Hit or Miss: "Black Mirror"
What’s it about?: It’s hard to say what exactly Black Mirror is other than it can be virtually anything. Many have described the series as a modern day Twilight Zone, which each episode being its own standalone story that’s usually based in some kind of science fiction. Yet, Black Mirror is most specifically about our relationship with technology. The worlds and situations of each episode are clearly in a fictional world but one that does not feel too far removed from our own. This new batch of episodes is the second season under Netflix. Previously, Black Mirror was a property of the British network Channel 4; however, the series caught American eyes when episodes became available on the popular streaming service. Since then, Netflix has forged a deal with creator Charlie Brooker to produce new episodes for them, all while offering a greater creative and budgetary freedom than before.
Why This Could Be Good: There few things more exciting in entertainment than the feeling of limitless creativity. You simply feel liberated, being in the hands of a series that could go any number of directions and always manages to surprise you. That level of creativity and discovery is what makes Black Mirror such an exciting series to watch and talk about. Every episode is shrouded in extreme secrecy, allowing the viewer to experience a kind of expectation free unfolding of events that few other shows can match. As the series has moved on, Black Mirror has only gotten more experimental with the kind of stories it can tell. From the look of it, the upcoming fourth season seems to be continuing this trend by having episodes that not only appear as different genres but also holster drastically different visuals than anything we’ve seen before.
Why This Could Be Bad: There are two complaints one could knock Black Mirror for; it’s darkness and the consistency of great episodes. For most viewers, the dark, twisted parables on technology are just part of the package. Only one episode, the season three standout San Junipero, really ends in a “feel good” way. However, if you’re the kind of viewer who recoils at that kind of program, it’s likely the show is not for you. The only other knock one could make against Black Mirror is a lack of consistency. The Show’s first two seasons were only three episodes, with the most recent Netflix season reaching six episodes. However, within every six episodes, there are usually two or three great episodes, one decent one, and a couple that are not really that strong. In the grand scheme of things, there are probably more good episodes than bad but that still does not change the fact that there are bound to be a few that do not land with viewers.
Hit or Miss: I’m saying hit! Even if not every Black Mirror episode manages to be a masterpiece, they are all at least semi-interesting in their construction. If you haven’t seen any of the previous episodes, there are plenty of lists on line breaking down which ones are the standouts. However, there is no shame in simply jumping in head first to the new batch once they drop.