Black Mirror is a British science fiction anthology series available for streaming on Netflix similar to The Twilight Zone focusing primarily on technology-related stories. Season one debuted with three episodes which are rated and reviewed in this post.
The show was originally available on Channel 4 in the UK. It ran two seasons and then was picked up by Netflix where subscribers can see today.
“The National Anthem” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Episode #1 – Original Airdate: December 4, 2011
Princess Susannah has been kidnapped and the ransom demanded is that the Prime Minister have sex with a pig live on television. Will he or won’t he do it? And if he does do it, how will those watching feel? All kinds of darkness here. The best of the first season.
“Fifteen Million Merits” ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Episode#2 – Original Airdate: December 11, 2011
People work a stationary bike watching various TV shows all day long collecting “merits” and are subjected to forced ad watching. Heavier people are forced to work in more menial jobs. There is a reality game show mining every day people for talent. Has a very grinding, dark existence. Who would want to live in a world like this? The protagonist Bing tries to help a woman get noticed for her talent. Entertaining, yet depressing.
“The Entire History of You” ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
Episode #3 – Original Airdate: December 18, 2011
What if everything you saw and did was recorded and instantly replayable through a memory implant? A man obsesses over what he thinks is his wife’s adulterous behavior. Is what he’s seeing and replaying what it looks like? A reminder that even if everybody had this technology, maybe some visions are not what they seem — or are they. Makes you really think how technology can divide people in a relationship. Good one.
Season One Overall Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
The stories are dark, compelling and thought-provoking. Some of the episodes are longer than necessary, with perhaps too much padding to reach a specific number of required minutes. This could be a totally amazing anthology show if they will tighten up in future seasons. Overall, a solid entertaining anthology show with a good technology hook that makes it different than others.
Also find it interesting that a single writer, Charles Brooker, is writing all the Black Mirror episodes. Rod Serling was responsible for major writing output on The Twilight Zone and many of the very best episodes he wrote. It’s great having multiple writers, but I think the series creator has the singular vision and it’s often helpful to these show’s quality seeing heavy output from the creator.