There is no other show on Netflix right now like Black Mirror. After watching every episode, I can say there has been no other TV series to leave a lasting impact on my everyday life. Many times during the three seasons, I could almost literally feel my heart drop at the nightmarish dystopian settings, since I could not imagine ever living in them. As well, no other show has made me feel sympathy and disgust for a character all in one episode. The only downside of Black Mirror was that there were only thirteen episodes. But now, season four will be out this Friday with six brand new episodes. What better way to bring in 2018 than to have your mind blown, as you question our possible future?
Created by Charlie Brooker, who is still contributing to most episodes, Black Mirror first premiered on Channel 4 in the U.K back in 2011 but is now being streamed on Netflix. A unique feature of Black Mirror is its anthology style, similar to The Twilight Zone, and how no episodes are related (except thematically). Each episode exists in its own vaguely defined futuristic setting. The year an episode takes place is almost never stated, which leaves the audience guessing as to when it might be. The time periods jump from a single decade, to probably several centuries in the future, but they all have something in common. They all focus on the concept of techno-paranoia, the fear of advanced technology or complex devices. Black Mirror exaggerates what we already experience, to the point where it’s hardly debatable that the things in the show could happen one day. An example would be the season three episode “Nosedive” where the episode takes place in a world where everyone is status-obsessed, and who you are as a person is defined by your “rating” given to you by others. Out of all the people I know who have seen that episode, no one has simply laughed off the concept, since we are all guilty of it. How many of us have deleted posts online because they didn’t get enough likes or frown and question why we lost a few followers on Instagram?
Not much has been said about the upcoming episodes being released on December 29th. I believe the best way to get into the show is to dive in head first, with little knowledge of the episode’s plot. The episode I feel almost everyone is looking forward to is the one titled “Arkangel,” directed by Jodie Foster. Foster has directed episodes in other popular TV shows such as Orange Is the New Black.
Arkangel will be about a mother who nearly loses her daughter, and invests in a new technology that allows her to keep track of her. This episode will most definitely touch the hearts of many parents out there, who constantly fear of their children’s well being and use apps like Find My iPhone to see the location of their children.
To see a sneak peek of all the episodes in season four, watch the trailer here
Overall, Black Mirror is not your typical sci-fi show. In fact, I would hardly consider it one. The scenarios in Black Mirror could happen now, or sometime in the future. It is relatable in the most unsettling way. You witness the most human stores imaginable, just laced with futuristic technology, and is that not our world right now? The definition of “Black Mirror” is the reflection of an unlit computer screen after it is turned off, and that is precisely what the show is. A reflection of the world we live in, the relationships we carry, and who we are as humans.
So go on and watch Black Mirror at your own pace, and find your reflection amongst its themes and characters. It is fiction now, but who knows if it will ever become our reality?