“Hang the DJ”: Directionless Hearts in the Age of Driverless Rickshaws

Barring outliers like “San Junipero”, Black Mirror isn’t renowned for its optimism. But the online dating-focused “Hang The DJ” strikes a hopeful, uplifting chord with lovelorn millennials.

A short sequence in “Hang The DJ”, an episode from Black Mirror’s fourth season, details Amy (a brilliant Georgina Campbell) expressing her frustration with her boyfriend, Lenny. Lenny is handsome, a great lover, and seems to be compatible with Amy. But he has an annoying quirk: He punctuates pauses with a loud exhale, and it chips away at Amy, little by little, until it is completely unbearable. It’s a nuanced, cutting take on how, after enough time together, humans will manage to find faults with even the most seemingly perfect paramours. When it becomes clear that Amy is in love with Frank, a guy she spent less than a day with, this altercation also reaffirms the age-old romantic truth: No matter how gorgeous the face in front of you, you’ll hardly notice them if your heart is set on “The One”. Amy and Frank are each other’s missed connection in the episode, series creator Charlie Brooker’s homage to the triumph of romance in a bleak, nihilistic universe where technology is a crutch for basic human interaction. Much like last series’ standout heartwarmer, “San Junipero”. Much like the walk down feels avenue with Series 2 tearjerker, “Be Right Back”. Barring these outliers, Black Mirror is hardly known for its optimism.

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