When was the last time that you sat and watched a show that had a new story line with new people every single episode? Throughout the episodes, you are introduced to a new story, and new people every episode. The only thing that they have in common is the unanticipated consequences of new technology. The creator, Charlie Brooker noted that "each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy." Its critical acclaim is spreading worldwide as more people tune into the wonderful worlds of Black Mirror.
Personally, I have to say that this show has caught my attention and I have been completely and utterly distracted by this crazy and mind boggling show. It makes me uneasy about my future and all of technology yet I can’t stop watching it.
Charlie Booker comments on the inspiration for the dark title, stating that, “If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The 'black mirror' of the title is the one you'll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone."
The entire show is based around our modern technology and how it can take over our world if it is abused. For example, the second episode of season one, “Fifteen Million Merits,” where the people of this ‘modern era’ have to cycle to gain financial ‘merits.’ These merits are used to avoid interruptions throughout everyday activities. Even though this feels like a very modernistic era, you also get a feel that this is in our future. One of the main downsides of this society, is that overweight people are second-class citizens and are treated inhumanely, while they are abused and humiliated in game shows, or while cleaning up after the ‘first-class citizens’. The main character of this episode is a quiet man Bing, who has accumulated over 15 million merits during his time in the program. To get out of the slave-like lifestyle they can choose to go to an X-Factor-like show where they can showcase their talents. Bing makes a friend, Abi who he thinks should go and perform her singing ability. When the judges humiliate her, by saying she is great but they do not need anymore great singers, she is told that if she wants to she can escape the cycling-slave-like life and perform on a sex-inspired show. When Bing gets wind of Abi’s performance on her new show he becomes outraged [and tries to break the cell he is in, the only thing he manages to get from this is a shard of glass] by the judges and works to get to the stage himself and “perform.” When he works himself back up to the 15 million merits, he goes to the stage to “dance,” but at the end of his outrageously poor dance, he pulls out the shard of glass and holds it to his neck and rants about the abuse of the program and how the system is unfair and heartless. With all of his rage, and anger about the system you come to the end to find out that he has taken part in his own show that is live for all the other people and becomes a part of the system that he hates.
As a member of the 21st century, I see many new advancements in technology every single day, but after this episode I saw what it can all turn into. This episode showed a take on the abuse of the virtual reality world where everything is set by the use of screens. It is surreal to see that we are very close to this new “modern society,” but at the same time you feel for the people and wish they could have the simple things in life that we take advantage of everyday like a plant, real life, and emotions or feelings. TV.com made a review where they believe that this episode is, “Brimming with gorgeous visuals, a moving score, and a fully realized future that might not be too far off, there's never a moment where '15 Million Merits' is anything less than gripping, scary, and thought-provoking. It may make you want to hang yourself, it may make you want to throw your computer out of the window, it may make you want to quit your job, it may make you ponder the meaning of life, but its goal is simply to make you aware of such things so that we may avoid such an awful future. '15 Million Merits' wants you to look in the mirror and do something about it.”
Honestly this is only one of twelve episodes of a new modern society that could soon take over, and it is terrifying. I don’t want to live in a world where everything is determined by a screen or better yet living like there is a dictator but there is no government seen. The people in this show are often left alone to their own devices, both emotionally and physically. I do not want that for myself in the future, but at the same time this show has me thinking about my future and what my children will experience after me. Technology is the future and to be honest this TV show, is showing its viewers what can happen. Honestly, if you have the time and desire to watch a show that will make you think, please stop and watch my new favorite thing to binge on Netflix, Black Mirror.