This Samsung Galaxy Advert for the new S10 phone might not be quite so hideous, were it not for the robotic rendition of Que Sera Sera – Doris Day’s reminder from the past that you life may be shit but there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
We also see a lot of grown-up kids in the future, doing all manner of wonderful things relating to technology – with barely any screaming, cannibalism or mindless violence due to the existential terror of man-made climate change that will surely kill us all.
Perhaps that’s why nothing in the Samsung Galaxy Advert looks remotely like Britain, in fact nothing like Europe for that matter. Perhaps some of the more upscale bits of America’s west coast, maybe south-east Asia. But certainly nothing as hideous as Stockon, Poole or Peterborough. Probably because the country will have been utterly destroyed by Brexit in the future we’re looking at. Or, more prosaically, because those town I mentioned are shit.
And what’s with the little kid on a tricycle roaming around the house? Is this advert doing its best to evoke the mind-bending horrors of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining? She’s looking at a window that lights u with a cartoon character when he rides past – which is good, because the chances are all she’ll see are dead trees and more concrete in the near-future that Samsung is so keen to show us.
What else? A man using haptics to design clothes; another man using a stylus to create a tattoo. That’s it? That’s the bright new future? Same work, different tablet?
But wait, there’s a robot, drawing a tattoo on a woman’s shoulder. And as anyone who’s learned anything from horror films knows only too well, it’s probably seconds away from lasering a hole through the back of her head. Thanks, Samsung.
Next up – a same-sex couple snuggling up with an ultrasound attachment on their smartphone and admiring a scan of a baby that will surely be doomed to a short, brutish life due to the sea levels that will have covered most of mainland Britain in 50 years’ time.
And we end with a bunch of children gleefully killing something, in a reference to massively multiplayer online gaming. If you’ve ever seen the Black Mirror episode Men Against Fire you might recognise what a frightening vision of the future this amounts to. If you haven’t, well, still.
Augmented reality multiplied by stealth military training is a terrifying, hands-reach vision of a dystopian future. Yet here it’s a Samsung Galaxy Advert where technology = good. And that’s it.
There’s enough material for Charlie Brooker here to create a whole new season of Black Mirror. We should be terrified by the real and varied threats to our existence this advert cheerfully highlights. Que sera, sera; whatever will be, will be – it’s not worth worrying about it.
Instead we’re glumly staring at our phone while the world burns. And that’s the future we’re creating.