The hit TV show Black Mirror is like none other. Drawing themes from old Twilight Zone episodes and mashing them with this generation’s general distrust for technology, Charlie Booker created a disjointed yet extremely interconnected TV series. Each episode is stand-alone, yet ties in with others, even those not necessarily in the same season. Constantly changing, yet retaining similar elements of sinister, almost realistic parodies of human culture, Black Mirror aims to create sleepless nights and terrifying views of the future alike.
Why talk about Black Mirror now? Season three was released just under a month ago, and now that most die-hard fans have formed opinions on it, I feel like it’s fair to talk about it to those who have not yet heard of its magnificence. Season three is significant in that it’s the longest season, with six episodes ranging from 40 to 80 minutes, and the fact that its owners have changed. Originally commissioned for Channel 4, season three is the first group of episodes made for Netflix, with a fourth season on its way from the same team. With Netflix’s backing, Black Mirror is accessible to many more people, which will only serve to heighten its popularity.
All episodes in season three are worth a watch, as even the weakest link is still a strong one. From the parody of social media and cellular culture in “Nosedive,” to the exploration of the consequences that come from creating the ultimate horror game in “Playtest,” the seemingly outlandish episode plots are, upon further consideration, very much possible on the near horizon. Nothing can compare to the shock I felt during “Shut Up and Dance” as it wove its tale of cyber logical havoc, or the confusion-turned-anticipation as “San Junipero” unfolded across 61 short minutes.
A fitting end to Black Mirror as it is now is the last episode of season three, “Hated in the Nation” is a tale of technology gone wrong. It touches on many familiar problems, such as government spying and ecological disasters, as well as the overarching cloud of anonymity. Throughout the episode, the consequences of remaining purely anonymous are explored in great length, with citizens forming a metaphorical and literal hivemind in their quest for justice.
That is not to say that the rest of Black Mirror is weak, but on the contrary, some of the strongest episodes are from the older seasons. Whether you’re looking for an emotional rollercoaster, seeking an experiencing detailing total amnesia, or even wondering how life would be in a post-apocalyptic society where exercise would transform into currency, Black Mirror has you covered.
In short, if you’re looking for a break from the monotony of college life, I recommend watching Black Mirror. It will make you forget about the problems that you’re facing now and focus on existential questions that will keep you up all night. Scratch that—watch Black Mirror when you have plenty of free time to consider your own existence. Trust me. Also, start with the Christmas Special. It’s a great way to ease yourself into the twisted realm of Black Mirror.