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Gaze into the Strange World of Black Mirror

England's tech-obsessed answer to The Twilight Zone will keep you glued to your screen.


Holiday festivities are in full swing: Claymation reindeer have taken over primetime, your Google calendar is stuffed with party invites, and saccharine family photo greetings are invading all your social feeds. Break from the American holiday madness and indulge in this British tech-obsessed treat: the dark, emotional punch that is Black Mirror.

Created by satirist Charlie Brooker, the UK tragicomedy is a nightmarish vision of what our digitally dependent world might become – if we’re not careful. The show, which critics are describing as a Twilight Zone for today’s plugged-in society, is now officially available on Netflix.

Before you queue it up, some things to note: It poses thoughtful yet difficult questions (think Saw without the torture porn and creepy wheelchair doll) and is not afraid to cross that imaginary moral line. Also, no orifice is off limits.

Case in point: Black Mirror’s inaugural episode, “The National Anthem,” is a political thriller with themes of kidnapping, YouTube mob rule, and swine sex (giving new meaning to the word “porking”). Though the storyline pushes the limit, it’s still poignant and, in a word, mesmerizing.

black mirror fifteen million credits

Perhaps most poignant of all is “Fifteen Million Merits,” a love story-turned-predatory nightmare set in a world where the only thing real is virtual. It’s an emotionally charged episode that will stick with you long after the credits roll.

To call Black Mirror a series is misleading. It’s more of an anthology – or better yet a collection of short films. Two seasons are comprised of just six episodes total. Other than sharing a tech-paranoia theme, they have little to do with one another. Every episode has its own reality and its own cast. Though characters don’t carry over from one episode to the next, you’ll still recognize several of the players.

Familiar faces include Rory Kinnear and Allen Leach, who are in theaters right now with The Imitation Game; Downton Abbey’s Jessica Findlay Brown; and a few actors with American rom-coms on their resumes, like Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and Domhnall Gleeson (About Time).

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm will join the cast for a feature-length yuletide special, Black Mirror: White Christmas, that’s rumored to be the most bizarre episode yet. The premise: using Facebook’s blocking feature on people IRL. Take a peek at the holly, jolly teaser here.

black mirror

Now go. Binge. And remember to share the creepy fun. Your computer commands you.

Courtesy of Channel 4