Black Mirror is an amazing show that I binged through in what seemed like a day (maybe two). I’ve been meaning to write a review for this show, but wasn’t sure how to cover each episode in one cohesive manner. Until it dawned on me, with all this great content, why not pick my top 10 episodes?
10. Hated in The Nation
In a world were cyber bullying is huge, this episode is incredibly relevant. Nowadays, people feel very brave while typing on their keyboards to tear someone apart. We no longer see people as humans, just a target for us to take down. A seemingly harmless Twitter hashtag, #DeathTo, becomes far more sinister when someone decides to take the tweet requests literally. As Drake said, trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers.
What’s so great about this episode is that it’s a future that’s not too far away. What happens when societies obsession with social media as a form of approval and attention goes super nova? In this world social ranking is the new currency. The higher and more popular your ranking, the higher status you are. We follow Bryce Dallas Howard’s character as she falls further down the social ladder and becomes desperate to get back up. It’s an episode that’s so cringeworthy, it’s genius.
8. White Christmas
This episode takes you on one dark ride. More like a movie, it explores the idea of copying ones soul and trapping it within your own consciousness. Jon Hamm steps up and plays…well, Jon Hamm as he constantly tortures these souls to get what he wants. However, Black Mirror puts its spin on it, and in the end, no one gets what they wanted.
7. Be Right Back
This episode is my worst nightmare come to life. What happens when the love of your life dies and you’re left behind? If Black Mirror has anything to say about it, you build a replica of the man you once knew. This episode explores the idea that a person is no longer a person at all, instead, it can be transformed into a massive database of information. It’s an emotional ride that I want to experience again and again.
6. The Entire History of You
This episode is creepy. There’s no getting around that. Imagine being able to record everything you’ve ever done, seen or said? And then having the tech to rewind and relive all those moments? Well, that’s the case in this episode, and it drives Liam, played by Toby Kebbell, mental. He obsesses over every small detail, to the point where we question his sanity. Was he right to question if his wife was being loyal? Turns out, he was. But perhaps the cost for the truth was too high.
5. Hang The DJ
Dating is awful; especially nowadays with online dating. Hang The DJ takes the mainstream idea of online dating, and puts an interesting spin on it (as Black Mirror always does). In order to find your perfect match, a simulated version of you must cycle through a pattern of partners, allowing you to fight for the partner you want.
It’s a bit on the nose, but sweet nonetheless. I like a good happy ending after all, don’t you?
4. Black Museum
Not only did this feature Black Panther star Letitia Wright, but it was the episode that connected everything together. We all know that each episode of Black Mirror, in some way shape or form, exist in the same universe but in various points in time. Black Museum gives a slight view on how the technology can cohesively exist in the world.
There’s a self-reflexive statement on the sadism that Black Mirror touches on with each story, but it only begins to narrow in during the final arc. While each arc is darker than the next, by the end, you find yourself calling for blood and cheering on Wright’s character to bring about justice.
3. USS Callister
Obviously this episode was going to be high on my list as it is all things Star Trek. This steps away from traditional Black Mirror elements with various comedic moments, colourful sets and (seemingly) light tones. All this changes when the apparent nice guy protagonist turns into a sadistic megalomaniac. This episode was so popular that there’s been talks of a spinoff series. Sign me up please.
2. San Junipero
Literally one of the only episodes to have a happy ending, San Junipero is a beautiful love story told in a virtual reality. Like most Black Mirror episodes, there’s a twist, the two characters we’ve been following through time all along are actually old ladies. One living her life in a coma, the other in a senior citizens home, awaiting death so that she can be with her husband. In this world, people don’t ever have to say goodbye. Death is just the end of your physical body, your consciousness can live on in this simulated world.
San Junipero questions the fundamental ideas of life and death, love and loss and what’s right and wrong. I dare you not to be touched when watching this story.
1. Fifteen Million Merits
Taking my number one spot was the second episode of the first season, and the first episode I ever watched. In this warped version of society, people are trapped in enclosed spaces with constant visual and advertisement stimulation. The only way to skip is to pay for it, and the only way to earn money is to work out. The more attractive you are, the higher standing you have.
The reason I loved this episode so much is because it perfectly depicts our society. Everyone’s looking for their 15 minutes of fame, and no one cares how you get it. The only person in this world, it seems, that didn’t want to play by these rules ends up falling right into the trap. The ending is tragic, as Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya trades one prison for another.
Have you watched Black Mirror? What episode was your favourite? Be sure to check out more top 10 count downs here