It’s no secret that this is the Golden Age of television. There are more shows than ever these days, and so many of them are actually good. Like crazy good. Of course, there are the best of the best such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Stranger Things, and my husband and I certainly try to get through a fair amount of these groundbreaking shows.
But then there’s Black Mirror, the show that stuck with us in a way no other show has done.
Black Mirror is a British tv show. There have been three seasons, but the show only has had thirteen episodes total. Each episode is completely stand-alone, and they vary in length. Charlie Brooker, the series creator, once wrote that “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy. And if there’s one thing we know about mankind, it’s this: we’re usually clumsy.”
However, I didn’t know all this when I started watching the show. My co-worker, Lisa, highly recommended it to me one day and I figured I’d give it a try. We started with an episode called “Nosedive” starring Bryce Dallas Howard and never looked back.
This show really examines what our world can become in the future if technology gets out of control. It covers everything from public shaming and the need for constant approval on social media to drones and government surveillance and manipulation. It examines our obsession with Facebook and Twitter, along with our fixation with our own “black mirrors,” which Booker defines as what “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.”
I can’t say anything else because I just don’t want to spoil it: Every episode has a slow build. Even 15 minutes in, you’re sometimes still wondering, “Where are they going with this?” It is always worth the wait. No spoilers here!
So why should you watch it? (Other than the fact that it is so good!) This is one of the first shows I’ve seen that really seems to depict what our futures hold if we’re not careful. And these issues we might face can certainly have legal ramifications down the road.
Some episodes were so intense and thought-provoking that I found myself thinking about them days later. Which ones? Everyone has their favorites, but “Nosedive,” “The National Anthem,” “San Junipero,” “Hated in the Nation,” and “White Christmas” (starring Jon Hamm, by the way) are my votes for not only the best Black Mirror episodes, but some of the best television I’ve seen in years.
Take a look and let me know your favorites. Trust me, this is one show you’ll definitely want to discuss the next day.