Black Mirror is one of the most thought-provoking, affecting, and unflinching shows in television history. With it, Charlie Brooker crafted a twisted satirical take on technology gone too far, showing viewers what he felt was the inevitable course technology would one day take us. It was irreverent, dark, and hard to watch at times, especially with the first episode, The National Anthem, an audacious satire of media both social and televised. If you could make it past that one you would be treated to five more episodes of varying brilliance, some taking place in the here and now, others taking place in the not so distant future. It’s the most brilliant yet bleak thing Brooker’s produced by a wide margin.
Brooker has stated about the show named after the various screens we stare at, “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.”
Like a much darker Twilight Zone, Black Mirror was a hit in its native England since the very first much talked about episode. Michael Hogan of the Daily Telegraph described the episode as a “shocking but ballsy, blackly comic study of the modern media. This was a dementedly brilliant idea. The satire was so audacious, it left me open-mouthed and squealing. Rather like that poor pig.” Its fans are not limited to the UK though, as word of mouth dragged the show all around the world, including America where Netflix began streaming the critically acclaimed series. There were two seasons aired, at three episodes a piece, with a Christmas special starring Jon Hamm being produced much later, and that is not nearly enough for this fan. What can I say? I like feeling uncomfortably aware.
In news that is almost too perfectly ironic to comment on, Netflix will begin producing new episodes of Black Mirror. A series that warns of the dangers of modern technology is coming to the most modern way we watch television. In a fairly dystopian way Netflix uses user data to decide what shows to produce, which is an idea I’m surprised Brooker hasn’t played with in an episode. Netflix will produce “multiple episodes” of the series, though that’s all we know right now. We’ll keep you informed as soon as we hear more information.
Until then, if you haven’t seen it right now’s a great time to catch up. I’d recommend starting with episode two Fifteen Million Merits or season two’s first episode Be Right Back (starring Hayley Atwell). But if I were you I’d watch the first episode last. Trust me on this one.