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S04.E04: Hang the DJ

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This was another interesting episode.  It had a surprise appearance of George Bladgen (of Vikings and Versailles fame).  I loved that they gave that annoying quirk to him, even during intimate moments.  I guess he loves to savor various tastes!

Amy's montage of dates was depressing with a constant line of men and women rotating out of her bed, but Frank's were hilarious.  I loved the Debbie Downer he was with for a year.

Since we saw at the end how the perfect matches are chosen, does that mean that none of the people are real?  Everything's virtual?
I guess that means that Frank's theory was right all along.

Edited by peridot
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I was completely taken aback by the twist at the end of the episode. To be honest, I am still wrapping my head around the whole episode. I might have to rewatch some of it at some point.

I liked Frank and Amy together. I thought their awkwardness at the beginning was cute, as was their attraction to each other.

Damn, Debbie Downer with Frank was pretty damn awful. Now that the twist has been revealed, I see why she was necessary. She was just so annoying and I disliked much of her attitude. I guess Amy's set of 36 hour flings was there for a purpose as well.

I liked seeing real Frank and Amy at the end, and the connection with the title of the episode through the song at the end. 

I'm still a little confused, but I think I need some time to process. 

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I think Black Mirror has ruined me, because I really don't like the romance episodes. This and San Junipero were my least favourite, only because I expect this show to make me feel horrible and/or disturbed. Then again, I'm not really into romance in general, so maybe that's why.

The app is an interesting idea though, but do the real Frank and Amy know what happened in the app, or do they just know that they're a match? For a lot of match making services, there are questionnaires and you get a match, but here their simulations rebelled. I don't think that necessarily guarantees a bright future, but it's a cute idea. This by far is the happiest episode in the series. The technology used was a good one that I can see being popular if used in real life and no one died or had to deal with a pig.

It was okay...but not what I want from Black Mirror....which makes me sound like a heartless person. Sorry.

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Cheezyxpressed - I feel the same about San Junipero...

 

I thought this ep had some interesting reflections on dating/relationships but I really didn't care for the ending. 

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Wow, at first I wanted to say the ending is bittersweet, but really it's increadibly fucked up. In order to asses compatibility, it creates seemingly perfect copies of people and puts them through shit, only to kill them at the end, a thousand times for each potential pairing.

Two people found their perfect match, but a thousand people suffered and died for it. Wow, that's fucked up.

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18 hours ago, peridot said:

we saw at the end how the perfect matches are chosen, does that mean that none of the people are real?  Everything's virtual?
I guess that means that Frank's theory was right all along.

I think both their theories were correct - they just didn’t realize they could control the outcome. 

Reminds me of The Adjustment Bureau. 

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So, they kept saying that the app had a 99.8% success rate. Then at the end, when they "escaped," it said 1000 couples and 998 rebellions. Does that mean rebellion is the desired outcome? And those two whose celebration Amy and Frank ran into each other at were the two who "failed" when they accepted the outcome? I'm still not getting it 100%. Maybe 99.8%. :)

This show is just so relentlessly bleak that it's nice to have an occasional shot of light. I liked San Junipero all right. I also liked Hated in the Nation and USS Callister, where it was bleak but the bad guys got punished at least. 

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5 minutes ago, bourbon said:

So, they kept saying that the app had a 99.8% success rate. Then at the end, when they "escaped," it said 1000 couples and 998 rebellions. Does that mean rebellion is the desired outcome? And those two whose celebration Amy and Frank ran into each other at were the two who "failed" when they accepted the outcome? I'm still not getting it 100%. Maybe 99.8%. :)

This is absolutely how I took it!

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4 hours ago, Luciano said:

I'm guessing the rebellion is the desired outcome because it means they rebelled and fought to stay together - the alternative would be just going along with 'the ultimate match' even if they wanted to be with each other. Frank and Amy's profiles (or whatever) on the dating app were placed in different simulations and they kept rebelling so it continued on creating more simulations until it hit 1000 to get an accurate success rate. Everything seen was just part of that particular simulation - the successful couple with the party was just inserted to cast doubt on whether they should rebel. Not attempting to escape and just going to meet with the ultimate match just ends that particular simulation and marks it as a failure.

