Review: A Reflection on Black Mirror
Black Mirror centralises around the possible consequences of technology. It always leaves you on the edge of your seat, wondering if you should throw your phone away and delete your social media while you still have the chance and with Black Mirror moving to Netflix, who wasn’t excited to see what the budget could lead to?
For the first episode of an anticipated season, I was expecting it to be as intense as the previous season’s episodes. Nosedive was no one’s favourite episode. That’s not to say it was bad; it was just incredibly lacklustre. Imagine a world where everyone is rated out of five stars; you can rate your friends, strangers in a street, you can rate people anonymously, and you can down-rate people. All of this adds up to your score and determines your life. Let’s hope Instagram doesn’t get any ideas.
Moving on to Playtest, Brooker took things up a level. Things were looking like Black Mirror again: advanced technology? Check. Gore? Check. Plot twists to have you gripping your seat? Check. The future of videogames? Well, I hope not.
Shut Up and Dance was intense from the start. It wasn’t a matter of high-tech, future technology, but of webcam hacking and blackmailing people with the threat of their darkest secrets dangling on the line. It was explosive, it was terrifying; it will leave you feeling sea sick, but it’s worth a watch. It certainly felt like the ‘classic’ Black Mirror everyone was desperate for.
After Shut Up and Dance, Netflix swiftly moved you onto San Junipero. This one did not seem like an episode of Black Mirror, and that’s not a bad thing. The technical side of things wasn’t explained until the end, when revelations begin. For the most part, it’s nothing more than a gentle romance between two girls. It’s simple, it’s filled with aesthetically pleasing 80’s club scenes, and, if anything, it’s relaxing in comparison to the last episode—something you may be in need of.
If I’m being honest, I forgot Men Against Fire even happened until I realised I was missing an episode. I’ll leave my comment on that as it is.
If you’re not feeling exhausted after watching five hours of this season, then settle down for an extended episode when Black Mirror concludes with Hated in the Nation. As an extended episode and the season finale, it definitely had a lingering affect. Bees are dead; mechanical bees are doing bees’ jobs; people are voting on who should die via Twitter hashtags. You don’t need to watch this episode to picture this version of reality, but you should, because it was executed beautifully.
Overall, Black Mirror continued to ruin technology for me in the best way possible. This season had an unsettled pacing; undoubtedly, some episodes were above others. As a season, it’s certainly binge-watch worthy.