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Binge Watchin' TV Review: Black Mirror

01.15.2015

Welcome to Binge Watchin,’ where we take a look at some of the best TV shows available on streaming or disc that have a great catalogue of seasons to jump into and get sucked into the beautiful bliss of binge watching! From crime, action, comedy, drama, animation, etc., we’ll be evaluating an assortment of shows that will hopefully serve as a gateway to your next binge experience.

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Series: Black Mirror

Number of Seasons: 2 + 1 Christmas Special

Where to watch: Channel 4 (in the UK), Netflix (U.S), iTunes

What’s the show about?:

BLACK MIRROR is an anthology series that casts a critical eye on the role technology plays in our everyday lives through a series of self-contained sci-fi cautionary tales. These stories warn of a future where social media and technology have run amuck, resulting in a world where privacy is a thing of the past and mankind’s humanity is slowly but surely being stripped away with each technological breakthrough.

black mirror white christmas jon hamm

Why should I watch?:

BLACK MIRROR is a throwback to the great sci-fi anthology series of yesteryear. Imagine if THE TWILIGHT ZONE or THE OUTER LIMITS was brought back to TV, boasting the same caliber of writing, directing, and acting that has defined what is quickly becoming a new Golden Age of television. The brainchild of English satirist Charlie Brooker, BLACK MIRROR’s seasons are quick and concise, with each running only three episodes. The three episode structure was even maintained in the recent feature-length Christmas special, which seamlessly tied together three separate (but ultimately linked) stories.

black mirror white christmas

The show is often blackly humorous, but more often than that it’s tremendously disturbing, with many episodes having a kind of bleakly ironic twist that will stay with you for days to come. I was so disturbed by the ending of the Christmas episode that I wasn’t able to sleep that night, and a friend of mine told me that it shook him up so badly that it made him physically sick.

black mirror the national anthem rory kinnear

BLACK MIRROR kicks off with an absolutely incredible episode – “The National Anthem” – where the UK Prime Minister (Rory Kinnear) is told that a member of the Royal Family has been kidnapped and that they’ll be killed unless he has sex – live on TV – with a pig. Sounds crazy, right? It’s a stunning piece of satire, but while it could have easily lent itself to a kind of gross-out comedy, BLACK MIRROR aims much higher, and viewers will be confounded by the way they’re made to empathize with the not entirely likable PM, and be disgusted at the very believable way the public would be fascinated by such a bizarre turn of events (if something similar happened it real life, who wouldn’t watch it?). That’s really BLACK MIRROR’s stock-in-trade, the way you’ll start to see yourself in all the characters, making it one of the most uncomfortably empathetic shows on TV.

Best Season:

black mirror toby kebbell the entire history of you

Being an anthology show, it’s tough to say which season is the best. It really varies episode-to-episode, with some being better than others (although each is at least good). As far as favorites go, I’m pretty keen on “White Christmas”, although “The National Anthem” comes close. Most fans of BLACK MIRROR say the Toby Kebbell-episode, “The Entire History of You” is the best, with the remake rights having been bought by Robert Downey Jr’s production shingle, who hope to expand the premise to feature length. The Hayley Atwell-Domhnall Gleeson episode, “Be Right Back” is also a fan favorite, with it having quite a bit in common with the film HER, albeit with a gender swap and a starkly different second half.

Final Thoughts:

BLACK MIRROR really is one of the best shows on TV, and it’s steadily picking up a strong following in the U.S thanks to its availability on Netflix. Brooker seems to be a stickler for quality, so we may not get a full third series for a while. With fans like the well-connected Jon Hamm, you can reasonably assume that when it comes back it’ll be chockfull of A-list talent, and BLACK MIRROR really shows just how well the anthology format fits with this new era of TV (or streamed TV). You can literally choose any episode at random and be assured of a mind-bending, sophisticated mini-movie that will dig its way into your brain and freak you out for weeks to come.

Source: JoBlo.com

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+1
3:37PM on 01/15/2015
Excellent, excellent show! My favorite ep is "The Entire History of You". One of the finest hours of television ever. I can't wait to see "White Christmas!" "The National Anthem" and "Be Right Back" were my least favorites.
Excellent, excellent show! My favorite ep is "The Entire History of You". One of the finest hours of television ever. I can't wait to see "White Christmas!" "The National Anthem" and "Be Right Back" were my least favorites.
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9:35AM on 01/15/2015
Had a partner tell me about this show last week. Told me its some twisted stuff. Already have it in my Netflix list.
Had a partner tell me about this show last week. Told me its some twisted stuff. Already have it in my Netflix list.
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7:17PM on 01/15/2015
Better watch it quick. There was a posting recently that Netflix may lose all BBC programming at the end of the month.
Better watch it quick. There was a posting recently that Netflix may lose all BBC programming at the end of the month.
5:57AM on 01/16/2015
Oh snap, your right! TO THE BATFLIX!
Oh snap, your right! TO THE BATFLIX!
8:58AM on 01/15/2015
Brilliantly disturbing stuff. Poor Rory Kinnear. Poor pig.
Brilliantly disturbing stuff. Poor Rory Kinnear. Poor pig.
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8:51AM on 01/15/2015

Thank you!!!

I've only watched Season 1/ the first 3 episodes, but I AM HOOKED. Well done, and extremely thought provoking...
I thought the one where everyone's memories are all stored was heartbreaking...

GREAT SHOW!!!
I've only watched Season 1/ the first 3 episodes, but I AM HOOKED. Well done, and extremely thought provoking...
I thought the one where everyone's memories are all stored was heartbreaking...

GREAT SHOW!!!
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8:06AM on 01/15/2015
Black Mirror is the sort of show that really makes me appreciate the TV we have in the UK. Also really glad Charlie Brooker's getting a higher profile these days as he's been writing hilariously cynical satirical comedy for years.
Black Mirror is the sort of show that really makes me appreciate the TV we have in the UK. Also really glad Charlie Brooker's getting a higher profile these days as he's been writing hilariously cynical satirical comedy for years.
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11:38AM on 01/15/2015
Charlie Brooker is a genius. You lucky UK bastards ;)
Charlie Brooker is a genius. You lucky UK bastards ;)
6:39AM on 01/15/2015
I've heard so much about this series but never get the chance to watch it. I'd like to recommend "Murdoch Mysteries" for Binge Watchin column. It's a great series and entering its 8th season now.
I've heard so much about this series but never get the chance to watch it. I'd like to recommend "Murdoch Mysteries" for Binge Watchin column. It's a great series and entering its 8th season now.
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2:40AM on 01/15/2015
The White Bear episode made me say "what the fuck" so loud when that twist hit.

You think its a cliche post apocalyptic anti-tech thing going on, but when the twist hits, things really get fucked up. That episode haunts me. Great series all around. I think the Christmas episode is actually my favorite because the 3 plots each had a different message but still all tied together in some really great writing. Love the show
The White Bear episode made me say "what the fuck" so loud when that twist hit.

You think its a cliche post apocalyptic anti-tech thing going on, but when the twist hits, things really get fucked up. That episode haunts me. Great series all around. I think the Christmas episode is actually my favorite because the 3 plots each had a different message but still all tied together in some really great writing. Love the show
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2:37AM on 01/15/2015
White Bear is my favorite episode.That ending still gives me the creeps.Love this show.
White Bear is my favorite episode.That ending still gives me the creeps.Love this show.
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