On October 21st 2016, the third season of "Black Mirror" was released. Somewhere a crowd cheered in silence, offering sacrifices to the Netflix gods for not only winning over the rights to the series earlier this year - but also delivering the longest season yet. With only six episodes, outsiders who have yet to experience the twisted euphoria of gazing into a black mirror question the hype.
So what exactly is the premise of "Black Mirror"?
Let's start off with the title.
In our daily lives we stare into our mirrors while we brush our teeth, shave, put on makeup, or plan our outfits. They reflect who we are and in a sense, who we want to be. But as we gaze into the mirror, the mirror gazes back with a sense of omniscience. That's just mirror though, and unless you're of the super vain variety, only a fraction of your day is spent looking into a mirror.
A black mirror is different. Many of us spend hours upon hours in a day pouring ourselves over a black mirror, mostly not even conscious of it. The mirror reflects not only who we are, but who we will be, and we gaze into it so frequently in a day we forget that it is in fact a mirror:
"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." - Charlie Brooker, creator of Black Mirror.
In the wild west of the cyber world we forget that what we view on our screens shape us, reflect upon us, and impact who we will be and how we carry ourselves.
Plot twist, we've all been gazing into a black mirror this whole time, we've just never stopped to think about it. It's not surprising, however, considering that appeasing such thoughts would be enough to drive even the sanest individuals into a schizophrenic fit.
It's easy to dismiss the thought that technology controls us, that social media changes us, just as easy as it is to dismiss the influence our friends have on us. But the truth is they do. We all like to believe we're self-determined, moral, and conscious beings with control over aspects of ourselves when it counts, but in actuality, the scope of our autonomy is not that far-reaching.
Black Mirror explores all of this. Inspired in essence by Rod Sterling's "The Twilight Zone", it takes contemporary concerns and accelerates it to a not-so distant future. In the same way that Sterling bypassed corporate sponsors through the use of a semi-fictional world with his provocative world views, Brooker crafts a compelling masterpiece that gazes into both the horrors and wonders of technology in tandem with social structure. Black Mirror isn't just a thought experiment, or cult classic for intellectuals, it's a social commentary with a satirical undertone.
This Halloween if you're looking for a little scare, grab some friends and gaze into an episode or two of "Black Mirror
Check out what Reed Hasting, CEO of Netflix has to say about the future of Entertainment and how it relates to Black Mirror just a little under a 24 hours ago:
Already a Fan? Check out what Charles Brooker, the show’s creator talk about the various aspects and messages of the anthology:
Wanna figure out how long it'll take to binge watch Black Mirror or any other show? Check out BingeClock for increase effectiveness in bingeing: