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Black Mirror review

by Jordyn Selznick, Sports Editor

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Rating: 8.9/10

Directors: Tim Van Patten, Colm McCarthy, David Slade, and John Hillcoat

Starring: Hannah John-Kamen, Jon Hamm, Hayley Atwell, Daniel Kaluuya, and Toby Kebbell. (And many more)

Release date: December 4, 2011

MPAA Rating: TV-MA

 

As technology continues to have a stronger hold on modern life as the days and weeks roll by, film makers and television producers are more eager than ever to discuss the effects of technology through their medium. The British science fiction anthology, Black Mirror, that viewers can watch on Netflix, aims to take on the subject of modern technology, creating a thought provoking social commentary for all who watch.

Episodes tackle the downsides of technology and the precarious, cynical nature of the human condition. In short, the screen that so many of us are addicted to serves as a black mirror, reflecting back the worst of ourselves.

The series does not have a continuing storyline or recurring characters, and each episode stands on its own as a glimpse into the future or imaginary scenario of the present. There are four seasons in total, and no talks of a fifth season have been had. Season one came out in December of 2011, season two in February of 2013, season three in October of 2016 and season four just recently in late December of 2017. Season one and two only have three, one hour episodes each while seasons three and four boast six one hour episodes each.

Without giving much away, viewers can expect season one to focus on how technology can push individuals to go to unprecedented lengths to expose the baseness of others.  Episodes like “15 Million Merits” display humans as slave like creatures to technology’s vices and who can only escape by severe and sometimes deadly means. Season two is intent on uncovering the flaws of future artificial intelligence, while season three explores how technology forces humans to quantify one another and put a price on the human experience. In these seasons, episodes such as “Nosedive” hit close to home as elements of current daily life such as smartphones and social media are taken to an extreme degree. Viewers can see in their mind’s eye how a dystopian existence can blossom out of current social elements.

Prepare to be blown away once again in season four, which revolves around the notion of technology’s power to overpower other humans.

Critics and viewers are praising the series for being brave enough to tackle such serious topics like technology’s dark side. Personally, I have yet to go a few days without someone asking me if I’m watching Black Mirror; My family and I have even made after dinner gatherings a time to come together and dive into yet another chilling episode. Not only has this been fun, but it has sparked great conversations about current issues and the consequences of unbridled technology. I suggest you and your friends or family do the same!

While some may state that this series is “binge-worthy,” be careful. Certainly, each episode keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with twists and turns and unexpected endings for its characters. However, the episodes of this Twilight Zone style series, where one topic is broached while taking viewers inside an alternate reality, is very thought provoking and sometimes disturbing; you may want to take a few deep breaths after each one or spend some time thinking about these serious ideas before looking back into that black mirror.

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Black Mirror review