Synopsis: Black Mirror is a science fiction anthology by Charlie Brooker, covering topics relating to our ever-growing obsession (and its consequences) with technology. Our dependence on social media, for example, is covered in different variations over three seasons.
Brooker uses dark themes and imagery in his stories, creating a higher sense of urgency to act by the viewer. Brooker chooses in several titles to play on our fear of advancement and dependency to bring his messages to life.
The episodes are approximately 1 hour each, and take place either in an alternative present, or a near future.
Each episode has a different cast, setting, and sometimes a different reality.
Outlook: When I first saw Black Mirror come up on Netflix, I saw a women in a mirror practicing her smiling. I checked out IMDB for a trailer, but for whatever reason it didn’t sit well with me.
Quite literally years later, I clicked ‘Play’ just to give it a whirl. To me, Brooker’s Black Mirror is the best science fiction I have seen on television since Battlestar Galactica, or the X-Files. I binged the entire 3 seasons in 2 days. Granted, the first season only had 4 episodes, but I was hooked.
Black Mirror episodes stay with me for days. I constantly think about them in a myriad of ways. Whether it be a different conclusion, or comparing them to our modern world. Brooker has a way of showing me an idea that I had trouble putting into words. A brilliant writer, and to have so many theories about our future all based around technology is fantastic to see not only as a viewer, but a fan of science fiction.
One episode in particular entitled Playtest has been on my mind constantly. The only time I can push it out of my mind is when I pick up a book. The episode has many different levels of thought. Experiments, futurism, addiction, exploration, trust, and fear.
Other episodes focus more on modern society or satirical themes. What if society chose the punishment for a crime? A tale of torment revolving around the old adage “an eye for an eye.”
Brooker’s work reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”.
Brooker has been slated to begin writing Season 4. He warns that Season 4 is even more intensive, dark, and truthful. Whether this is a marketing ploy or not, we will have to see.