This was my take on it as well.  They were fighting to choose each other other the matches that just didn't work, despite being forced by the app to stay in those matches/relationships for x length of time.  

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While I liked this one, I think my favorite part was Amy's look of increasing boredom as she hooks up with a succession of ridiculously conventionally attractive people.

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On 12/29/2017 at 8:18 PM, peridot said:

This was another interesting episode.  It had a surprise appearance of George Bladgen (of Vikings and Versailles fame). 

That was Aethelstan? Wow.

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On 12/29/2017 at 10:17 PM, CheezyXpressed said:

I think Black Mirror has ruined me, because I really don't like the romance episodes. This and San Junipero were my least favourite, only because I expect this show to make me feel horrible and/or disturbed. Then again, I'm not really into romance in general, so maybe that's why.

The app is an interesting idea though, but do the real Frank and Amy know what happened in the app, or do they just know that they're a match? For a lot of match making services, there are questionnaires and you get a match, but here their simulations rebelled. I don't think that necessarily guarantees a bright future, but it's a cute idea. This by far is the happiest episode in the series. The technology used was a good one that I can see being popular if used in real life and no one died or had to deal with a pig.

It was okay...but not what I want from Black Mirror....which makes me sound like a heartless person. Sorry.

I really didn't like San Junipero, but I thought this one was fine. I think I just liked the storytelling in this one, in spite of the happy ending. Definitely not a favorite or anything, as I prefer my Black Mirror dark and depressing as well. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 9:11 PM, QQQQ said:

I thought this ep had some interesting reflections on dating/relationships but I really didn't care for the ending. 

The ending was kind of so-so, but I definitely found myself laughing at the interactions with Coach as it told Frank that he had to go through hundreds of iterations of matching before it would finally find him the "perfect" match. It pretty well reflects my feelings about dating apps, websites, coaches, etc. - none of that has really improved or helped the process of dating. It's still all about numbers and serendipity when it comes to finding someone that you are really compatible with, no matter how much people would like to offload that process and automate it. You can't technologize real people and real relationships.

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That was cool. So the person they choose to spend the last hour before meeting their true match is actually their true match. Clever!

I'm constantly impressed by the acting in this show. Love that they most of the actors they use aren't too famous.

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This is the episode that wants to be the next San Junipero.  Like that episode last season I am probably the only person who found it although well written incredibly dull and the least interesting of the season.  Honestly Hang The DJ was just boring.  I get what it was trying to say but I actually preferred USS Callister and Crocodile much better and even Archangel even with its missteps and is misfocus told a more compelling story.

 

or maybe I am just that anti romantic.

which is possible.    

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1 hour ago, Chaos Theory said:

This is the episode that wants to be the next San Junipero.  Like that episode last season I am probably the only person who found it although well written incredibly dull and the least interesting of the season.  Honestly Hang The DJ was just boring.  I get what it was trying to say but I actually preferred USS Callister and Crocodile much better and even Archangel even with its missteps and is misfocus told a more compelling story.

 

or maybe I am just that anti romantic.

which is possible.    

Anti-Romantic people unite!

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Aw, I'm a sap because I loved it.

Anyone had "Panic" earworming in their head since watching it?

Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ

hangthedjhangthedjhangthedj 

Hang the DJ

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5 hours ago, Bama said:

Aw, I'm a sap because I loved it.

Anyone had "Panic" earworming in their head since watching it?

Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ

hangthedjhangthedjhangthedj 

Hang the DJ

As soon as I saw the episode title card I got the song reference, so was just waiting for it to appear in the episode to see how it would fit into the story.

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I loved the episode but I like Callister way better.

Btw what happens to people like that cranky bitchy woman he gets paired with? I don't see such people finding their "match" anytime soon. Do they get counseling or something? Hmm maybe this could be an idea for another episode?

Edited by DharmaG
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I enjoyed this episode but my main issue with it is that since they don't have any memory of what their digital versions experienced they haven't learned any lessons. The bad relationships helped them realise what made the good relationship. If they don't remember them in the real world then the relationship may not work as well.

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I liked this episode a lot.  The interaction between the two leads was very engaging and I liked the way the whole dating scenarios are played out.  It took me a while to recognize Athelstan...wow, he got jacked!  Not quite sure what do think of the ending I must admit but still, I really enjoyed the episode.

