Jul 152018

(No spoilers.)

I finished Black Mirror last week (well, all of the 19 episodes available so far). It’s an anthology series a lot like The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, only a little more constrained in that all Black Mirror episodes are set in a (very) near future, and all feature technology prominently.

It’s a great treadmill show, rewarding the level of attention I can pay while doing such (sustained, if not meticulous). And, because all of the episodes are self-contained, there’s no cliffhanger or other continuation overhead. I’m looking forward to more episodes, but I don’t have anything to remember. I appreciate that. I’m not sure how many different shows for which I have the mental bandwidth to maintain to-be-continued slots, but I’m certain it’s a relatively small number.

If you hear anything consistent about the show, it’s that it’s dark. Yeah, it usually is. The Twilight Zone usually was too. I’m not sure how a show like this could be interesting and not be dark. Think about it. Can you write gotcha or that’s-so-creepy scripts about self-actualized people in innocuous settings?

Some are darker than others, to be sure, but the strongest examples are among the darkest television programming I’ve ever seen. Mostly, this is not a happy show. Yet, nothing hung with me unpleasantly. I’m not sure Black Mirror would be a good choice for a turbulent time in your life, though.

I didn’t see a single episode I didn’t enjoy. I was always engaged. Sometimes I correctly predicted what was coming; other times I did not. Still other times it never occurred to me to try. There are a few examples of episode-to-episode similarities, but mostly each one has its own feel.

There’s a major logjam in the runner-up position, but my favorite episode is San Junipero.

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