Happy New Month everyone, So I wanted to give you guys this post a while ago, but I’ve been so busy, but I wanted to talk to you guys about this new show I’ve been watching called Black Mirror. You might have heard of it these last few weeks. Now this is not a completely new show, Black Mirror is a UK based television show and has been around since 2011, but for some reason everyone has been going crazy over this series. Recently back in I believe September or August my friend she asked me if I’ve ever seen Black Mirror and that we should binge watch it. I said I’ve never seen it, but I couldn’t find any trailers except for the season 3 trailer that came out early October which I will show later on. Me and my friend we wanted to binge the show for the season 3 premiere, now I cannot lie I saw the cover picture for the show and I said I’ve seen this title for this show a million times on Netflix and always skipped over it to watch another show, crazy how things come in full circle.
Now I know if you have heard about this show, you have heard that it is crazy, and bugged out especially episode 1 in Season 1, and that this show makes you never want to use social media again(even though we all still do). This show truly is eye opening and if you aren’t conscience of social media and everything that goes on with the government this show broadens your mind to start accepting maybe so called “conspiracy theorist” are on to something. I want to do something a little different, I don’t want to give you guys an all out review, but I want to show a very interesting concept I found in each season and episode. I believe Black Mirror has a particular amount of themes that the directors and writers are trying to get across and I would like to hopefully touch on what I think they are.
Social Media: Now Black Mirror is an interesting show because it doesn’t just touch on one specific topic like the main objective is to let you understand ok this is what this episode is about but 5 million things will be happening in this one episode because of the main Objective. Now the first theme I wanted to touch on is Social Media. Season 2 touched on the topic a little with “Be right back” since the main character was constantly on what was probably instagram uploading pictures. But we saw Social Media the most in the first episode of Season 3 called “Nosedive”. In this episode we meet Lacie she is your average kind of girl in her 20’s trying to keep up with the world, and fashion and most popular people. But there’s something off about this episode. We see if you get a certain amount of stars or likes the more people are drawn to you and you will socially accepted. Sounds a lot like Instagram and Twitter, but many will say that’s not true. Throughout this episode we see how specific interactions, what people post, who is going out with who determines what you can do in the world.
One important scene is when Lacie meets up with a Social consultant who gives pointers on how to get a 4.5 or higher. if you have a 4.5 or a 4.8 you are classified as one of the elites and a very likeable person but if you are below a 4.2 then you are classified as trash or someone that disrespects the laws. The social consultant tells Lacie it takes about a few years to even get to a 4.5 or 4.8 and that she was a 4.2 and on doing good for herself. I want to bring in the parallel of twitter and instagram and even Facebook these social media outlets a lot of the time dictate how people view other people. Many of us have probably constantly heard “Oh he or she got 1 million followers, they poppin” or “he or she only got 500 followers and he/she post all the damn time and only got 2 likes” As a society we are constantly dictating who is popular and who isn’t even when say we aren’t. If you’ve ever been following specific celebs, or friends for a while and see what they use to post 3 years ago compared to what they post now, compared to also how many followers and likes they have; you see there’s a switch up because they saw how the system works, and also there preferences probably have changed too. We have to see why as a society do we discriminate against people who we think aren’t popular or likeable enough, is it because we as a whole want to be apart of that experience and that person will ask us to join them or do we just see that if you aren’t following this or that trend then you must not be hip to what’s going on.
Love : Love is a constant theme we see in Black Mirror, There is one episode where we see love the most and that’s in “Be Right Back” Season 2. Various episodes deal with the aspect of love but none quite like this episode. In this episode we see a young Hayley Atwell (have a huge crush on her) she plays Martha and Domhnall Glesson who we all know from Harry Potter he plays Ash. Martha and Ash are a young couple who truly love each other and moved to what is Ash’s old house from when he was younger to start over and maybe build a family. Throughout the seasons we see that even Love sometimes can’t hold two people together. That what you, yourself what you think or believe love is, it might actually only be selfishness instead of the actual act of love. In many cases Love is so subtle because it seems everyone got into these prior relationships based off of love, but down the road you see that, maybe it isn’t enough which is heartbreaking . Many people aren’t satisfied with just the notion of having love from a significant other. We clearly see that in “Entire history of you” with the relationship of those two characters. We are very hopefully that love can last forever in episode 4 of Season 3 “San Junipero” with two women on the verge of death find love and comfort with one another.
