I guess growing up with Monty Python and having an aunt that was smuggled over from England after World War Two has always given me a soft spot for British television. I also grew up loving anthology shows like "The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, tales From the Darkside, etc.. In this modern world of being able to "binge" watch certain TV series, it is frustrating how they ration it at three or four episodes a season. Especially when it's a show as fascinating and engaging as Black Mirror. If you have Netflix you can see the first two seasons ( six episodes ) and If you like anthology shows with a dystopian sci-fi twist then I highly recommend it.
If you haven't heard about this show yet I'll let the series creator Charlie Brooker explain it to you.
Having never heard of him here in America I had to look this chap up on Wikipedia . Quite an impressive resume according to them-
His writing credits include Screenwipe, Gameswipe, Newswipe, Weekly Wipe, and 10 O'Clock Live. He is also noted for his five-part horror drama Dead Set, which was nominated for the 2009 Best Drama Serial BAFTA,, creator and co-writer of the tragicomedy drama series Black Mirror. He writes a comment piece for The Guardian and is one of four creative directors of the production company Zeppotron. Brooker's style of humour is acerbic, savage, profane, and often controversial with surreal elements and a consistent satirical pessimism.He won the 2009 Columnist of the Year award at the British Press Awards, the 2010 Best Entertainment Programme Award for Newswipe from the Royal Television Society, and has received three British Comedy Awards: Best Newcomer in 2009, Best Comedy Entertainment Show Award for Newswipe in 2011, and Best Comedy Entertainment Personality in 2012.
The show originally aired in 2011 and 2013 with two separate three show seasons and a Christmas special starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men) which i had to watch on Youtube.
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) liked the show so much that he optioned the movie rights for one episode "The Entire History of You"
The shows provocative, inventive story telling warns us of the possibly devastating effects of technology on the modern human condition. As Rod Serling used to say "Imagine if you will" devices that are implanted in your head that make it possible to rewind and view every experience you've ever had as if it was happening again in front of your eyes or on a TV or computer screen for others. It's both compelling and disturbing to see two people having sex while they use their devices to relive making love to two other people in a virtual reality.
In the new world order of corporatocracy that these various episodes seem to represent there is a kind of cynical, satirical realization that these nightmares aren't very far off from today's world. For example
Ep. 1- "The national Anthem" A cyber terrorist kidnaps a princess to force the PM of England to have sex with a pig on live TV
Ep. 2 - "Fifteen Million Merits" People ride exercise bikes to earn merits and the only way out is to get on a TV show ala American Idol or make pornography.
Ep. 3- :The Entire History of You" See above
Ep. 4- "Be Right Back" Where a woman recreates her dead husband based on all his online postings.
You get the idea each episode has different casts, realities, and locations that keep the show interesting and thought provoking. The Christmas special with Jon Hamm what can I say except that I wish that was on Netflix too (shh Youtube) . Just imagine if you could actually block people in real life or take cookies from their minds in order to send them into an alternate reality.
Brooker handles these situations with a great balance of not only wit and moral outrage but also a great deal of humanity making the viewer feel right at home with these maybe not so far into the future alternate realities.
Definitely twisted tales for the social media age.
" 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." - Charlie Brooker
You can stream the shows original six episodes into your own Black Mirror thanks to modern technology and Netflix