The Dystopian World of Black Mirror

Black Mirror

Black Mirror from IMDB

I just binge watched both seasons of this on Netflix yesterday. Each season is only three episodes, so I didn’t feel too guilty. I don’t think I have been as hooked on a TV show since Game of Thrones.

Black Mirror is British series that has been compared to a modern-day Twilight Zone. I love the Twilight Zone so this is right up my alley. The twist is that all of the episodes feature technology we may have in the near future, or even have now. This makes the story lines follow a “new technology is evil/science is bad” trope. However, the technology itself is not the issue. The story lines revolve around human nature and how we humans twist these technologies to our own base devices. In the show the technology is just there. The focus is not on developing the technology or destroying it, but an individual’s personal experience with it and society.

from studiotv.com

I was not too enticed by the premise at first, but in the first few minutes of watching I was hooked. The delivery of this production is top-notch. The visuals are beautiful and haunting. There is a sense of desperation in each episode. The acting is excellent. Each episode had me enraptured and guessing until the end.

from theguardian.com

Every episode was excellent in a different way. My husband stated that some of the episodes had a David Lynch-type feel. The big difference is that, unlike anything by David Lynch, each episode was wrapped up at the end and I as a viewer felt satisfied with the conclusion. Nothing ended with “It was all just a dream!” or any rubbish like that. None of the endings were of the feel-good sort that left one feeling all fuzzy inside, either.

I wanted to call this show Lovecraftian (because I love to relate everything back to him!).  However, there is no cosmic horror. There are no creatures beyond time and space causing the protagonist to go insane. Sure, people are going insane, but only due to the dealings with technology, society, or their own thoughts.  In Black Mirrors our culture is scarier and more disgusting that any entity from out of time. Like a Lovecraftian tale, the stories have unhappy endings. I can see similarities in a few of HPL’s tales. In  “Rats in the Walls” the protagonist has gone insane due to finding out what his ancestors, and then himself are capable of.  “Herbert West: Re-animator” shows technology/science gone wrong and the main character unable to reconcile the horror of his past. Like a Lovecraft tale, each episode of Black Mirror often focuses on an individual and their personal torment with dealing with something that their mind cannot reconcile with.

My two personal favorite episodes were “Fifteen Million Merits” and “White Bear.” I don’t want to discuss these in too much details as to do so would reveal spoilers! I saw that a Christmas special was just released and can’t wait to watch it. Everything I like is made in England!! Hopefully I’ll be able to see this new episode soon.

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