Season 1, Episode 1 – the British Prime Minister is asked to have sex with a pig on national TV if he wants to save a kidnapped member of the Royal Family.
And as you see this premise unfold, after you have gotten over the shock and revulsion, you cannot help but be sucked into this alternate reality. A reality that feels so close to home and is so uncomfortable, you are forced to pause after watching just one episode to take stock of what you have witnessed.
Welcome to the world of Black Mirror.
An anthology series that has a different cast, set up, reality, etc. in every episode, Black Mirror showcases the dark side of society and what technology is capable of advancing to in the hands of paranoid humans. A total of 3 seasons have been released. With only 13 episodes, the storylines only get darker and that uneasiness never really leaves you as you progress through the episodes.
As a tribute to this powerful series, here is a roundup of all the 13 episodes (there maybe spoilers; you have been warned):
S01E01 – The National Anthem
The horror when you realize what is about to happen and then you see people gathered, laughing, making an event out of this makes you realize you’re a part of that crowd, morbidly fascinated.
S01E02 – Fifteen Million Merits
A long episode that takes forever to build to its crescendo, this one showcases the ugly side of reality competitions.
A guy exercises to gain fifteen million merits so his girlfriend can enter the competition. This is when he realizes what her singing talents have got her into – and then he’s forced to watch.
S01E03 – The Entire History of You
What if you had a device that could record everything that ever happened to you in life? Would you want it?
Maybe it is a boon that you forget half the things that have happened to you in the past – good or bad.
S02E01 – Be Right Back
How do you cope with the loss of a loved one? If you are in an episode of Black Mirror you simply buy an inflatable doll that will mimic the lost one based on their social media presence. Easy-peasy? Think again…
S02E02 – White Bear
Remember the old saying, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” What if a criminal got exactly what their crime was, and you got to watch justice being delivered first hand! Sounds like a good thing right? Then again, with Black Mirror, too much of a good thing can be more horrifying than the scariest movie you’ve watched. You will be left gasping for breath when the credits roll. Go watch this one.
S02E03 – The Waldo Moment
A commentary on how we have stopped spending time processing information. We see something and we have to react. Waldo, a cartoon, is that character that represents all of us. A gag in a late night show, Waldo runs for election as a joke. What ensues is chaos.
Special: White Christmas
A Christmas special that celebrates the holiday spirit by opening on a scene of two men stationed in a remote location as they share their stories. Makes you all warm and mushy, right? Tell us your thoughts AFTER you watch the trailer.
S03E01 – Nosedive
An episode dedicated to what may soon turn out to be a reality for all of us. A world that revolves around your social media score, does it help regulate behaviour or is it barbaric? There are no easy answers here.
S03E02 – Playtest
If there is any story that can rival that of Inception, it is probably this. A thrill seeker gets involved in a video game beta testing and what follows is equal parts bizarre and horror, full of jump scares. You won’t know what really happened until the end.
S03E03 – Shut up and Dance
An episode that starts off as a simple blackmail attempt, you wonder what is the boy’s motivation to commit these crimes. Then you reach the moment where he thinks it’s over, he is safe and then this happens:
S03E04 – San Junipero
The most acclaimed episode of the season, this won 2 Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Television Movie. This episode’s tone has been described as ‘hopeful’ although that doesn’t stop it from being gut-wrenching. Enough said. Go watch.
S03E05 – Men against Fire
What will the government do to get its super soldier in order to protect the next generation? If this little clip tells you anything, they will go to any lengths even decide who gets to live and who must die.
S03E06 – Most Hated in the Nation
Another critically acclaimed episode, it starts as a simple murder mystery where a detective is trying to solve deaths of people who were targeted by social media. Another episode where you must wait until the end as the other shoe drops.
Black Mirror is not your regular kind of spook with over-the-top make-up and screams horror. It is ‘real’ horror, one you should definitely invest in. You will thank us later.