Now Streaming: BLACK MIRROR

This fucking show, you guys.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but despite living in the age of having any sort of media I want at my fingertips, I’m still behind on just about everything.  Thanks to crippling student loan debt and an insane amount of medical bills from being an American battling cancer, my broke ass cannot afford cable.  I consistently have to wait for things to hit Netflix Instant or Google Play in order to keep up with the Joneses or experience anything foreign made.  Thanks to the recommendation of the best damn horror podcast on the web, I recently endured six draining hours of the British show BLACK MIRROR.  On paper, BLACK MIRROR sounds like a run of the mill horror show.  Somewhat of an anthology series, the show is centered around technology, possible future realities, and the way these things are to bring about our demise.  There are currently six episodes available on Netflix Instant watch, and they are six hours of the most incredibly emotionally destroying television anyone can watch. In an article for The Guardian, the show’s creator, Charlie Brooker said “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.”  If it only takes a little bit of clumsiness for us to end up in the world of BLACK MIRROR, I’m never walking again.

is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.  The sheer level of entertainment of its plot lines, its consistently through provoking concepts, the brilliance of its social commentary, the dynamic performances from all of the actors, and its firm grasp on dark subject matter puts this show above anything else that came before it. TALES FROM THE CRYPT was fun, THE TWILIGHT ZONE was intriguing, but BLACK MIRROR is some of the best damn television ever written.
Brooker is eerily aware of how technology and social media are both a vital and invasive part of our lives, but also in tune with the ways it has completely reshaped the way we interact with those around us.  The permanent archives kept online from our loved ones left behind, our incessant need to have concrete evidence of everything we experience, the ways technology forces the hand of important officials, and how we allow social media presences to determine our sense of taste all play an important role in the success of BLACK MIRROR.BlackMirror1x02_1057
Against the suggestion of our comrades at Killer POV, I binge watched the show in a single evening.  I’m still not sure if this was the smartest or stupidest thing I’ve done in a long while.  This show is, for lack of a better word, intense.  It’d be easy to say BLACK MIRROR is just a show about technology, but Brooker uses apps and social media as the needle to draw the blood out of the realities of humanity.  Brooker acts as a modern George Orwell, making humans the victims in this horrific 1984-esque future, regardless if they are ore are not redeeming characters.   Rather, Brooker points the cynical finger at those that allowed technology to take over our lives; governments, corporations, and the modern media moguls.  We as consumers are just pawns in an unfortunate game where we are forced to pass GO, but do not get our $200 dollars.Black-Mirror-008
isn’t a “scary dystopian Skynet” show, but something that weaves a genuine look at the complexities of human interaction.  “Be Right Back” and “The Complete History of You” are two that look at the way technology affects our romantic relationships, and were extremely difficult to sit through.  “The Complete History of You” is downright gut-wrenching, and anyone that has ever experienced infidelity should watch this episode with a shot of Jameson to numb the repressed memories that will be sure to flood back. “Be Right Back” feels like a companion piece to “The Complete History of You,” dealing with the lingering truth that someday, the people we are ‘in a relationship with’ on Facebook are going to die…and the Internet has made it so we will still sort of have a way to keep in touch.  “Fifteen Million Merits” and “White Bear” play on two opposite and horrifying possibilities of the way media exposures can control or punish our every move.  “A National Anthem” and “The Waldo Moment” are two extremely adventurous bookends that show that even the most powerful people in the world (our politicians and our royal families) aren’t safe from the strength of Twitter and instant databases of conversation at our fingertips. Watching all six episodes in a single sitting is a bit overwhelming, but there honestly isn’t a more genuine look at the way humanity is currently functioning, and where we’re potentially heading.  It’s Ray Bradbury for the new millennium, and it’s more than worth watching.  The Christmas special aired recently and I’m not sure when it will be made available stateside, but it can be assumed that the juxtaposition will be enough to leave us all thirsty for more.

One Response to “Now Streaming: BLACK MIRROR”
  1. ken says:

    Better than Twilight Zone? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves Colangelo. Their would’nt be a Black Mirror if it was’nt for Serling’s show!

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