Entertainment, Review

Review: Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror

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By Megan Russell


Have you ever watched anything so scarily accurate that it leaves you awake at night questioning is this really what the world will come to? No? Then you’ve obviously never watched Black Mirror, the British anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker.

Featured around twisted fictional approaches to possible futures, Charlie Brooker’s creations see us despise the very technology we see, hear and use every day. The ever changing and increasingly intelligent technology that’s forced into our lives and we are urged to go out and buy. Brooker himself has stated: “If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side-effects?”

The twelve episodes were condensed down to three series, the latest being released on 21st October 2016. Each episode was as unique as the next, which gave the series an almost addictive feel, yet at the end of each episode, you’re left in shock by the sheer twists and turns within the piece. It’s not something I believe you can binge watch either, Black Mirror makes you feel like your mind needs to escape from the real world. You’re genuinely left thinking that such possibilities could become scarily real. The decision to segregate the episodes into a shorter series is a very clever way of allowing the viewer to take the time to understand but also create the need to continue watching.

The casing is completely different in every episode, which shows the individuality and the distinct separation between time and place. Brooker ensures that you have no previous connections with the character. The page is blank and you’re left to make up your own opinions about them, and this intelligently keeps viewers trying to guess something essential within Black Mirror. Charlie Brooker has stated 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.”

Series three saw the return of Black Mirror with a very real but also very deluded approach we have to social media. Nosedive, the first episode of the third series directed by Joe Wright, is set way in the future where life exists through a real life social media platform. The rating system synchronous with social media affects every aspect of life and these ratings shape the way you are perceived and what you, in turn, can accomplish. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard plays Lacie Pound, who is rated a 4.2 out of 5. Lacie is considered middle class, and she strives for perfection, optimistically hoping for higher ratings. Howard plays the part so perfectly with an almost doll-like exterior filled with some major social anxieties.

The contemporary world of Nosedive is that of what you see on your phones right now, but the harsh reality is that we’re actually living in this world. Nosedive perfectly sets the following episodes and it only happens to get stranger from there.


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