If You Wanted to Feel More Introspective after this Election, Watch Black Mirror.
Since the events of last week, popular TV show Black Mirror has been denying this election as a hoax dreamt up from the minds of their creators.
If you were living under a rock (like me), you didn’t find Black Mirror on Netflix until it released its third series. Which makes me sad to think about all the Black Mirror that I could have been watching intermittently, instead of binging it at all hours of the night.
Black Mirror is a British television anthology that delves into our society’s dependency on technology and what the future could look like if we relied a little too heavy on our mechanic counter parts.
I like to relate Black Mirror to The Twilight Zone, because these episodes really mess with your head, and what you thought was good and bad, or maybe what you thought was bad was good? Who knows!
Each episode follows a different story in a different alternate futureverse, focusing usually on a technological advancement that seems to solve all problems. Before I actually get into plot though, I’d like to add a little something for my film buffs. The. production. value. is. great. quality. Being an actress that has worked in front and behind the camera, I now cannot watch things without looking at the production value. The coloring, the shots and the framing of this show is pretty spot on, and gives so much to the show. Which is just one reason as to why this TV show is so unbelievably good.
Each episode starts you off with something that you think, “Oh my god, why don’t we have that? That would be so useful?”, and then turning it on its head and making you scared for the world.
Take for instance my favorite episode, “Be Right Back”. (Spoilers btw, but honestly, stop reading this, go watch that episode, and come back. You will not regret it.)
We are shown Ash (Domhnall Gleeson, which was a large reason why I love this episode. He’s great.) and Martha (Hayley Atwell), a happy couple that are moving into Ash’s childhood home. He’s a bit consumed with his phone, she’s a bit consumed with him. Flash forward and Ash has died in a car crash and Martha goes into deep grief. To top things off, she finds out she’s pregnant with Ash’s baby. It’s all very soap opera, but wait! There’s more!
Her friend recommends a service to help her cope, which she’s at first really upset by. This service takes all the online content Ash has posted and creates a “new” Ash, which can text Martha and call her. Spooky, but think about it. Help the grieving process, not rip the bandaid off too quickly.
Flash forward again and Martha has become dependent on this new “Ash”, and upgrades her experience to receive a ROBOT ASH. But, like all online version’s of ourselves, it just doesn’t encompass all of who we are. She feels even more alone because now she has this strange version of Ash and he isn’t Ash. It’s sad, heart wrenching and really telling of our online selves vs who we really are.
So, did this plot not make you want to watch all of Black Mirror? (The answer is yes). That episode merely one of many examples of how they present something super helpful and then make you scared because you thought this idea was really good in the beginning. Which is the best/worst part of Black Mirror.
Another thing that really scared/confused me as a consumer of this show is that the technology that they sample COULD PROBABLY EXIST IN TEN YEARS. Like really. If we pulled our heads our of our asses and stopped making iPhones, we could totally create the technology they focus on in their episodes. Do we want to though? After this show, maybe not?
Now that you are informed, watch it, mull over it, watch it again, discuss with others, and think about how this show has really nailed our dependency on technology.