If there's one show to look out for against all others, it's "Black Mirror."
Ever heard of "The Twilight Zone?" It was a show from decades ago that explored science fiction gone wrong, and "Black Mirror" took that general topic and focused on technology specifically. It's got perfect timing too, considering humans' dependence on our cellphones, laptops and other gadgets grows by the second. If you're someone who loves science fiction or just wants a show to watch while you look for others, "Black Mirror" is the right show to make you think about what would happen if technology turns its back on us.
So if you're ready to start watching, here are the episodes of "Black Mirror" ranked from worst to best.
"Metalhead" is a season four episode in complete black and white, centered around a lady in a barren land who runs from a metallic, dog-like contraption. Now, I watch the episodes in order of how they show up on the episode list, so I had already heard the terrible critiques about this episode before I saw it. I prepared for the worst, lowering my standards as much as I possibly could for a "Black Mirror" episode, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough to combat how terrible this episode was.
There was no plot or meaning to it, and everything happened without an proper explanation. Even weeks after watching it, I can't count the number of questions I still have. I can't spoil much, but I can say that if you want some white noise in the background while you're working, this is the perfect episode to "watch."
18. "Fifteen Million Merits"
"Fifteen Million Merits" had a really good concept, but I didn't find the ending to be as interesting as I thought it would be. You'd expect the main character to want to fight the system, which is what he planned to do the whole time. Although I am surprised at the ending itself, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm happy with it. I did notice that the main character does have a shard of glass that you will find to be very important in the episode, and it was an interesting connection to the broken glass you see during the title screen of each episode.
17. "The Waldo Moment"
This was a pretty pointless episode. Considering "Black Mirror" is about technology, I didn't really see the connection "The Waldo Moment" had. I get that the guy used an animation to hide himself behind when making satirical remarks, but I found it to be more political and humorous instead of emphasizing technology's role. It's an entertaining episode, but it's not for most fans of the show.
16. "Shut Up and Dance"
Not a huge fan of this (as you can already tell). When you're watching "Shut Up and Dance," it makes sense, but it's an uncomfortable episode to watch. There were also a few moving parts that didn't make too much sense, but that could have been because I was so bored with it that I tuned out for a bit. I don't plan on watching it again, but all I can remember are a boy, his phone and a cake. Nothing else seemed important to me.
15. "The Entire History of You"
The episodes start to get a bit interesting from here. They're not at their tip-top shape, but "The Entire History of You" sets the bar for articles that start to get good. Almost every person in this episode uses a device located behind the ear to record all of their memories and rewind them to play them again. Unfortunately, the main character finds secrets using these memories that change him for worse. If you have a little bit of free time to sneak in one episode, this is a good one to watch.
Some parents let their kids roam freely and learn the world on their own, and others like to know what their children are doing every second of the day. Directed by Jodie Foster, "Arkangel" focuses on one mom who uses a program that lets her see the world from her daughter's perspective.
After realizing how much her child is missing out on the world because of her controlling nature, she turns off the program, only wanting to turn it back on after seeing what her daughter has become. I really liked this episode, but there was one part that disturbed and angered me at the same time; when violence came into the picture and was the daughter's only solution, she used it to distance herself from her own mother.
13. "Men Against Fire"
Not too shabby near the middle. I stopped at the beginning of "Men Against Fire" (before the good part) because I was really bored. But I should've realized what makes almost all "Black Mirror" episodes good: the twist. Forgetting about that, I pushed off watching the rest until I couldn't remember that I hadn't finished. Thankfully, I finally did finish this, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ending was fine, but the middle section of the episode (when things go wrong for the main character) was the best part.
This one is pretty memorable because of how simple it was. And while it was so simple, its story was intricate and was developed very well. Just like "The Entire History of You" let you see your memories when you wanted to, detectives in "Crocodile" use a machine to see your memories when attempting to piece together parts of an investigation. And though the main character has nothing to do with the detective's case, her appearance in the scene of the mishap causes the detective to wonder why. Try watching this one; it's pretty interesting how the pieces come together. It's a whole mystery within itself.
