The Ashley Too device looks like another familiar and intriguing Black Mirror concept, but who's the voice and what's the inspiration behind it?
Black Mirror is returning to Netflix on June 5 and the Ashley Too episode trailer has already gotten fans talking.
The satirical sci-fi series is often praised for its approach to commenting on real-world issues within the realm of fiction. The worlds they sometimes conjure look similar to ours, but there's often a thought-provoking twist which asks us to reflect upon on our own issues and society.
It's an admirably progressive show and one which continues to step up with its confrontational ideas. So, let's discuss the most intriguing episode of season five.
What is the Black Mirror: Ashley Too episode about?
The trailer teases the bizarre relationship between a household smart appliance and a young teenage girl, among other unsettling things.
Ashley Too is the name of a new robotic smart-toy; a companion which lets you feel a little closer to pop-star Ashley O, who is seen promoting the product on a talk show in the trailer.
The trailer is alluringly mysterious, and it's uncertain whether the nature of the robot doll is far more sinister than its appearance suggests. It's Black Mirror... it probably is.
Who voices Ashley Too?
The pop star - Ashley O - is perfectly cast, with real-life singer Miley Cyrus tackling the role.
She also lends her voice to that of the Ashley Too product, which eerily comments on themes of artificial intelligence in the trailer, and how a product can become an extension of oneself.
Of course, it's fiction; so why does this all seem so familiar?
Is Ashley Too an Alexa spin-off?
Even the name evokes the increasingly common household product, which is a virtual assistant of sorts.
Essentially, it displays all the qualities of a smartphone, without the need to search and utilise apps with your own touch.
Sure, the design is a little more futuristic, but that's what Black Mirror does. The show presents us with a future that could be next week or next year; that's what makes it so disturbing.
What is it trying to say?
Of course, at the moment we can only speculate, but the theme of duality radiates through this trailer.
We've seen it explored recently in Jordan Peele's Us, but it looks like Black Mirror has plenty of its own opinions to convey.
Smart appliances have their uses, but also their issues. The conveniences and setbacks of technology are something we've seen explored throughout the history of sci-fi and Black Mirror has continued the tradition for years.
In alliance with this theme, Cyrus is such a phenomenal choice to star. The singer has experienced a career of controversy and worship; sometimes appearing sweet and sometimes pushing boundaries. This episode is clearly using her persona to cement its statement, addressing two sides to the technology we have trusted wholeheartedly.
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