Black Mirror Review

Very few shows tap into our technological paranoia while presenting it in such a realistic manner, however Netflix’s Black Mirror does this and more. If you’re a skeptic of future technologies, this show feeds directly into your skepticism and in most cases, makes it worse. However on the flipside, Black Mirror does a phenomenal job at presenting every topic, no matter how boring, with a strongly written story and beautiful cinematics to back it up. 

Black Mirror , Netflix’s very successful dystopian series, has gathered a cult-like following among the dystopian lovers, and even the average Netflix viewer. This is due to the fact that the show makes a beeline for modern society’s technological paranoia, messing with the heads of the viewers and making the viewers afraid of emerging technology like Amazon’s Alexa and Boston Dynamics’ “Spot” robot dog(both of these technologies being outlined in episodes like seasons five’s “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” and “Metal Head”). Like the rest of the episodes in the series, these follow the same general structure of a Black Mirror episode; A promising piece of tech is shown off or a character has a spotlight shone on them, conflict starts to peek over the horizon for the viewer to see, situational irony emerges so the viewer has more of an insight on what will happen/go wrong, finished off with a downward spiral that leads to a usually unforseen ending that leaves the audience shocked. 

Black Mirror was created by Charlie Brooker and his partner Annabel Jones. The show was directly inspired by shows such as The Twilight Zone, and hence the reason the series followed by becoming an anthological series. Keeping with the anthological theme, the episodes are each different and focus on their respective topics, typically surrounding technology that either exists and explores how it could all go wrong, or explores the future technologies and how they could go wrong. The show started off on British television’s Channel 4 before being bought out by Netflix in 2015. Since its inception into Netflix’s diverse ecosystem, the show has been renewed for 3 seasons and a film, and has been received very well overall by the audience. 

The showrunners for Black Mirror have always aimed to have the show live in a world between reality and dystopia, fear and hope, delight and discomfort. It may seem like a strange position to take on, but Black Mirror seems to have it all figured out. Not only are the technologies presented in a comprehensible fashion, but the cinematics naturally complement the central theme of the episode. This combination allows for an alluring episode to be crafted and aired, and provides a surprising amount of rewatchability due to easter eggs and a high level of attention to detail. When watching an episode of Black Mirror, it’s comparable to watching a movie that sucks you in like you’re in a virtual reality headset. Truthfully it is all so mesmerizing to watch, especially if you appreciate graceful superb cinematics and have an above average understanding of recent technologies. 

In essence, Black Mirror Black Mirror is bleak, and infinitely more cynical about humanity than The Twilight Zone could ever have been, while also presenting breathtaking camera work for the viewers to enjoy and appeal to those interested in technology or, at the very least, the impact of new technology. 

Important quote block from Charlie Brooker: 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, a smartphone.[1]