In its first launch in 2011, “Black Mirror” was an unknown treasure that lurked on British airwaves. Now, it has become an international sensation commissioned by Netflix. “Black Mirror” is a science fiction anthology series masterminded by Charlie Brooker. The show focuses on the relationship between humans and personal technology, and technology’s disastrous effects on individuals and possibly the entire world. “Black Mirror” is incredibly dark and its focus on the consequences of technology makes individual plots relatable and shocking. In October 2016, Netflix released “Black Mirror”’s newest season and it is by far the best season yet, potentially surpassing other current sci fi or films.
First, to prime those who’ve never heard of “Black Mirror”, let’s review how intense the show can be. In its first episode of season one, the British prime minister must choose between having sex with a pig to save a princess or allow the much-loved royal family member to die and risk his position. In season two, a foul-mouthed cartoon character with no filter and brutal honesty runs for office. Another episode in season two follows a recently widowed woman who uses a software to communicate with her dead husband. Things obviously don’t turn out well.
Now, season three brings with it new plots and perspectives on how technology influences lives. For those who do follow the series, get ready to be sucked into the new season. Season three explores themes about justice, love, war, social acceptance and much more. The first episode, for example, is set in a world where everyone is obsessed with their social media rating, which is calculated through likes. This “score” determines everything about someone’s life, from income to the type of neighborhood one can live in. Therefore, this forces everyone to document their entire lives and fake smiles and joy to others in order to maintain a higher score.
Unlike previous episodes, season three balances the depressing themes with some light-hearted ideas. Episode three, titled “San Junipero,” explores the possibility of therapy for older patients which allows them to bring their consciousness into a previous time zone such as the 80s. This episode, which also happens to be my favorite, is predictable, but it’s a big relief from the rest of “Black Mirror”.
“San Junipero” is the main reason why season three is by far the best season yet. Although it was only one episode, the sudden break from the usual death and sadness of “Black Mirror” brought back hope for the relationship between humans and technology. The episode showed that if used properly, technology can advance a connection between individuals and even be an avenue for newfound love.
“Black Mirror”, in general, focuses on the detrimental consequences between humans and technology. Although it does get depressing, the storyline, writing and visuals make the show worth binge watching. In addition, in each episode Brooker weaves technology fluidly which causes the show to be even more chilling.
Because of this flawless unison between humans and technology, “Black Mirror” allows the audience to think about why bad things turned out the way they did. In each episode, it’s not easy to pinpoint what or who made the mistake.
This is a prominent theme that Brooker wants audience members to struggle with. It’s possible that having such advanced technology is terrible for humans. At the same time, with episodes in season three such as “San Junipero” or even “Men Against Fire,” Brooker shows that having the ability to connect with technology is as important as connecting without it.
I can’t recommend “Black Mirror” enough to anyone who is looking for a good show to be obsessed with.