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Surprised they used the annoying "haaaa" sound after drinking to put the woman off the guy she was with for a long time. That is a classic Seinfeld epsiode plot and I can still hear Elaine bitching about how the guy goes "haaaa" after every drink! 

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47 minutes ago, TVbitch said:

Surprised they used the annoying "haaaa" sound after drinking to put the woman off the guy she was with for a long time. That is a classic Seinfeld epsiode plot and I can still hear Elaine bitching about how the guy goes "haaaa" after every drink! 

I think the problem was that he also made that sound after things other than drinking.

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The guy who writes all of these shows has a real affection for the F word. It's repetitive and boring. 

Edited by Kenz
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I enjoyed this episode but my main issue with it is that since they don't have any memory of what their digital versions experienced they haven't learned any lessons. The bad relationships helped them realise what made the good relationship. If they don't remember them in the real world then the relationship may not work as well.

See, I don't think that's the point of the app. The point is to create digital clones of yourself and put them through simulations to see whether they are compatible. In other words, the digital clones do all the leg work so you don't have to. You go into the relationship already knowing your digital clones have been put through all the relationship wringers and have survived.

This show is really repeating this theme of digital clones living in virtual realities. There was this, and White Christmas, and USS Callister, and, to an extent, San Junipero. I'm not sure why the show is so obsessed with that premise. Frankly I felt a little bit cheated by this one - you get to the very end and find out the entire story, and the people you spent the last hour watching, weren't even real. 

I see much more real-world possibilities with the kind of tech featured in episodes like Playtest, Arkangel, Nosedive, The Waldo Moment, or Be Right Back. Whereas, I think we're a long, long way off from being able to create digital clones of people and torturing them in hellish viral landscapes. So I'm not sure why this show keeps going back to that well, as if trying to warn us what's in store for us in the near future. 

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On 2017-12-31 at 6:19 AM, DharmaG said:

I'm constantly impressed by the acting in this show. Love that they mostof the actors they use aren't too famous.

Not yet...but look at some of the actors from the earlier seasons and where they are now. Hayley Atwell, Domhnall Gleeson, Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Whittaker, Rory Kinnear to name just a few!

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So there's an inherent paradox with what we saw. The computer told them it's 99.8% accurate, but it couldn't know 2/1000 of the simulations would diverge until after their simulation had run. (Or alternatively it's saying 0.2% of all simulations diverge, and did so in this group as well. But that's not how statistics work.) Hardly a big problem for the episode, but it stuck out at me.

This was a neat idea. Solving a problem by repeatedly simulating it is a common approach, and seeing it from the point of view of one of those (very accurate) simulations was a good way to tell a story. There were enough hints that there was something odd about this world, but at least to me I didn't quite see the ending coming. And I love the idea of a world whose goal is to get the participants to break the world's rules. And this did it a lot better than all the Divergent movies.

That said, it was the acting that really carried this one. On story alone, "boy meets girl but they're kept apart" wouldn't hold me for a full episode. But it was very easy to feel for our two protagonists and as a result I really enjoyed it.

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On December 30, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Luciano said:

Unlike in some of the other episodes, these aren't copies with their memories (neither of them remember anything from before) and they don't appear to be able to get physically hurt (the taser). It's really just coding with the information given by the real Frank and Amy (likes/dislikes/personalities/etc). 

Well-said. I was trying to parse the difference between the copies in USS Callister and this ep, and why I felt awful for the former and not the latter, and that's it. These don't have the memories or consciousness of the real people, so "trapping" or even "killing" these copies is less of a problem. If even rebellion is accepted as a positive outcome, and at the end they just vaporize, it's very different from the Callister clones or the cookies of "White Christmas."

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This was actually hilarious for me to watch right now, because I just got home from helping my friend create a new dating profile on a dating App after a breakup. I've used dating Apps before, so this was pretty hilarious to me. Really, they are just like most kinds of dating (find a person who seems nice, talk to them, go to dinner, make awkward small talks, etc.) just now, you can do the first part on your phone! I thought the episode would be about an App that tells you everything about your relationship within the first few minutes, and a couple that fights against it. And this is basically what happened, but there was a LOT more going on. I cant say I saw the ending coming, at all. 

