Bandersnatch Stole 3 Hours of My Life Last Night, and Will Get Even More of My Time Over the Weekend

Illustration for article titled Bandersnatch Stole 3 Hours of My Life Last Night, and Will Get Even More of My Time Over the Weekend
Photo: Netflix

Let me tell you how I am operating on about four hours of sleep right now.

My night started out with an Erykah Badu concert at the Novo in Los Angeles, but that is a story for another time. My only point in mentioning it is that I got home rather late—at 1 a.m. to be exact.


So I got home and was prepared to fall asleep watching at least one episode of Game of Thrones, but I got sidetracked when I saw #Bandersnatch trending on Twitter.

First of all, I am not going to post any spoilers here. I want you to experience it all for yourself.

Bandersnatch is the much-hyped new interactive Black Mirror movie on Netflix. I was just excited to have more Black Mirror to watch. I was totally unaware it was a “choose your own adventure” type of interactive experiment.

In short, it is genius.

As a child, a tween and a pre-teen, I was obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books—which were narrated from the second person perspective and make you the hero (or not, depending on the path you take) of the story. You chose which direction to go in at the end of each chapter, and that determined how the story continued.

For a kid who already had a very active imagination, they were everything. You could read the same book over and over again, making different choices and getting different story outcomes. Hours of fun.

And so, I opened Netflix at 1:30 a.m. and turned on Bandersnatch and proceeded to make all the wrong choices for 90 minutes straight. It was at the 90-minute mark when I realized the movie could probably go on and on without stopping depending on the choices I made with it.


You make your choices via your remote control. The options are presented on the screen, and you decide which way to go. Again, no spoilers, but when I tell y’all I fucked this man’s life up? I fucked this man’s life up.

You only have about ten seconds to decide on your choice, and if you don’t choose, the film chooses for you—which adds more layers, twists and turns to how things can go.


By the end of my binge, I only got to one of the different endings. It is indeed a 90-minute movie, and I recommend you exercise the same caution you do when you go watch a movie in the Marvel or DC universe—stick around for the credits.

OK fine, that was one spoiler, but it didn’t tell you anything.

There are five possible endings and more than 1 trillion unique story permutations, according to Vanity Fair.


The twin brother of someone who worked on the project added that there are 312 minutes of content.


So basically, it’s like a video game, but you are playing it on Netflix.

Like I said, I will be doing it again this weekend when I am not as sleepy and distracted (I also had company) over the weekend.


In summation, Netflix did that. I’m very interested to see where the technology that went into this goes—and who hops on it next.

The reactions of other people on Twitter who were experiencing it at the same time as me matched mine, but I won’t link to their tweets or my own because again—no spoilers.


I am definitely interested in having a discussion about it in the comments though, after you do try, so please come back and engage me.

We can add the spoiler tag for the comments here now.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.



I hated it and it reminded me of exactly why I hate choose your own adventure/mopey straight white boys who say 80s pop music is dumb.