Updated: Jun 18
Miley Cyrus became the first artist to have songs in the charts under three different personas: Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus, and Ashley O. Having a song in the iTunes Top 100 chart might be the last thing the British creators of the technology-centered TV show ever expected.
On the 5th of June, Black Mirror dropped their highly-anticipated fifth season on Netflix. It was all almost everybody’s social media feeds talked about for days.
With only three episodes lasting about an hour each, it’s one of their shortest seasons yet, tied with the premiering one. Episode one, “Striking Vipers” follows the story of two friends and their exploration of virtually hooking up through a video game. The successive chair-gripping episode entails a kidnapping and a ponytailed, hippie Topher Grace. But the episode that everyone has been talking about is the one known as, “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”.
Black Mirror has always done a good job actually being inclusive and diverse, and addressing societal problems through their medium that no one else has. This time, they demonstrate the capability, passion, and unity that young girls have.
In the final episode of the newest season, three girls are the stars of the plot. A-List celebrity, Miley Cryus, takes on the purple-haired pop sensation Ahsley O, who Angourie Rice’s character, Rachel, idolizes. Rachel’s wall is decorated head to toe in Ashley O posters, and she spends her time learning the singer’s dance moves behind closed doors to perform in her school’s talent show; something the shy character would never have done without the encouragement of Ashely O. In the other half of her room, lives her sister, an perpetually sulking Jack, who mocks Rachel through her oversized headphones blasting classic 90’s punk tunes.
Without giving away any spoilers, Ashley O falls into a life-threatening crisis; one showing the truthful hardships behind being one of the world’s biggest celebrities. And of course, the die hard teenaged fan is in the right place at the right time. It becomes up to Rachel to save her idol from a terminal situation. Jack feels compelled to help the star as well as her sister, which shows that even through their nagging relationship, the girls will always stick together. The two young sisters (neither of whom can even drive yet) end up rescuing someone who significantly needed it. Afterwards, the three become friends of course, and show Ashley O a new take on life. The episode closes with each protagonist content and being themselves. Possibly one the happiest endings that Black Mirror has offered so far.
What’s nice about the episode is that it showcases the power of women, and their cooperation with each other. While it’s become more and more common for “girl power” themed texts to showcase feminist ideals, a male love interest or relationship usually comes into play. In “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”, men are either seen as not caring about the true wellbeing of Ashley O, or as Rachel and Jack’s dad, who doesn’t hold back his daughters from doing anything.
Like every other Black Mirror episode, there’s an underlying scare of technology’s potential harm to society. Though what makes this episode one for the books, is that three women are brought together and save one another from being consumed by it. It’s the episode young women have been waiting for.