This week, I’m all about television. I’m making up for all the days I haven’t blogged and one of the reasons behind my absence is TV. I’m a huge television series follower and that is why I rarely leave the house to get some sun or whatever.
So, anyway. This entire post is about the newest Channel 4 thriller, Black Mirror.
See? Even the title has that creepy feel to it. The series proved a big success for Channel 4 last year, the second series ended this week. Each episode looks at the dark side of technology; the ‘Black Mirror’ referring to the shiny black surface of a TV, phone, laptop or any other piece of technology that’s been accepted into daily life. Charlie Brooker, its creator, said this: “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.”
The first season started with an absolute bang! I kid you not. I wouldn’t go into too much detail because that would defeat the point of it being a thriller, in case you eventually follow my instruction and watch it! Let me just say the pilot – entitled The National Anthem – involved the UK Prime Minister, an abducted princess, and a pig on live television. Say that doesn’t intrigue you.
My favorite from the first season would be the third episode called The Entire History of You, which Robert Downey Jr. will turn into a feature film. This is also the episode that wrapped the first season. I don’t know if you notice this but English television shows keep their episodes few (see: Sherlock) and that upsets me very much *insert ugly crying here* because I WANT MORE DAMN IT.
The Entire History of you is set in an alternate reality where people have a grain implanted behind their ear which records everything they do, see or hear, making it possible to endlessly replay memories, pause them, slow them down, zoom in etc. You would never forget a name, a face or an event ever again.
There is something about this concept that really appeals to me. Replaying happy memories exactly in the way that they happened seems like a sentimental idea on the surface – but is it really? Would it not cause you to over analyze every single thing you had ever done or said until you pored over it so much that you become consumed by paranoia?
The second series proved to be more brilliant. It started with my favorite, and possibly the most harrowing of the two seasons combined, Be Right Back. This explored the uncanny of grief. Ash is addicted to social media, he is permanently connected to his own personal black mirror, constantly uploading images and videos, comments and posts. He’s always connected. And then he dies leaving Martha alone and isolated and discovering that she’s pregnant whilst in the earliest stages of grief.
And then there’s the service. It’s like a chat program which lets you ‘talk’ to your dearly departed by analyzing their publicly-available social media content; looking at what they say and how they say it. And to be honest, that is so close to feasible that I have absolutely no trouble in believing it and believing in Martha’s choice to indulge in it.
It then progresses to the program being given access to Ash and Martha’s private communications to better hone the responses it gives. And ultimately she uploads video and audio footage which enables them to talk on the phone.
The episode is full of little moments of how people today behave online, which is kind of in-your-face-bitch. I’m going to stop there because I recommend you see this episode. I really, really do. It’s well-written and I absolutely love how great the actors in it are.
I seldom recommend people to watch the kind of disturbing crap I do primarily because I believe that what I enjoy will probably come off as entirely boring or tacky to some but please, give Black Mirror a shot. Let it blow your mind. Because it will. I promise.