The Ongoing #OPS Guide to Black Mirror (Netflix)
The Guide to Black Mirror (Netflix)
So, in order to make it easier for people to access all of my writing on any particular topic (usually television shows), I make guides.
Black Mirror is the first series that I have recapped in a non-linear fashion. But, I do want to create an ongoing guide so that it is easier for people to access the recaps. As usual, I take extra pains to include the incredible artwork of Brazil's Butcher Billy. If you like the art and want to see the rest of his stuff, you can visit his Redbubble page. I reached out to him a few times, his last response was so funny I have to include it in the guide:
As I complete new recaps, I will fill in the missing holes. When new seasons are released, I will add to the guide.
Black Mirror Season/Series One
Season 1 Episode 1: "The National Anthem"
The first Black Mirror episode is an effective criticism of both blind Nationalism and social status but, at its heart, I think this episode really contends that our true "National Anthem" is the celebration of tragedy writ large. Read my recap HERE.
Season 1 Episode 2: "15 Million Merits"
Sorry, I am still entranced with the Butcher Billy comic book cover versions of the Black Mirror episodes (plus Netflix is kind of jerks about promo photos). Anyway, "15 million merits" is one of the most underrated episodes of the whole series. It seems to me to be the most purely Marxist critiques of capitalism in the entire series. To read my recap click HERE.
Season 1 Episode 3: "The Entire History Of You"
Lots of interesting stuff here about why maintaining our reliance on unreliable human memory might be superior to relying on technology to help us remember every detail of our own experience. You can read my recap HERE.
Black Mirror Season/Series Two
Season 2 Episode 1: "Be Right Back"
One of my favorite, and one of the most underappreciated, episodes takes a new look at "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and on the nature of consciousness, of the dangers of algorithms, and on mourning. You can read my recap HERE.
Season 2 Episode 2: "White Bear"
White Bear is a devastating critique of societal celebration and triumphalism around the punishment of criminals and the socially shunned. Perhaps even more interesting is its take on the odd nature of how we attribute responsibility to physical bodies. You can read my recap HERE.
Season 2 Episode 3: "The Waldo Moment"
This criticism of the ability of spectacle to impact elections could not have been more prescient (coming a year before Donald Trump became a serious Presidential candidate). My recap happened right after we elected President Trump here in the United States. You can read my recap HERE.
Season 2 Episode 4: "White Christmas" (The Christmas Special)
By far the longest recap I have ever written about any episode of any television show. Perhaps this is because White Christmas covers more ground than any of the other episodes of Black Mirror to date? Anyway, I cover the ethics of surveillance technology, rights of artificially intelligent but sentient beings, crime registries, and social death.
Black Mirror Season/Series Three
Season 3 Episode 1: "Nosedive"
Lacie Pound REALLY wants her "beautiful house" on her "beautiful street" but sometimes just about everything in the world goes wrong and you are left all alone and with nothing but your naked personality. This episode is about the cruelty built into how we choose winners and losers in our social ordering. You can check out my recap HERE.
Season 3 Episode 2: "Playtest"
I have yet to review this episode. It is under construction.
Season 3 Episode 3: Shut Up And Dance
Perhaps the most disturbing of all Black Mirror episodes and one of the few hours of television where I have categorically considered every single actor to be in the wrong. Shut Up and Dance has spawned a new, and very disturbing trend in sexual phishing scams. You can read my recap HERE.
Season 3 Episode 4: "San Junipero"
You could call this a traditional girl meets girl story but, because it comes from Charlie Brooker's mind, it is so much more. In my recap, I talk about Cinderella, the LGBTQ unfriendly 80's, Extropy, and a little bit about the music of San Junipero. Enjoy! You can read my recap by clicking HERE.
Season 3 Episode 5: "Men Against Fire"
It would be hard to find a more relevant and topical Black Mirror episode for me to write about since as I wrote it, my phone was blowing up with emergency alerts about ICE raids all over Michigan. This is an episode about how the military, and normal folks, can overcome their dissonance by transmuting people from people into objects for extermination You can read my recap HERE.
Season 3 Episode 6: "Hated In The Nation"
Beware the Drones! Hated in the Nation follows the path of White Bear, Shut Up And Dance, and The National Anthem in its criticism of how we treat other human beings when given an excuse. It also, like Shut Up And Dance and The National Anthem has something to say about internet trolls. You can read my recap HERE.
Black Mirror Season/Series 4
Season 4 Episode 1: "USS Callister"
What happens when a repressed sociopath figures out how to get eternal revenge on everyone who bullies him at work? What happens when the tables get turned? Visit the world of DNA digital cloning to find out. Read my recap here.
When new seasons are released, I will continue to expand this guide.
Thank you for your participation!