I didn’t hate the episode that was made of Black Mirror with this mechanic. A lot of people seem to hate that episode, but I’m surrounded by people who dont really like Black Mirror. I think it was a good one, and I even liked the many layers of choosing your own adventure*.
The mechanic of choosing was luckily not ruined by the plot of this classically depressing episode. Netflix debuted their interactive episodes with some children’s shows earlier on, with fewer choices and footage, of course. They had movies of Stretch Armstrong and Minecraft where you could make choices as you watched, among other subjects. But if they are going to continue making interactive episodes for adults, I have a few suggestions.
*This is totally trademarked by Chooseco! You can’t just say CYOA like its your own thing, as Netflix learned.
Netflix should do this again but with a sitcom. If it was popular, I’m sure they’re cooking one up in every genre already. I think mystery shows would be a great use for this, and that cartoons would be awesome, but I’m rooting for a sitcom.
I think that comedy could be the simplest to make but with the most payoff for us viewers. That’s obviously a guess, but I would watch it a thousand times. After all, I already watch non-interactive shows a hundred times.
Bandersnatch starts with a simple choice. Which cereal do you choose for breakfast? From there, it gets seemingly more important, stranger, and dark. If the show were a sitcom or anything more lighthearted, there would be few choices that could seem to really go awry. But, it would set the ground for some great situations and options, maybe even choosing between two different sitcom tropes.
- Do you choose for your character to lose a bet first?
- Do you choose for them to get a new pet instead of buying groceries?
- Do you choose duct tape or masking tape for them to split the apartment in two with?
- Where will you choose for them to hide their friend’s engagement ring to keep it safe?
- Do you decide that they’ll say “Wakka Wakka” after a joke falls flat?
Length and Options
I would really appreciate if this went on as long as possible. We don’t even need to be the ones making huge life choices and changing the show’s plot or setup. Give us superficial choices, we’ll take it! Just let us keep making them. Just make sure we know we can leave and come back. A “save” button might be appropriately nostalgic.
Maybe Netflix can even work in some Truman Show shit and let us choose from hundreds of paths over years for a young married couple or a young boy who is new in town. Young Protagonist Jones is made to run for school president, giving us the opportunity for more school hijinx over the next few years. Maybe the two main characters can work their sexual tension for a decade, Sam and Diane style, thanks to us!
Give us enough content and some of us will do nothing but watch it.