Maybe I am just a big, dorky sap, but I dont mind the occasional happy ending to shake up the darkness. I love my dark, miserable Black Mirror (my favorite BM episode ever is White Bear, the darkest episode in the history of dark episodes) but I like the occasional episode that shows technology actually helping people, instead of just killing everyone's souls. It makes the show more about human behavior, and less about "technology is bad mmmmmk". Some aspects of the tech we see on BM are certainly awful and easy to abuse, but by showing some technology as basically neutral, and can be used for good or bad, its more of a story about how people respond to technology, and how technology affects society and individuals. Or maybe I just like a happy ending every once in awhile. 

I think a lot of what made the episode work was the main characters, and the sweet chemistry that they had. Both actors were very likable, and I totally bought that they had an instant connection that they would fight to keep throughout their many dates with other people. I think the App runs multiple scenarios with multiple pieces of digital codes that match the personalities and likes of the real Amy and Frank, but without creating full on cookie copies like we saw in White Christmas or the crew of the USS Callister. Real Frank and Amy looked rather different than the virtual ones, so I think its not the level of cruel that we have seen before. It wants to see if the couple would fight to be together against the odds, and since they did 98% of the time, they're almost a perfect match, and if they go through that and can STILL make it, they can probably make the struggles of day to day life. Its actually a pretty cool idea for an App, although I doubt the real Frank and Amy know how exactly this was made to happen. Although virtual Frank figured it out, so maybe they do or will? It looked like they will be having a LOT of dates in the near future. 

Hang the DJ, hang the DJ...well thats going to be stuck in my head all week now. 

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On 12/31/2017 at 9:43 AM, Chaos Theory said:

This is the episode that wants to be the next San Junipero.  Like that episode last season I am probably the only person who found it although well written incredibly dull and the least interesting of the season.  Honestly Hang The DJ was just boring.  I get what it was trying to say but I actually preferred USS Callister and Crocodile much better and even Archangel even with its missteps and is misfocus told a more compelling story.

 

or maybe I am just that anti romantic.

which is possible.    

I don't think you have to be a romantic to like this episode...I'm so unromantic that I haven't been on a date in more than 10 years - by choice - and it's my fave episode of the season. 

Of course I also have a thing for Joe Cole (okay...I have a thing for any actor who plays a Shelby) so that's a major factor. 

Wasn't fond of San Junipero, so I'm with you on that. 

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9 hours ago, Anela said:

I liked the happy ending. Much needed, after Crocodile. 

Goodness yes. I watched Crocodile and was so depressed I wanted to stop for the night. My husband convinced me to watch the next one and I'm glad it had a happy ending

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 0:03 AM, TVbitch said:

Surprised they used the annoying "haaaa" sound after drinking to put the woman off the guy she was with for a long time. That is a classic Seinfeld epsiode plot and I can still hear Elaine bitching about how the guy goes "haaaa" after every drink! 

Heheh.  Larry David would later reuse that as a plot point in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 6:18 PM, peridot said:

Since we saw at the end how the perfect matches are chosen, does that mean that none of the people are real?  Everything's virtual?

I thought that they were avatars in a virtual world, where the relationships are simulated, and that's how the algorithm determines the 99.8%. 

On 12/29/2017 at 8:17 PM, CheezyXpressed said:

The app is an interesting idea though, but do the real Frank and Amy know what happened in the app, or do they just know that they're a match?

It didn't strike me that the 'real' people in the bar at the end had any idea how the simulations worked. 

If presumably 1000s or 10000s of people are using the dating app, that must be an enormous amount of computing power. 

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I took it that ONLY Frank and Amy were "real" people being simulated. Everyone else, the Aaaaah guy, the buzzkill girl, etc., were NPCs... computer generated "bad dates" and people they don't like to bounce off of them to see how Frank and Amy react. Even the married couple who's wedding we saw was a test... to see if they would really 'stick with it' like the couple kept saying, or rebel against the system. Everyone besides Frank and Amy was computer-generated, I think.

 

 

This was another "5 minutes into the future" storyline, because just recently I saw a new dating app that matched you with "your perfect mate" by testing your DNA and matching it with other users. Creepy.

