To get it out of the way: yes, it’s that series with the British PM and the pig on broadcast television.

Black Mirror is an episodic anthology horror show, with a bit of a Luddite-thriller tossed in there. The focus of each episode is either a fictional but seemingly just-attainable technology that we don’t quite have yet, or a display of sociopathic uses on current technology. It’s just as much a satire on society as it is on technology – all stories presented have both completely intertwined to the point that each informs the other.

This British series seems to aim to repulse, in one way or another: the aforementioned episode involving the British PM gained notoriety for its vile content when it first aired. It was the first episode, and while they haven’t topped it in repulsiveness, it certainly doesn’t come across as the best of the series. With that out of the way (again – Black Mirror can’t be talked about until that one episode is put to rest), other episodes repulse through a feeling of uneasiness. There’s something rotten, you know it because that’s the thesis of the series, but you can’t quite put your finger on it immediately, and like a car wreck, you can’t look away.

The rest of the series shines with each episode. While viewers will have their preferences, it’s hard to imagine that if you enjoy any one episode, you won’t enjoy all the others. It’s dark, but fortunately doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s social commentary but it’s too obvious to be pretentious and always with a bit of a wink. Black Mirror is a bit of something like “Chuck Palahniuk: The TV Series” with the cheekiness of a Kids in the Hall sketch.

The writing is consistent: save for one episode, series creator Charlie Brooker is credited in writing each script, in one role or another. It’s got character – the dialogue isn’t bland, the characters differ and are unique and fresh, at least between episodes. And while each episode contains an all different cast of actors, everyone with lines are at the very least capable, and the starring roles are filled with people who seem to really understand the role and the story being told.

Episodes to win you over: Season 1, Episode 2: Fifteen Million Merits; Season 2, Episode 3: The Waldo Moment; Season 3, Episode 2: Playtest

Categories: TV Show Review

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