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I've been adding tags for individual episodes of Black Mirror, when it came to my attention that not everybody wants them to have their own tags.

I've stopped tagging the remaining questions to ask this on meta first.

Do the individual episodes of Black Mirror warrant their own tag?

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  • 3
    I don't think there's a single instance on the site where we use tags for individual episodes of a show. – Rand al'Thor Nov 8 '18 at 15:47
  • @Randal'Thor so? We need to start somewhere. – SQB Nov 8 '18 at 15:54
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    @SQB we don't need to... If it's not broken we shouldn't fix it. – Jenayah Nov 8 '18 at 15:55
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    @SQB Yeah, what I said isn't necessarily a solid argument for not starting now. Just pointing out that you're proposing a new precedent, which is unlikely to be well received by anyone on meta - either those in favour of burning more tags, or those in favour of leaving tags alone. – Rand al'Thor Nov 8 '18 at 15:58
7

We do not need individual episode tags

To start with whilst most episodes are pretty much standalone, they are all set in the same universe, share characters and reference each other. Here is what Charlie Brooker, the show's creator, has said about a connection between them.

My answer to that has changed, actually. It always used to be that it's just a bit of fun. But then sometimes we've done some things where we did explicitly refer to other episodes. I think the rule is that when a character says something that explicitly refers to something else, it's canonical. Also, they follow the same dream universe. That's the other thing that I tend to say. There's a line in 'Hated in the Nation' where someone refers to a crime that happened in 'White Bear.'

Cinema Blend, Are All Black Mirror Episodes Connected? Here's What The Creator Says

It's also worth noting that no other shows have episode tags, to my knowlegde, and they don't appear to be useful anywhere in my opinion. Creating them here would start a dangerous precedent.

Borrowing the tag scoring sheet from here (and shamelessly copying Rand's formatting from here) we get the following results.

  1. Does it make sense to be an "expert in "?*
    Maybe (people can be experts in individual episodes but as they are connected an understanding of the universe is required); score 1.

  2. Does it make sense for a question to be tagged only with "?
    No (there should also be a tag); score -1.

  3. Does have a single, universally-unambiguous meaning?
    Yes; score 2.

  4. Is likely to be used correctly just based on its name?
    No ( and are easily confused with other things); score -1.

  5. Are there "enough" (> 15) but not "too many" (> 10% site-wide) questions that qualify for ?
    No (There are only 19 questions which isn't many in itself); score -1.

  6. Are people like to use to find questions to answer?
    Maybe (e.g. if they've just watched one of the episodes); score 1.

  7. Are there likely some users (be objective!) who will favorite or ignore ?
    Maybe (I doubt it, but who knows); score 1.

  8. Could be reasonably used to feed questions to a specialized chat room?
    No; score -1.

  9. Can be used to search for questions (for any reason) in a way that keyword searching cannot accomplish?
    Yes; score 2.

Total is 3, which is apparently not enough for the tag to be worth creating. From the linked question:

tags that score > 12 are "good" tags, tags that score < 8 are "terrible" tags, others are likely good but may need some clarification/renaming/etc.

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    It's worth noting that we decided in a later meta not to use that tag-scoring test because it wasn't really useful. I do agree with your conclusion though. – Rand al'Thor Nov 8 '18 at 15:48
  • @Randal'Thor Oh I agree it's not great and is quite subjective in some places. Hence why I added the first part in too. I'll edit to add in no other works use episode tags, worth mentioning and forgot too. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 8 '18 at 15:51
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Yes

The individual episodes of Black Mirror are akin to short stories. Yes, they share a universe and are linked through easter eggs, but they can stand alone. An important indication that they can is that they can be watched out of order, without missing or spoiling anything.

In my opinion, the smallest units of work that can be consumed (watched/read/played) on their own, should have their own individual tag. Those are the short stories in a collection, the books in a series, and in this case, the individual episodes of a series.

We tag individual short stories and we should also tag the individual Black Mirror episodes.

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