TV Talk with Breanna 2×03: Black Mirror is the Best Satire Series You’ve Never Seen

By Breanna Shiflett

If you follow Netflix on any social media, you’ll know that there is one show that has been dominating their feeds for weeks. Despite beginning in England in 2011, Black Mirror just started to receive huge international praise after being put on Netflix in December, and the conversations have not stopped since. Thousands of people online have been talking about the provocative series for weeks, including author Stephen King and actor Robert Downey Jr, with the latter even stating his interest in making one of the episodes into a film. However, the show could easily be skipped over if you aren’t aware of its genius beforehand, because chances are, you’ve probably never even heard of it.

Black Mirror is an anthology series, but unlike shows such as American Horror Story, which has a different plot each season, Black Mirror has a completely different cast and setting every episode. This can make the show slightly hard to describe as a whole, but the most important thing is the overarching theme that connects each episode. The show deals with the dark side of technology and its effects on the way we live today. Creator Charlie Brooker described the idea behind Black Mirror, questioning how “”if technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side-effects?” It all links back to the title of the series, and though you may not understand it right now, you’re probably using a black mirror at this very moment. Brooker explains, “The ‘black mirror’ of the title is the one 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.” If you’re reading this article on your phone or on a computer, simply lock the screen or turn the monitor off for a moment, and you will reveal the black mirror that you probably stare at for the majority of the day, which was what Brooker really wanted to draw attention to.

As previously stated, Black Mirror can be a little difficult to talk about because each episode is completely different from the rest, besides the fact that they all deal with technology. Most of the actors may be unfamiliar to Americans, with the most recognizable one probably being Hayley Atwell, who stars in the first episode of season two, as well as in Marvel’s Agent Carter. That shouldn’t scare you away, though, as all of the actors are phenomenal and are always able to bring the message of the episode home. The episodes’ plots themselves differ greatly, with their topics ranging from blackmailing the prime minister to artificial intelligence that simulates your deceased loved ones. My personal favorite episode is “White Bear,” the second episode of season two. The episode made my jaw drop on multiple occasions because of how twisted it was, but saying anything more would spoil the mind-boggling surprise at the end.

Even though Black Mirror only has six episodes and a Christmas special (which featured John Hamm), that’s more than enough time for the show to shock you and make you cringe — but for some reason, it’s difficult to look away. The show is definitely a bit twisted, but its satire is so extremely brazen and thought-provoking that it’s impossible to ignore. Of course, Black Mirror isn’t suggesting that we should all abandon technology or that it’s completely evil, but it is hoping to make its audience meditate on technology’s side effects and how it can affect our future if we aren’t careful; a message which the show certainly succeeds in relating.

Black Mirror may be dark and slightly morbid, but it also brings up very serious points about the world we live in today. It is the best satire series you’ve probably never seen, but you can easily remedy that by watching the whole show on Netflix in one sitting (and believe me, once you finish the sixth and final episode, you will absolutely be craving more). Your jaw will drop and you may cringe, but you will certainly think about technology and its effects in a way you never have before.