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Darkness is key: The beauty of Netflix’s Black Mirror

Chris DiLullo, Managing Editor

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Technology is vital to today’s interconnected world. With Snapchat, FaceTime, iPhones, and more, society has never been more and less connected with each other simultaneously. Thus, this paradox of human connection poses the idea, is this influx in technology for the best? British writer Charlie Brooker’s anthology series Black Mirror, a bleak look at the influence and presence of technology in the world, dares to attempt to answer this question.

Originally a British television program that ran for two seasons, Netflix purchased the rights to Black Mirror and has since produced two original seasons, the latest being released on December 29. An anthology series, every episode runs independently from previous works, allowing a viewer to watch episodes out of order without worries of continuity.

Admittedly, I worry about technology’s influence on our lives. I fear we have become overly reliant on these aspects of society and it could, unfortunately, result in dangerous repercussions in forthcoming years. Because of this, Black Mirror immediately carried appeal towards me, not to mention its notoriety for being an excellent show among both television critics and casual viewers.

Where the show succeeds most is in its character study, its development of society amongst the dangers of technology. In my favorite episode, titled “White Christmas,” the analysis of the two different types of individuals within the new technology-driven world is developed to high levels of success. Following two characters confined in a location, the episode quietly reveals technology’s shortcomings on our lives: whether one accepts or rejects the technological advancements, the negative effects from such progression will find their way into life no matter what.

Brooker also utilizes technology in the series as a vehicle to make statements that reflect his stances on society, politics, and humanity in general. Most evident in the final episode of the third season, titled “Hated in the Nation”, Brooker’s commentary on the hate culture that has permeated the online communities is woven together tightly with the dangers of a connected world.

Portraying the evils inside of every individual and the negatives that come with expressing and displaying that on a medium where everything and anything posted can be utilized against you, the show’s bleak portrayal of humanity comes to fruition.

Arguably the most entertaining aspect of Black Mirror comes from Brooker’s adherence to the concept of “the reveal.” Many episodes culminate with a reveal, a twist of some capacity, whether it be of significant magnitude to the plot or simply for the sake of tying up the loose ends within a storyline. Constantly ending episodes in this extremely satisfying manner and leaving the audience fulfilled leads to constant engagement and continued desire to return to the show to be amazed by the next twist.

Black Mirror may seem intimidating at first, as it’s a show described with incredible stakes and the darkness of humanity, which may push away some viewers. However, for the content within, the pure bleakness of Brooker’s view on technology, society, and everything in between, and the twists, turns, and reveals that each episode contains, the program is truly worth your time

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Darkness is key: The beauty of Netflix’s Black Mirror