Political Apathy, the ex post facto Allegory and Waldo's Trumpian moment

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    On its initial broadcast on Channel 4 on 25 February 2013, the finale of the second season of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, “The Waldo Moment”, was regarded by many reviewers and online commentators as something of a disappointment. However, from the middle of 2015 onwards those returning to the episode seemed to have very different observations to make about “The Waldo Moment”: Sabienna Bowman now suggested that it was “the most relevant episode of Black Mirror of them all” (2016) and Brogan Morris indicated that “None of it looks far-fetched now” (2017), with Charlie Brooker adding to this with a memorable post on Twitter on 9 November 2016 that simply read “This isn’t an episode. This isn’t marketing. This is reality” (qtd. in McDermott). What might have happened then between 25 February 2013 and 9 November 2016 to have changed opinions in such a way about “The Waldo Moment”? How did a forty-four-minute-long drama about the emergence of an unqualified and unsuitable political candidate made famous by a popular television show, with no clear opinions or policy, who instead prefers to insult opponents while offering little substance outside well-worn platitudes, someone who nobody thinks could win an election but who proves able to connect with voters who have come to regard all of those who represent the political establishment as self-serving and corrupt, a candidate who asks and even offers to pay for supporters to physically attack his rivals and opponents, go from “unfocused” to “the most relevant episode of Black Mirror of them all”?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThrough the Black Mirror
    Subtitle of host publicationDeconstructing the Side Effects of the Digital Age
    EditorsTerence McSweeney, Stuart Joy
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-19458-1
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2019


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