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Yes, for that simulation. I'm saying if irl 1500 people use the app, then that's 1500 of those. It's a lot of computing power. 

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23 hours ago, Jael said:

Well-said. I was trying to parse the difference between the copies in USS Callister and this ep, and why I felt awful for the former and not the latter, and that's it. These don't have the memories or consciousness of the real people, so "trapping" or even "killing" these copies is less of a problem. If even rebellion is accepted as a positive outcome, and at the end they just vaporize, it's very different from the Callister clones or the cookies of "White Christmas."

I kinda disagree.  The "copies" weren't that much different from the "copies" in USS Callister, to me.  If Daly in USS Callister hadn't kept their memories of the outside world, is it really any different?   If this couple in Hang the DJ did remember their past lives, is it really any different?  They're still code-people who think they're real.  But they're not, in either case.  They're just lines of code programmed to act in a certain way.

Basically I struggled in USS Callister to see Daly as the bad guy, because I just can't bring myself to see code-people as real, no matter how much they're programmed to think they're real.  They're programmed to think and act like that, but the programmer could change that if he/they wanted to.  Just like in a video game.  In Skyrim or Mass Effect or Dragon Age (or, heck, Call of Duty), the NPC's & antagonists are programmed to act like they're real.  No computer character is going to ever be like "I know I'm in a computer program, so I don't care what happens to me."  They all act like they're real, they have goals, lives, different backstories, families, beliefs.  And the better job they do at pretending they're real, the better the game is.  Or the better the dating sim is.

I find myself with the same reaction to Hang the DJ as I did to USS Callister.  They're just code-people.  They aren't real.  Their code makes them behave a certain way.  Even if it's based on a real person's profile, they aren't real people.  Daly could have changed any aspect of the crew's personality if he wanted to (like he changed their physical aspects).  The "Coach" could have changed any aspect of Frank & Amy's virtual programs if they wanted to (although it would defeat the purpose).  Jon Hamm could have changed any aspect of the guy he wanted a confession from (although it would defeat the purpose).  The code-people aren't real.  In either episode.

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1 hour ago, ICantDoThatDave said:

Basically I struggled in USS Callister to see Daly as the bad guy, because I just can't bring myself to see code-people as real, no matter how much they're programmed to think they're real.  They're programmed to think and act like that, but the programmer could change that if he/they wanted to.  Just like in a video game.  In Skyrim or Mass Effect or Dragon Age (or, heck, Call of Duty), the NPC's & antagonists are programmed to act like they're real. 

But the difference is, they actually are real on the USS Callister, unlike in this program. The people here are more like video game characters, who have a backstory that affects their character or story (but nothing else) and have personalities based on the likes, dislikes, and basic traits of the people they're based on, but are not exact copies. They also seem to only exist to date, think about dates, or talk about dates, because its their main function. What makes the crew of the USS Callister not the same as video game characters is that they continue to exist and talk and think and feel even when Daly (the player) isn't around, and they do things that have nothing to do with Dalys game. They dont just act real, they are real, even if they dont have physical bodies. Video game characters cant continue living their lives off screen, beyond things that are relevant to the plot or characterization that affects game play, while these people not only exist when Daly isn't in the game, but they continue to exist after he died. Everything in the entire episode shows them being sentient people. 

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13 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

They also seem to only exist to date, think about dates, or talk about dates, because its their main function.

At the end, the woman asks the guy if he remembered where he was before they got together for their final date, so it's clear that they aren't the same as Callister. Outside of any relationships they're only shown swimming or skipping rocks until the next date. 

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I thought she asked him if he remembered anything from before their first date, over a year ago.  So they remembered all their other dates with each other, what they did in their other relationships, what happened in between relationships.  They even discussed the whole set up philosophically.  They believed they were real people, just like the Callister crew did.  They were just code, but they thought they had real lives & made real choices (within the parameters set up by Coach, of course - they just couldn't choose the subject or duration of each relationship).  They thought they were sentient beings.  They exercised, swam, skipped rocks, had sex, attended parties, had conversations, ate dinner, chose what to tell other people about themselves, chose to escape.  They had independent lives & made choices while their programmer wasn't present, just like the Callister crew.

