Is It?

Love Actually is a shallow, empty, overlong and saccharine 2003 romantic comedy that stars basically everyone who has ever acted in anything. It follows nine couples and the romantic misadventures they encounter in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

I first saw the film about a month ago and actually really enjoyed it, so I was surprised when I happened to come across it again this week and found myself repulsed. Richard Curtis’s movie seems to assert that love is wholly based on physical infatuation and that women should speak as little as possible. The film simply lacks any sort of true meaning.

Despite Love Actually’s inherent flaws, it’s not a movie without merit. Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson bring depth to their underwritten roles as a widower and a duped wife, respectively. Additionally, the film is impressively well shot and scored. Unfortunately, none of these positive aspects significantly elevate the movie.

Where Can You Watch It?

While I maintain the belief that you shouldn’t watch Love Actually to begin with, you can find it streaming on Netflix. It’s also constantly playing on the cable network TBS for reasons unbeknownst to me.

The Viral

Video: “1st Ant-Sized Look at Ant-Man – Marvel’s Ant-Man Teaser Preview”

What Is It?

This week’s top viral video is the latest in Hollywood’s obnoxious trend of releasing teaser trailers for teaser trailers, which are actually just teasers of trailers themselves. Fortunately, this one has a bit of a humorous twist to it. As the trailer is advertising for Marvel’s upcoming superhero film Ant-Man, the clip itself is “Ant-Sized.” We do get to see some actual footage — it’s just difficult to make out what we’re seeing.

Why Is It So Popular?

The fact that this video is already at nearly five million hits is a testament to Marvel’s reach. People, including myself, will eat up whatever Marvel throws out right now, even if it’s seventeen seconds of footage that we can hardly see. Marvel hasn’t let us down yet, so we’ll continue to support them until they do.

For BMod, I’m Jordan Wold.

Featured image credit: © everythingpossible / Dollar Photo Club

All screenshots: Jordan Wold

Jordan Wold

Author: Jordan Wold

Jordan Wold is a pop culture obsessive writer from the Midwest. He plans on attending Boston's Emerson College in the fall of 2015 as a Visual & Media Arts major. He is also far too proud of his own tweets. Follow him @JordanWold1.

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