Black Mirror is a thinky British TV series set in a near-future UK. The vibe is like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. The main theme is dystopian, but the culprit is really the masses, not so much the government. Basically, the future sucks because people suck. The masses are fickle and prone to mob mentality. When we get better technology, we can’t handle it since it enables us to do bad things in badder ways. Technology progresses so fast that our moral maturity can’t keep up. It’s like giving a toddler a tank to drive when the kid hasn’t even mastered the tricycle. So yeah, we is doomed.
The subtext seems to be that democracy, based on the whims of the masses, is bad. A valid criticism, but the depressing part is that we probably have no better alternative. (Aside from having me as dictator for life, obviously. And having my clones as successors. Because I am all that and a bag of Cheetos, as anyone who knows me will testify.)
My favorite episodes are the first and the third ones in the first season. In National Anthem (the first episode), someone has kidnapped a royalty. The ransom demand asks the Prime Minister to perform an act … um … that will make you cringe, to say the least. It’s also darkly comedic, as cringe-worthy things can be sometimes.
In The Entire History of You (the third episode), people have implants that record their life experiences. Kinda like a DVR of what you see and hear. You can re-watch your past as if it were a TV show, essentially. The good is that you can relive your happy past. But what about the unhappy parts? And the temptation to watch another’s past? This episodes falls under the “be careful what you wish for” category because what you want is not always what’s good for you.
Another thing I like about this show is that it’s pretty edgy—it touches upon or jokes about taboo topics. British media, compared to American media, seem generally more willing to offend.
Black Mirror is available on Netflix, which has seasons one and two (total of six episodes). Season three is in progress.