Tuesday, December 23, 2014
NISMOStuff TV Review: Black Mirror
Black Mirror is and was broadcast in the UK but has made its way over here to the States on Netflix. The series is only two seasons long and each season is only three episodes long. I am only through the first "season" but I have no problem recommending it as highly as anything I've seen on TV, perhaps ever. The show is completely episodic in nature with each one a wholly contained world and story that is wrapped up within that single edition. Each episode is fully formed and rich in detail and characters feeling like each one lasts much longer than its less than an hour length and much more like a feature film than a TV show. Every show changes its cast, storyline, world, characters, etc. There is nothing connecting one to another besides the artists behind the camera and the quality in front of it.
In fact this is where I would quibble with other critics of the show. Others have compared it to things like The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents or similar while I find it much grander in its scale. I find it more comparable to something like a Fincher or Ridley Scott film with a healthy dose of social satire thrown in. The show focuses neatly on the intersection of near term technological developments (media, internet, consumerism, entertainment, Artificial Intelligence, etc.) and how they change our place in such a rapidly changing world. How our modern world impacts our romantic relationships, our governments, media, etc. are all covered here and in ways that will make you laugh and cringe (say the forcing of the UK's Prime Minister to have sex with a pig on live TV/Internet?) in ways I didn't think possible.
The satire, dark humor, insigh,t and skewering of ourselves is at a level I've rarely seen or felt. Watching a future of ours that is only seconds ahead of where we stand today, unfold and twist our conceptions of what is right and wrong, good and bad is some of the most perverse fun I've had with TV in a long time. This isn't necessarily "light" fair...I'm as much for some gratuitous violence and nudity as the next guy and blowing away endless hordes of zombies is always a good time but this won't fit in those parameters...it requires a bit more thought, attention and emotional investment but in terms of intellectual and emotional rewards, I have seen little like it. If you have Netflix or the ability to watch this series, I could not recommend it more highly.