Black Mirror review

I love British television series, especially the comedies—Alan Partridge, The Mighty Boosh, Snuff Box—but Black Mirror is my new favorite anthology show.

Similar to The Twilight Zone and The Phone Company, each episode of Black Mirror follows a different story centered around the dark, technological future of humankind. Overall, season 1 and season 2 are both stellar, but two episodes in particular stand out.

“The National Anthem” Season 1

In this political thriller, a kidnapper threatens a princess’s life unless the prime minister has sexual intercourse with a pig on live TV; when the story hits YouTube, social media begins to sway the political response to the kidnapping. This is, by far, my favorite episode. It’s dark, tense, and, at times, hilarious, and its statement about public opinion, politics, and voyeurism is subtle and sharp.

“Be Right Back” Season 2

In this more intimate drama, a bereaved woman loads her dead boyfriend’s personality, pictures, and video files into software that can call her on the phone using his voice. This episode plays with the idea of mindclones, but takes it to the next frightening level. The characters are likable and well-drawn, and the suspense is hair-raising. It begs the question, “What does it really mean to be human?” and it explores whether our online personalities are multi-dimensional enough to truly recreate us. Where do they surpass us, and where do they fall short?

Sometimes awe-inspiring, sometimes funny, but always brutally dark, Black Mirror shows us a reflection of who we are, and who we’ll become when technology takes over. I highly recommend it. On Netflix and Amazon.

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