TV Review: Black Mirror, Channel 4
This must be one of the best TV offerings in a long time; I really enjoyed watching this show!
Produced by Charlie Brooker, the writer of E4's Dead Set, Black Mirror was a 3 part mini-series shown on Channel 4 that came to an end last night.
Black Mirror, not too dissimilar from the concept of the old TV show The Twilight Zone, took a satirical look at modern culture and offered up entertaining and thought provoking fictional events, some based in the future.
All episodes carried a 'moral of the story' using modern cultural concepts such as fame, social media and the advancement of technology.
The first episode and my favourite, was a political thriller were the British Prime Minster was put in a compromising position when a much loved member of the Royal family is kidnapped for a very creative and personally humiliating ransom - to have sex with a pig live on TV.
As far fetched as it may seem, it did encourage you to think 'what if?', maybe not so much seeing David Cameron have sex with a pig but what if with the right leverage rebels or terrorist were to request more then just money?
The success of the episode was that it discussed the power of social media, as the ransom video was spread through the likes of YouTube rendering the British government powerless in stopping this information from getting out. I enjoyed the national debate that went on and couldn't help relate the fictional characters to their present day counter parts.
I found the second episode slow and slightly boring though it still provided thought provoking points such as our obsession with manufactured fame in the shape of reality TV. Set in the future the episode explored modernist concepts of cell like living spaces, though ingeniously this was explored by incorporating future technological advancements such as wall to wall TV screens where the viewer is constantly bombarded with information. So extreme is this future living that you have to pay to opt out of watching during designated viewing times!
Again maybe a little far fetched but its does seem like a realistic projection of how intrusive branding and advertising could become in the future!
The final episode shown last night was again set in the future, the story centered on a man fearing job insecurity accuses his wife of cheating with a resent male addition to their social circle. Thanks to the technological development of memories chips that are inserted into the human skull, humankind are given the ability to recorded their waking life and replay it at the touch of a button.
Interesting concept and it was even more interesting seeing how the technology was used to expose the wife of cheating, though the highlights of the episode for me was how this memory chip was being used socially, more specifically at airport security as a way of insuring passages had not been involved in terrorist activity.
I found this brilliant as true be told if this technology was available it soo would be put to use at our airports, instructive yes but in our 'big brother' society it would be seen I’m sure as a natural social progression.
The concept of the show is brilliant and I would like to see the show win lots of award come award season.
If you missed the mini-series I would strongly suggest catching up on 4OD, see link below.
If you watched it, what were your thoughts?
Channel 4, Black Mirror