I have to set the scene properly for this review. We have to go back to the age of terrestrial television. No Uber, or swiping left for love, no Netflix n chillin, pre Facebook was your friend, Barack Obama was still POTUS and Trump was just a capitalist thug with power, time and money on his hands. This was 2011, the year first series of Black Mirror aired and tramatised us all. After watching the first episode (and then having to wait each week for the next episode- imagine) I remember having that back of the haunting feeling I experienced after first reading 1984.
Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead in 15 Million Merits Episode
The White Bear episode stalked my thoughts for months. I was left questioning, society, my behaviour and how on earth Charlie Brooker could see and predict society with such clarity.
Jump forward a couple of seasons and a president and I hardly recognise the programme. The excellent acting and diverse casting are still there but the morality tales have become more like fairy tales. The brilliance of the previous series was the inability to be judgemental: Black Mirror was in the grey area of morality –
You asked questions that had no clear cut answers.
You wondered how many steps away you were from making the same choices.
You compared your behaviour to that of the characters.
But the most recent series posed none of these questions. It has become Black Mirror’s insta account- it wanted to be liked. The series has gone from a thought provoking self reflection of modern society to a piece of entertainment that we can easily distance ourselves as post reaction clips to youtube. #didyouseeblackmirror
Gugu Mbatha- Raw and Mackenzie Davis in San Junipero
However, that’s not to say that I haven’t generally enjoyed watching the more recent episodes. Even excluding season three classics like Nosedive and San Junipero there are still some stand out moments in season 4.
The Hang the DJ episode, a spin on online dating, left me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside after watching… Which is probably my point, we should look into the Black Mirror and be unnerved by the reflection.
Maybe we just live in such strange times that our reality really is more terrifying the TV.
I’ve probably risked invites to social gatherings for writing this.. but I dedicate the post to anyway who noticed it too but had no safe spaces to say it..😉