Although the show originally aired on television seven years ago, “Black Mirror” has recently taken the world by storm since being produced by Netflix. The new episodes have brought the television series into the mainstream. What captivates such a large audience is not just how well the show is executed, but how the writers critique the digital age in a creative way.
“Black Mirror”’s title is in reference to the reflective surface of the digital screen and each episode is independent of the others, but addresses technological concerns. Created by Charlie Brooker, the show narrates the tale of our interaction with new technology, how it changes our daily lives and how both are interconnected with nature.
Every television series has moments that are insanely popular while other moments could have been done without. Each episode in the series is standalone so they can be watched in any order the viewer chooses. Here is a list of the five best “Black Mirror” episodes:
“Hang the DJ”
Dating in the modern world is filled with anxieties that were not around in the past. When Frank and Amy sign up for an online dating service that automates everything one does for the duration of a relationship, they are hopeful they’ll find their match. But faced with a series of mismatches, will they ever pair up with each other again?
“Be Right Back”
Imagine a world where a widow could create a faux version of her husband based on aggregated data from all of his social media accounts and upload it into a fake body.
But she quickly realizes that even the closest version of him couldn’t replace her late husband. Tugging on all emotional heart strings, “Be Right Back” reminds us of the value of human connection.
Even with her daughter’s best interest at heart, this mother goes overboard, as she enrolls her daughter in an experimental program that live streams her vision to her mother’s iPad. The program also gave her the ability to censor her daughter’s vision from things like violence. The ability to have that much control over her daughter’s life is the center of Brooker’s analysis of technological advancement in this episode. Once the daughter enters her teen years and her rebellious nature begins to influence her, she doesn’t appreciate her mother’s overprotectiveness in the same way.
In a beachy California town circa 1987, Yorkie, a shy girl and Kelly, an outgoing party animal, build an unlikely friendship that soon turns into a budding romance. However with any love story there is a catch, but is it too much that their love will not prevail? In an episode that questions immorality and death, “Black Mirror” continues to give a compelling twist that viewers would never guest.
“Shut Up and Dance”
Like most teenagers, Kenny finds himself in a sticky situation. Kenny’s secret is videotaped and ends up in hands of anonymous enemies. He is then blackmailed and forced to complete various tasks for his tormentors. Along the way, he finds comfort in a fellow hostage who completes tasks with him. However, the ending of this episode will shock the audience unlike any other.
Charlie Brooker’s technological dystopia allows us to explore a world that could be our reality. Along with providing viewers with a new sense of paranoia on the digital world, the series’s standalone episodes and captivating performances by the cast really come together to create an alluring television series.