The sci-fi anthology series, Black Mirror, has made its way into the charts of Netflix for being formidable in its grim tales of technological horror. This series is so bleak that the creators themselves refused to release a new season because the world is already suffering enough. From virtual realities, electronic killer bees, and taking videos of human suffering, Black Mirror does not fail to creep out its audience. Here are three episodes to give you a dose of the hibby-jibbies:
We can’t talk about Black Mirror without talking about San Junipero. San Junipero is the only episode in the entirety of the show with a happy ending and 2 Emmy Awards.
The story revolves around two women, Yorkie and Kelly, who met in San Junipero, an afterlife simulation of sorts where people who are deceased, in a coma, or in senior living upload their consciousness. In real life, Yorkie has been in a hospital bed for 40 years, unable to pass over because of the absence of family. Kelly, on the other hand, is battling cancer and holding on to a promise to her dead husband who refused to upload his consciousness, making her stay in San Junipero arbitrary.
While the concept of the afterlife is a rather exhausted topic in media, religion, and science, San Junipero gives it a fresh, new take. This is an afterlife where people look young enough to be chugging tequila and regret it the next day but have the consciousness of the 65+ age group. In the same token, Emily VanDerWerff asks a reflective question in their Vox article: “Could love exist in an eternal present, trapped in the amber of youth?”
Hated in the Nation
Hated in the Nation is quite on-the-nose with what it’s trying to convey. In the episode, the magic Twitter hashtag is #DeathTo, and if enough people tweet this, the person it’s addressed to dies due to an electronic bee entering their body. It’s a grim tale of the online herd behavior weaved into a cop show where the culprit never gets caught. Because this is Black Mirror, something happens that triggers a command for the bees to kill every single person who tweeted #DeathTo.
With so many things happening in the world, online debacles, ‘woke’ discourses, and cancel culture have been very much in place since people are spending more time online. This episode of Black Mirror explores the consequences of cancel culture, not only on the subjects but also on the public. How would that turn out and would people actively participate? Hated in the Nation’s answer is a big “YES,” and the result is hundreds of square meters of covered bodies.
White Bear follows a stressful day of Victoria who wakes up not remembering anything. She picks up bits and pieces of clues about her life while beating a bunch of mascot-looking killer psychos on her way to her goal: to turn off the signal transmitter. She believes that people are only taking videos of her without giving a helping hand because people are hypnotized by a symbol on their phones.
The big twist: Victoria is one of the biggest criminals in the country, and this is her torture. She goes through the same thing every day, staged by the amusement park’s staff, and her memories are wiped out every single night.
The episode, then, begs the question: How much would you love to see criminals suffer? White Bear loves it so much that they turned it into an amusement park.
If you’re brave enough in 2020 to watch society’s flaws crumble on themselves, all seasons of Black Mirror are available on Netflix. Fair warning: brace yourself.