Black Mirror

‘Black Mirror’ Will Return for a Fifth Season

The 'Black Mirror' logo (Photo: Netflix)

Streaming service Netflix announced that the popular dystopian science fiction anthology Black Mirror will be back for a fifth season.

The series, which has featured high-caliber British acting talent of almost every stripe, explores issues of technology and its unanticipated effects on modern society. Each episode is a standalone story, and can be watched in pretty much any order – though the series’ creators have been hinting that some (or all?) of them may exist within a larger shared universe.

Basically, Black Mirror is like a modern, more tecnosavvy version of The Twilight Zone, but if all the social media apps, dating services, home security systems and online game shows turned out to be basically terrible and/or threating to us, all the time.  (It’s honestly a fascinating series, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.)

‘Black Mirror’ Reflects a Dark Future: Why You Should Watch It Anyway

If you haven’t yet experienced the newest British sensation from Netflix, Black Mirror, I’m here to make a proper introduction. That and perhaps to forewarn those of you who have heard this techno-thriller series is the new Twilight Zone. Yes, both shows are anthologies of unrelated stories and characters. Both use science fiction as the apparatus for delivering messages about societal issues.

However, for fans of that groundbreaking fantasy horror series of the early 1960’s, please know there are no aliens, dream states, time travel or creepy children in Black Mirror. Instead creator Charlie Brooker speculates about what the dangerous combination of new technologies and the less wholesome side of human nature can spawn. This was post-watershed TV in the UK, not prime-time, family-friendly network fare. Many of the episodes have sexual elements, adult language and violent themes.

That being said, I was fascinated and slightly freaked out by the dystopian scenarios portrayed in these disturbing tales of admonition. Could we be that close to developing technologies that can fully activate the some of the most harmful human instincts we possess? The answer seems to be a resounding yes.

If the description thus far intrigues you, I have prepared a quick guide to all six Black Mirror episodes which can currently be found streaming on Netflix. Since the sequence you watch them in doesn’t really matter, I have ordered them from the episode that I found least compelling to the one that really blew me away.