So I still don't see how one set of code-people are considered "real" while this other set is considered "not real" just because they didn't know they were code-people (I personally still see them all as "not real").  If Daly had programmed the Callister crew to believe they had real world counterparts they were cloned from but they really didn't, would that make any difference in how people view them?

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She asked him if he remembered where he was before he came to the restaurant and they couldn't remember, and they already discussed that they were simulations previously. 

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On 03/01/2018 at 1:42 AM, ICantDoThatDave said:

I kinda disagree.  The "copies" weren't that much different from the "copies" in USS Callister, to me.  If Daly in USS Callister hadn't kept their memories of the outside world, is it really any different?   If this couple in Hang the DJ did remember their past lives, is it really any different?  They're still code-people who think they're real.  But they're not, in either case.  They're just lines of code programmed to act in a certain way.

Basically I struggled in USS Callister to see Daly as the bad guy, because I just can't bring myself to see code-people as real, no matter how much they're programmed to think they're real.  They're programmed to think and act like that, but the programmer could change that if he/they wanted to.  Just like in a video game.  In Skyrim or Mass Effect or Dragon Age (or, heck, Call of Duty), the NPC's & antagonists are programmed to act like they're real.  No computer character is going to ever be like "I know I'm in a computer program, so I don't care what happens to me."  They all act like they're real, they have goals, lives, different backstories, families, beliefs.  And the better job they do at pretending they're real, the better the game is.  Or the better the dating sim is.

I find myself with the same reaction to Hang the DJ as I did to USS Callister.  They're just code-people.  They aren't real.  Their code makes them behave a certain way.  Even if it's based on a real person's profile, they aren't real people.  Daly could have changed any aspect of the crew's personality if he wanted to (like he changed their physical aspects).  The "Coach" could have changed any aspect of Frank & Amy's virtual programs if they wanted to (although it would defeat the purpose).  Jon Hamm could have changed any aspect of the guy he wanted a confession from (although it would defeat the purpose).  The code-people aren't real.  In either episode.

I just can't bring myself to see people as real, no matter how much their brains make them think they're real. They think and act like that as a result of their brain structure, and that could be different if their brains were different.

Now yes, whether a computer program can be sentient is an open question. It might be also that the characters in these episodes were just glorified ruled-based AIs of the kind we see in today's computer games. But conceivably - as with San Junipero - one could have software that simulates and behaves in the same manner that a human brain computes and behaves.

 

22 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

But the difference is, they actually are real on the USS Callister, unlike in this program. The people here are more like video game characters, who have a backstory that affects their character or story (but nothing else) and have personalities based on the likes, dislikes, and basic traits of the people they're based on, but are not exact copies. They also seem to only exist to date, think about dates, or talk about dates, because its their main function. What makes the crew of the USS Callister not the same as video game characters is that they continue to exist and talk and think and feel even when Daly (the player) isn't around, and they do things that have nothing to do with Dalys game. They dont just act real, they are real, even if they dont have physical bodies. Video game characters cant continue living their lives off screen, beyond things that are relevant to the plot or characterization that affects game play, while these people not only exist when Daly isn't in the game, but they continue to exist after he died. Everything in the entire episode shows them being sentient people. 

I think there are two separate things here. It might be that they are still sentient, but at the same time don't have the memories and aren't reasonably the same people as the real world counterparts.

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13 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

Any idea why this is "Hang the DJ"?

Because of the song playing in the very last scene; it's Panic by The Smiths.  When Frank and Amy match in real life, the lines "Hang the DJ" from the song are playing.

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I liked Frank and Amy, but overall thought this episode was kind of dreary. Sometimes I can't quite wrap my mind around the technology. If the simulations existed only in the dating world, and knew nothing about life other than a general list of likes/dislikes, how could the simulations actually help make a match? It seems like this would be no different than the current dating systems of matching people based on hobbies, interests etc. I guess what I am saying is the computer simulation dates could not at all approximate real life, especially when they last for nine months or a year. How would a computer understand that many things could happen to this person in a year: job changes, family members moving or dying, new hobbies, interests etc. 

Pretending that a couple is spending an entire year together in a little house seems to have little relevance to a real world situation. I guess I was glad they were matched in the end, but confused as to why their simulated characters would not look like them. Would pierced, Amy feel the same as preppy Amy? I don't know, I just didn't care for this one. 

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