Original Run: December 4th, 2011 – current
Created by: Charlie Brooker
Directed by: various
Written by: various
Music by: various
Zeppotron (2011-2013), House of Tomorrow (2014- ), Endemol UK, Channel 4, Netflix, 19 Episodes, 41-89 Minutes (per episode)
Black Mirror wasn’t a show that I was immediately into when it started. I heard the buzz around it and eventually decided to check it out on Netflix after the second season started streaming there. Shortly after, Netflix took over the show from the UK’s Channel 4, as it was getting a lot of play on the streaming service.
The show is an anthology series, so there are hit and miss episodes. The vast majority of the episodes are pretty stellar though and there or only a couple that I wasn’t into.
The show started out really strong with the episodes that were produced in the early seasons. The third season, the first on Netflix, was pretty solid but slightly down in quality. The fourth and latest season was the weakest and had one episode that I didn’t like in any way.
The gist of the show deals with emerging technologies and possible side effects of their implementation into everyday life. The show takes place in the very near future and most of what is showcased is pretty plausible and already emerging into our world. In a way, it shows the threat that unchecked technological advancements can bring into our lives and society.
Each episode is really well produced and each has its own director and cast. Most episodes have notable directors and actors and this brings a real quality to the show. Every episode looks good, has impressive cinematography and even though different creative teams make each chapter, there has been a visual and tonal consistency over the course of the show’s run. I thought this could have changed when Netflix took it over but they have done a good job, thus far, keeping things aesthetically sound.
Despite its low points, which there are very few, Black Mirror is one of the best shows currently on television. Each season usually has one episode that doesn’t hit the mark for me but that’s not a bad ratio when Netlfix is currently doing six episodes per season.
It’s an important show because it at least tries to warn us about how technology can be perverted and used for more nefarious means. It also brings up morality questions and the potential unintended consequences that can come from these new technologies.