What Is Black Mirror, and Why Is Everyone Telling You to Watch It?
And what is the moral of each episode? Other than "You're gonna want to sit down and contemplate your life for a while..."
If you haven't watched Black Mirror yet, you need to. Many people have probably already told you that. And you ask them, "Why?" And they'll probably respond with something that makes you not want to watch it, but then they follow it up with "But it's SO good..! You HAVE to watch it!"
Typical shows on tv have one storyline.
The Flash: Barry Allen gets super powers and tries to help his new friends save Central City
Any Doctor show: Doctor's save people, but also deal with romantic life problems.
Rick and Morty: Rick is going to sucker Morty into doing something that ends up going horribly, but they magically fix it in the end (sometimes).
Black Mirror: Uhhh...Wow, where do I begin?
What Black Mirror is about: Each episode is it's own story line. You can watch any of the episodes from any season in whatever order you want, it doesn't matter. None of the characters from any episodes show up in any other episodes. Sometimes there are vague references to previous episodes, like a guy reading a comic called "15 Million Merits" in season 4, which was actually an episode title in season 1. Things like that. But, like I said, you don't have to watch them in order.
There is no set time or year that each episode takes place. We just know that they take place in the near, or not to far off future. Which is why it's called "Black Mirror". Don't get it? Pick up your cell phone. Don't press any buttons. Just look at the blank screen. What is it? A black mirror. *mic drop*
One thing that kind of messes me up is that you can't fully desensitize yourself from each episode. With any other show you can think to yourself "Oh, this is fiction." or "This is over dramatized for tv. This doesn't actually happen in real life." You can't do that with Black Mirror. Yes, the show is fictional, and so are the people. But the situations they are in, and the technology that is used are closely related to THINGS THAT ARE ACTUALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN THE REAL WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN.
Here's the truth: Black Mirror is going to mess you up. Emotionally. Psychologically. Maybe even physically. And we want other people to feel the feels we feel after each episode. We NEED other people to watch it so that we can talk to someone about what the hell we just witnessed.
Word of warning, right off the bat, season 1 episode 1 is probably the worst episode you'll sit through. Not "worst" as in "this episode sucks". But "worst" as in "I WANT TO LOOK AWAY BUT I CAN'T AND THIS IS GOING TO PROBABLY SCAR ME FOR LIFE." So if you can make it through the first episode, you can make it through them all.
That being said, while these episodes will probably emotionally scar you, most of them actually have a moral to the unfortunate story. Like "Communication is the key to a healthy relationship", "Work hard to be who you want to be and not what other people want you to be", "Don't let social media control your life", "Save the fricken bees or we'll die", "Answer your damn phone when your mom calls", and my favorite repeating moral: "Don't be a d*ck."
But don't worry, not all the episodes end horribly with someone's unfortunate comeuppance. (Though most do...) If you need a positive palate cleanser for your brain you could watch the episode "Hang the DJ" or "San Junipero", which has won multiple awards and is arguably the best Black Mirror episode so far. (Also, you'll never listen "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" the same ever again.) And if you need a good emotional cry you could also try "Be Right Back".
Another cool thing about Black Mirror are the cameos.
Season 1 has Rory Kinnear (Quantum of Solace; Penny Dreadful), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Tom Cullen (Knightfall, Downton Abbey), and Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who)
Season 2 has Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter, Star Wars), Jon Hamm (you know him), and Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones)
Season 3 has Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help), Alice Eve (Star Trek: Into Darkness), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Doctor Who, Beauty and the Beast), Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire), Faye Marsay (The White Queen, Game of Thrones), Bendict Wong (Dr. Strange)
and Season 4 has Jesse Plemons (Fargo, Breaking Bad), Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother, Fargo), and Jimmi Simpson (House of Cards, Westworld, It's Always Sunny), Letitia Wright (Black Panther).
So even if you do find yourself emotionally compromised while watching, you can semi-distract yourself by focusing on an actor and thinking to yourself "What have I seen this person in before...?"
Any-who, long story longer, THAT is why you should watch Black Mirror. It's really cool. Really well put together. And a lot of the fan base honestly just needs someone to talk to...Please.
Black Mirror is available on Netflix.