The Best of ‘Black Mirror’
Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror moved to Netflix after Channel 4 dropped the original, all-too-truth revealing show about modern day life. So much for originality, C4 — can’t wait to see your brand-spanking new baking show.
Be it in the distant future or in a setting quite like today — or tomorrow — or yesterday for that matter, the dystopian-esque show forces us to examine ourselves in ways we never thought we’d have to. Social media and the downward stare at mobile phones are just a couple of the problems today that the technologically harrowing show deals with. And it deals with them well. While there are many episodes to highlight, if you feel up to the biggest reality-check you’ll ever come to terms with in your life, binge them all on Netflix. But this article will narrow down, in my opinion, the best the show has to offer.
Season 3, Episode 1
This one reminds me most of us. The collective us. And by ‘us’ I mean anyone with a social media account. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Any of them — and more.
The sting of social media really stings today.
A sort of Instagram/Facebook outlet that people obsess over: not because they can, but because they need to.
In this episode popularity is money. It’s a desire: a deep desire, and the world bends around it. If you’re popular (online, not in person — no-one cares about individuality anymore) you get the goods: the discounts, the social circles. If you have a low rating — well:
you quite literally have nothing. Not even a home. Have a think about that the next time you post a photo just for the likes. Imagine if it was necessary to get the likes.
‘THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF YOU’
Season 1, Episode 3
Paranoia is an awful thing. Sometimes a drug in itself: imagine being ingrained with a device that allows you to replay every aspect of your life. The arguments you could have, the obsessing you could (and would) do. The past never settling, resurfacing on a daily basis — all at the click of a button. You’d drive yourself insane, surely.
Though in this case it isn’t paranoia. You want it to be, but in the end it takes its toll either way. This grain would be great for solving crimes or weeding out the truth caught between the lies, but as this is Black Mirror and you’ll see: always entertaining, never positive.
‘THE WALDO MOMENT’
Season 2, Episode 3
Have you been following the US Presidential election? Of course you have. Well, you could liken this episode to Trump in some aspects. The point of the episode is to establish a ‘new style of politics’, which you could say is what the US and UK public seem to want, given the controversial votes in favour of both Trump and Brexit.
The episode features a cartoon blue bear named Waldo. He’s everything you want in a crude comedian, but nothing you want in a politician. And yet here he is, running to become an MP in a local constituency. It seems to be a joke at first, but as we all know too well from 2016 -
jokes don’t always have a punch line.
‘SHUT UP AND DANCE’
Season 3, Episode 3
Not exactly happy. Don’t expect smiles. Really. Don’t.
Ever wondered if someone is watching you through your webcam?
This one will make you shut the laptop screen faster than you can say ‘someone is watching me through my webcam’. Or: if you have a desktop, it will make you put your hand over the camera faster than you can say ‘someone is watching me through my webcam’.
As you watch this your mind runs on adrenaline: strangely you envision yourself in the same predicament. You don’t want to. But you do.
It’s the worst kind of emotional blackmail. But heyho, when you see the end it’s a warped take on a vigilante story. Who’s the bad guy? Ask yourself when you watch.
‘HATED IN THE NATION’
Season 3, Episode 6
This is my favourite episode. You get the best of Black Mirror with this one, as well as doses of crime and mystery. It doesn’t disappoint.
Unless I’m easily fooled, this episode gave me more than one jaw-dropping moment. It’s intelligent, witty and dark. The best of Brooker, without a doubt.
It’s hard to say much without giving it away. But you’ll never see Twitter in the same light again. You might never use a hashtag again — and you’ll most definitely SPOILER —
be terrified of bees from here on out.