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Another Look into the Black Mirror

A look back on a Sci-Fi classic America almost missed out on…

Dystopian and Orwellian futures are nothing new to British science fiction. If you follow the news, you might even learn that fiction has given way to fact in some pretty spooky ways. It has become increasingly more difficult to remain private and hide from the beast with a billion electronic eyes. And, of course, there’s no denying how much our own daily lives have been changed by the influx of technology.

Charlie Brooker explored the horrific ramifications of too much tech in his anthology series Black Mirror. Utilizing contemporary notions of everyday technology and media, and his trademark satirical style, Brooker challenged the world we live in today. Bold and innovative, the series was taken up by countries all over the world including Australia, Sweden, Hungary and China.

Despite the popularity of the series, however, it has only recently made its way to the United States, and is currently only viewable on Audience Network . That being said, if you’re living in the States, this might just be your first time hearing about this ground-breaking, sci-fi series. With a new series being strongly hinted at, it’s never been a better time to get acquainted with this darkly brilliant drama.

In a nutshell…

Black Mirror has been likened to The Twilight Zone in terms of its anthology format and the shocking twists that always leave the viewer hungry for more. There is no continuity between the episodes in terms of plot or character and the only thing shared is a certain sense of dread.

blackmirror2The series looks at technology…or rather, the ease it allows, not as a luxury but a drug. In a world where children in elementary school are walking around with pocket-sized personal computers, it’s hard not to imagine the unforeseen consequences of all this technology. These are the consequences explored in each episode.

Journeying through the Black Mirror…

When you first start watching Black Mirror, it might feel like something you’ve heard and seen before. Ostensibly, it might feel like another ageist attack on the millennial geeks and their fanatical adherence to smartphones and social media, until you get deeper into it. That’s when you realize Black Mirror isn’t so much a cautionary tale but a call for human beings to remember their humanity.

blackmirror3Episodes explore various aspects of the technological infrastructure that has become our daily lives. How easy it is for people to lynch and crucify one another in digital arenas and use their tech until it filters every piece of human speech into ironic and meaningless sound bites. How monstrous it must seem that the idealized image of a person is the pinnacle of our engagement with them as an individual. Indeed, what is there left of humanity when all of our discourse and interaction is filtered into nothing more than baseless apps and acts?

However, it’s not the users or the technology itself that Brooker is holding accountable – it’s the companies and corporations. It’s the syndicates and the businesses that see the users as nothing more than notches in a binary bedpost, a statistic for business. The ones who cheapen our ostensibly passionate arguments and discussions by trivializing them through the use of apps and tech – things that invite the user to unknowingly and mentally punch out.

Black Mirror is a journey into the bleak and darkest recess left in the absence of humanity…

A much-needed return…

There have been rumblings of Black Mirror‘s return and Brooker is certainly ready to re-enter the ring. No doubt, he will find plenty to work with in light of recent events in the world of surveillance. While the series might come off as cynical, the message is more of a hopeful call to humanity.

Technology is everywhere – there’s no getting away from it. We are closer than we ever were before because of it and, as a result, our dealings – be they kind or spiteful – have far-reaching and more intimate ramifications than we realize.

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