Black Mirror is the United Kingdom’s answer to shows like The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. It’s a sadly short-season show about the fine lines between technology and humanity, and what happens when those lines are crossed in the worst ways possible! Available on Netflix right now, sporting 3 episodes in each of the two seasons available (in a very Sherlock fashion), Black Mirror strikes all kinds of fun warning notes for the coming holiday greed-for-newfangled-technology season!
This series is written in BBC-like fashion; the humor is oh, so very dry and deliciously ironic. When the various characters finally break, and they will, in their different modes and means, because of the traditional restraint English actors are known for, the explosions will just be that much more awesome! Each episode is a stand-alone story, with completely different characters set in unique situations, and you can’t help but fall in love with the story, if not the characters themselves. Perhaps especially when they just freaking explode!
The very first episode, The National Anthem, demonstrates clearly just how much public opinion voiced on every manner of technology available (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc etc) can sway a single person into what they term an “indecent act.” The very fact that tons of people all over the world stood there and watched the indecent act live on television, no matter what their reactions, says nothing pleasant about the current state of humanity.
Fifteen Million Merits shows us how the common working man (or woman) can be beaten down by what is supposed to be a show aimed at the common man (American Idol, anyone?), and their innocent dreams soiled in front of an audience of millions.
In The Entire History of You, where most people in the world have a chip called the Grain implanted in their brains that allows them to record and play back every single moment of their lives, we the audience learn quite well why this is actually a horrible idea. The complete lack of privacy isn’t actually the worst thing that could happen with such available technology; that’s only the tip of the iceberg. And that’s only season one!
Speculation runs rampant as to the origin of the series’ name, but my personal favorite is the idea that we are watching the show on the “black mirror” of the television screen, where it shows us the dark mirror side of humanity. Yes, the show is fraught with cursing, sex, and some violence: plenty of adult themes. The sense of humor presented, the tight and marvelous storylines and always very fine acting give us a show that leaves us begging for, if not demanding more, ironically all over the internet!