11. "White Bear"
I really loved this episode, even if it wasn't my favorite. Imagine waking up one morning with no recollection of what happened the previous night that led up to where you currently are. Your head hurts, you're confused and you want to know what's going on and how to go home. You go outside, and people take pictures of you. They chase you with their phones in their hands, and you have to run to save yourself. Imagine fearing for your life and not knowing why. I can't spoil the episode, but you'll have to see for yourself what makes "White Bear" stand out.
10. "Be Right Back"
This one warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. If you had the option to bring a robotic version of a loved one to life after your loved one passed away, would you take it? The main character in "Be Right Back" does, and the heartbreaking story shows that no matter how close you get to recreating the one you lost, you'll always want the real person back in your life.
9. "White Christmas"
"White Christmas" is longer than (I believe) all other episodes in the show, so watch this one when you know your schedule is free. Pay close attention to the smallest of details because they do make a reappearance toward the end. This is similar to "White Bear" (hopefully that wasn't a spoiler) because you have to wait until the very end to piece together the puzzle. Christmas is associated with happy stories and a sense of community, but this episode involves tragic accounts of Jon Hamm's character's past and feeling lonely.
8. "Hang the DJ"
This was one of the sweetest episodes of the entire show. Think of a dating service that pairs you with another person on the system until it finally finds the right person for you to spend the rest of your life with. The problem is that you keep getting paired to the same person again and again, and you want to know if they're the one. I can't say any more without spoiling, but if you're looking for a wholesome episode that won't tear you apart, "Hang the DJ" is the right choice.
7. "San Junipero"
This was another cute story, but I personally feel that "San Junipero" is a bit overrated. Basically, you can live in a city called San Junipero, a place where there are no regrets, and everyone has fun. But sometimes, people think too much and become too attached. To others. This is a love story (just like "Hang the DJ"), but you have to be 100 percent focused to understand the plot. It's slightly complicated, but it's worth it.
6. "Hated in the Nation"
I can't believe I accidentally skipped over this episode. "Hated in the Nation" doesn't give away anything about the ending, but it does set the stage for what you should be watching for. There are certain celebrities that each person despises, and some are generally disliked more than others. Imagine all of the most-hated celebrities in the country suddenly passing away for no reason. Now, just like the detectives in the episode, ask yourself, "Why?" I recommend watching this episode right before heading to bed because it makes you think a bit.
It's been a while since I saw "Playtest," but watch this in the daytime if you get scared easily. I believe this is the only episode in all four seasons so far that includes jump scares, so prepare to be spooked. If you were in a game where everything is right in front of you, what if you what you see would normally put you in danger? It wouldn't be able to hurt you, right?
4. "The National Anthem"
Although the first episode of the whole series, this was definitely the weirdest. "Black Mirror" did not fail to start of the show with a bang with "The National Anthem." I can't explain the episode without being weirded out again, but if you have a strong stomach, this is worth watching and truly understanding.
3. "Black Museum"
This was a season four fan-favorite, but I didn't like it as much as I like "USS Callister," maybe because my expectations were too high. "Black Museum" was really interesting because the museum held different parts of "Black Mirror" history that viewers would understand after watching select other episodes in the show. I recommend watching this near the end of your "Black Mirror" binge so you can understand some of the references to previous episodes.
2. "USS Callister"
I was really worried about watching "USS Callister" because it was the first episode of season four, and I didn't want my impression of this one episode to ruin the rest of the season. I distinctly remember pressing play, sitting down to work and somehow finding myself 10 minutes later glued to the television screen. I could not take my eyes away from this episode, and as someone who considers herself more of a "Trekkie" than a "Star Wars" fan, this episode blew me away. I was so upset when it ended that I told myself I'd watch it again the next day. And once again, it amazed me just as much.
I cannot stress how much I love "Nosedive." I could watch it 100 times and never get tired of it. I was already a fan of Bryce Dallas Howard when I started watching, but seeing her in the episode made it even better. This episode is basically Instagram gone wrong. Instead of leading a better life based on your income, others' approval of you determines where you deserve to live, who you should be friends with and how much "money" you have. You have to be "well-liked," and that leads people to be fake. Everyone comes with a breaking point, and when Howard's day in the episode is a series of downhill events one after the next, she ruins her whole life.