We see the ups and downs of Love and the act of love, but there is one peculiar thing that I noticed there is a specific song that plays and different characters always sing. it is “Anyone who knows what love is” by Irma Thomas. Various characters in each season sing this song, but what does it necessarily mean? In this song Irma talks about how the world might pity her because of the relationship is in and what she’s been going through. We also see whoever she is in this relationship with blames her, and shames her for everything, but no one sees what she sees in that person. We see this relationship is almost verbally abusive in a way. Maybe the writers wanted different characters to sing this song because of the different situations every character went through from betrayal, and also seeing that love for a certain person is stronger then anything else in the world, even if you know they wrongly accusing you or making you feel less then what you deserve. There can also be a notion that this is false love, that you holding on so hard to a person you love, that is it the fact you really do love that person or stuck to what you only see in them.
Accountability and Exploitation: Now this is a major theme and topic throughout Black Mirror and that is being accountable for your actions and also the exploitation of humanity and what you can make someone do or the length people will go. The very first episode “national Anthem” is a clear example of both themes of how a terrorist group has kidnapped someone and wants the Prime Minister to be responsible for it, and if he does not do what the people demand he has to perform a specific action. In each of these episodes we are thrown into; without warning the idea that this is normal everyday life for each person. But what we don’t know yet is the main cause of why all of this is happening. For example in episode 2 of season 1 “15 Million Merits” we see people who are maybe around 18 all the way up to maybe 20 something are in this facility where they wake up in futuristic kind of rooms, and there daily routine is to ride on these bikes to gain points or money. Now you can use your merits to buy tickets to shows or different advertisements and even get into a show that is similar to American idol. We are introduced to Bing who becomes fed up with this vicious cycle of life.
You can see the writers wanted to show that each person in life should be accountable for what they do even if that means going to extreme measures, to make sure the person never forgets what they did. You clearly see this in ‘White Bear” which I personally think that episode is so traumatizing especially towards the end finding out the truth. This show, exhibits if you are not mindful of your actions and how they effect everyone around you they can come back to bite you. We see exploitation perfectly executed in “Shut Up and Dance” and the length people will go through for information to not be leaked to the public, this episode in particular makes you wonder how many people really are being exploited everyday for things they do not want leaked to family members or to anyone for that matter.
Technology: Technology is one of the biggest concepts or themes in Black mirror, we constantly see Technological advancements similar to that of Minority report. In each episode we see this amazing idea that living in the future technology will better our situations or create almost a shortcut in how we use to do things. my friend after two episodes believed that cameras are the real enemy of this show and she was not far off from what creator Charlie Brooker explained what the title of the show means.
what I took (the title) to mean was.. When a screen is off. When a screen is off, it looks like a black mirror. Because any TV, LCD, iPAD or something like that-if you turn it off it just looks like a Black Mirror and there’s something cold and horrifying about that. It was such a fitting title that, I mean I don’t know what else we would’ve called it. “Spooky technology time”, would’ve been rubbish.
Even Though Technology is used in this show, there is also a big downfall we see in each episode. For example, an episode like “Entire History of you” where each person has a chip implanted into there brain where you can see everything that happened through your life with just the push a button. Now this sounds cool you can play back memories, great for people with Alzheimer right? This takes a brutal downhill spiral when the husband suspects there’s something suspicious with his wife and an old friend at a dinner party. I think the most extreme examples are from Season 2’s season Finale “White Christmas” starring Jon Hamm and also Season 3’s “Playtest” and “Men Against Fire” and also “Hated in The Nation”. I won’t give full reviews on these episodes, but each one depicts a different scenario of how Technology is being used for good, but backfires when finding out the truth the government or motive of the driving force. We have to ask is Technological advancements really the way to go? I mean this show will clearly make you not want to touch social media or be more mindful of what you post and share.
This show will certainly keep you on your toes, and is suspenseful, each episodes goes deeper and deeper into the idea of random events in life. This show doesn’t just subtlety touch on a topic and then switches the whole episode around. No, Black Mirror gives you an in depth look of real life situations, and I believe if you aren’t already conscious of how technology messes with society then this show will completely change your state of mind. I am a lover of British television with shows like Luther, Sherlock, Humans and now Black Mirror. British television pushes the boundaries and dives right into the action it might be slow at first but the detail and information in these shows are amazing. if you have not heard of Black Mirror, definitely give it a try, but I’ll say at your own risk, the show gets crazy. Here is a trailer for Season 3.. see you guys next time