At the suggestion of my media literacy professor I decided to watch the show Black Mirror.
Out of the thirteen episodes that are up on Netflix, I’ve watched seven of them. Spoiler alert: I hate the show. This post will highlight why I do. As a disclaimer I will be talking about main points in the episodes so if you don’t want to be spoiled I would recommend you don’t read this post.
So Black Mirror is a British anthology series that follows a different story line and cast each episode. Every episode has a dystopic theme that seems to take place in a distant future, though I think they’re supposed to reflect what our culture nowadays is heading towards.
I’m going to talk about the episodes that really turned me off of the show and why I don’t think I’ll continue watching it if they continue to create more episodes.
So White Christmas, an image from the episode is in the upper left, is a three story special that connects in a very interesting way. Now cheating is a main theme in this episode, as well as the episode The Entire History of You (image in the bottom right). Now, I’m not questioning the ethics that go into the technology in these episodes, I don’t really care about that, these technologies are not a reality at the moment and it’s not something that I’m going to question.
In both of these episodes, the men find out that their partners cheated on them and essentially go “crazy”. They attack, harm, and even kill people because they are so overcome by the fact that they were cheated on. This seriously concerned me, that they would make these men take such extreme measures in finding out what their partners did. I can see why they do this in a dramatic sense, but it’s really sick. The violence, in my opinion is completely unnecessary. They also highlight really toxic relationships. The man in the Entire History episode comes across as really abusive and controlling. This is NOT OKAY.
Moving on to the episode Fifteen Million Merits. I really enjoyed this episode, until the end. I think that they really cheated on the ending. Essentially what happened was that this man went on to a talent show in order to try and free himself and others around him from a slave-like existence. He takes extreme measures to do this and what does he do? He chooses to let everyone else live in enslavement solely so that he can be free. He leaves his one friend in an extremely degrading sexual show so that he can have a view of the outside world. I honestly can’t understand how someone could ever choose that. I understand that he must have been desperate for freedom but he never acted that way, and he really acted like he wanted to make a difference in his world. It was a disappointing ending. On a different note, the whole porn station thing was absolutely disgusting as well and I have no idea why they found that to be a necessary part of the episode at all.
The final episode that I watched that I really despised was National Anthem. This episode was just sad and gross and I honestly don’t even want to get into it. Just know that this episode should not have been made.
I don’t understand the violence. The toxic relationships. The exploitation. It’s a dystopic show, but these themes could have been portrayed in a much better way. Things could have been handled so much better. I’m really disappointed in how Black Mirror honestly used women as props and things to dispose of in order to give the men their story. Happen to notice that women are barely featured in any of the episodes I mentioned? Except to be the targets of violence, or be sex objects, or who cheat. Good job Black Mirror.
Now I will admit that there were some episodes that I watched that I actually kind of enjoyed. I did find some issues with them, but I’m also very picky with shows so the fact that I even found these enjoyable in the slightest was surprising with how much I despised the rest of the episodes. These all came from the most recent season.
I’m not going to go into specifics and I won’t spoil these episodes because I actually recommend you watch these episodes if you want. They really have great moralistic messages to them and I appreciated that. Women were portrayed in a much better light (as you can see, women are the main characters in all three episodes). They are strong characters, with actual stories!!! Not just throw away characters! Yay!!
I really enjoyed that two of these episodes (Nosedive and Hated in the Nation) really pushed the view of being aware of the presence of social media in our lives. It was nice to see how we need to be careful of what we say, especially about other people, but also showing that we shouldn’t be afraid of how other people “rate” us. I think these were very relevant and important topics.
San Junipero was just a cute episode, that highlighted to importance of being able to be who you truly are.
Now I highly doubt that I will EVER continue to watch this show if it gets more episodes. It was disappointing in the way that is portrayed women among other things and I really can’t understand the appeal with how many underlying problems the show has.
Have any of you watched Black Mirror? And if you have, what did you think of it?
Hope everyone has a nice day.