Black Mirror — Thoughts on Season 416 Jan 2018
Black Mirror is an excellent show. It is refreshing to find creative works that aren’t part of arc, or just pushing a sequel on you. The anthology genre is one that could use a revival (although maybe Black Mirror isn’t an anthology after all). But my favourite thing about Black Mirror isn’t that it’s good television, it’s that it makes me think. The best episodes of Black Mirror are the ones that ask a question of the viewers, or critique an aspect of society. These episodes have two facets, the Black and the Mirror. The Black is the dark, either twisted or un-examined, aspect of society the episode focuses on. The Mirror is a technology that differs from the world we know, the tool used to drive the question. Unfortunately, not all of the episodes in this season fit into this model. However, I’ll do the best I can to answer either the question the episode is asking, or the question I would’ve asked if I had created that episode. If Black Mirror is asking a question then we should respond, at least to ourselves. Other science fiction I have loved, like the Blade Runner movies or Ender’s Game (the book), needs to be unpacked; stories that get richer as you peel back the layers. To do science fiction justice we need to actually live in that world, to live with the fears and questions of the people of that world. That is what I want to do in this series, to live in these worlds and allow myself to be challenged by the questions that they ask. Fair warning, sometimes to fully consider an episode it needs to be compared against other episodes. If you are reading this I assume you have seen every Black Mirror episode or you don’t care about the themes of the ones you haven’t seen.