If you still haven’t gotten around to watching Black Mirror on Netflix, you might want to get on it.
Take it from someone who put it off for a couple years: You’re missing out. Black Mirror premiered on Channel 4, a British TV station, in 2011. It wasn’t until 2015 that Netflix outbid Channel 4 for the rights to the show. That’s when I should’ve hopped onto the Black Mirror bandwagon. But hey, better late than never. Shoutout to my good friend and subordinate Salim for finally convincing me to give it a shot.
Before I begin my attempt at persuading you to plop down on your couch, load up Netflix, and binge-watch the hell out of this brilliant show, I’m going to try to explain what it’s about without spoiling anything.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say 90 percent of the people currently reading this have Facebook, Twitter, or some form of social media in a separate browser tab. I’m also going to presume the vast majority of you have glanced at your phone since loading up this page. It goes without saying that humanity is addicted to technology and everything that comes with it. Hell, this blog itself along with everything else on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet is temporarily removing you from reality.
How far our society has come with technological advancements in the past couple decades is flat-out scary. But Black Mirror shows just how out of control our world could become if humanity one day takes technology too far. Charlie Brooker, the show’s creator, summed it up when he explained the meaning of the Black Mirror title:
If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The ‘black mirror’ of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, or a cell phone.
That’s pretty much the best way of explaining the premise without giving anything away.
As an anthology series, each episode has its own plot, cast, and futuristic technology it’s based around. For example, episode three of season one (“The Entire History Of You”) is about a piece of technology that allows an individual to record and replay every life memory. Episode one of season two (“Be Right Back”) revolves around a service that allows people to communicate with the deceased (well, sort of). But Black Mirror isn’t necessarily about the technology itself. It’s about how our species consumes and responds to it. The best example of this is episode one of season 3 (“Nosedive”). It might be the show’s most accurate portrayal of where our society is heading, as it flawlessly illustrates our constant craving for validation via social media.
Every episode is so unique, creative, and captivating from start to finish, so the fact it’s an anthology series shouldn’t turn you off. Of course like any other TV show, some episodes are stronger than others. But in my honest opinion there isn’t one episode that I’d consider “weak”.
My No. 1 reason for never giving Black Mirror a chance was because it’s an anthology, but I implore you to not make the same mistake I did. Start your bingeing ASAP.