Momma Told Me: What I'm Streaming: Black Mirror (Netflix)

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

What I'm Streaming: Black Mirror (Netflix)

What I'm Streaming: The Black Mirror Seasons 1-2 on Netflix
Momma Told Me: There's nothing more fascinating than the human condition.

Aside from the mandatory claymation holiday specials, I've barely turned on a television over the past few weeks. I threw my back out the wee before I flew to Texas to surprise family for the holiday then brought back a nasty bug the kiddos had managed to farm prior to leaving school for Christmas break. Most 'normal' people might have waved the white flag at that, curled into a ball of heated blankets and locked the door for a few much needed days of hibernation. Instead, to keep myself from going mad, I threw myself into work, cleaning, and post-holiday preparation. That is until it all got the better of me Monday- and that's when I decided it was time for Netflix and I to reunite once again.
What I'm Streaming: The Black Mirror Seasons 1-2 on Netflix
I can't really say why or how exactly I choose what I stream. Growing up my father was always adamant about watching movies and shows at random- he argued that the element of surprise alone (in not knowing the general plot) made even the worst of picks more tolerable. So it reasons to say I watch some pretty random things- only, in this case, half the world appears to have watched The Black Mirror before me. Only recently having arrived on Netflix, for American viewers, The Black Mirror consists of 3 seasons for a whopping 7 episodes (don't ask, it's a British thing.) With each hour long episode standing alone in it's own dystopian universe with singular characters and tales, this show most mirror the classic 'Twilight Zone' commentary so many of us love.
To describe The Black Mirror to you would probably be an injustice. The show's writer and creator, Charlie Brooker, defines the show as "the way we might be living in 10 minutes time if we're clumsy," a hauntingly accurate description. Essentially the focus of each independent episode is the progress of modern technology in contrast to the human condition, and the desires of those driving it's development. In every episode I guarantee you cringe as you find yourself contemplating the fine line between fiction and plausible reality. From a beloved cartoon character personality being cohered into running for public office, to an alternate universe where humans have permanent and immediate visual recollection of all events in their lives, the plots are almost impossible to turn away from.
What I'm Streaming: The Black Mirror Seasons 1-2 on Netflix
Along with the poignant social commentary, the brilliant acting of several notable BBC actors truly brings to life the Black Mirror world. Viewers familiar with popular British television will recognize Rupert Everett (Love, Actually) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) while nearly all streamers will spot cameos from the Game of Thrones, and even Mad Men's Jon Hamm. In fact, the seventh episode, featuring Mr Hamm, just aired in the U.S. on Christmas Day, and is expected to release to Netflix shortly, so there is plenty of time to fall in love with the Black Mirror series before everyone is discussing the 90 minute 7th episode special!
What I'm Streaming: The Black Mirror Seasons 1-2 on Netflix
If you're on the fence about streaming The Black Mirror, my biggest suggestion is to watch them out of order. Perhaps read the little blurb defining each episode and pick those which intrigue you most first. You will spoil nothing in watching them this way- though the 7th, most recent, episode does indicate the Black Mirror universes may just be all tied together. My best tip for easing into this series is to begin with Season 1 E. 3 The Entire History Of You (Currently being adapted into a feature film by Robert Downey Jr.) then S1. E2 Fifteen Million Merits, followed by S2. E1 Be Right Back. Some of the episodes get a little dark, and these will help ease you into the style of social commentary Brooker has put forth. Have you seen or heard about The Black Mirror?

What Daughter Says: Sometimes taking a closer look can be almost painful to watch, but hard to take your eyes off of.

8 comments:

  1. YAY!!! This is always on my recommendations page when I sign into netflix, but I still have not watched it. Now I have some cool plans for tonight :) Me, a glass of wine and The Black Mirror! WOOT!

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    1. The first episode is a bit of a shock, but don't worry, it may come off as rough and shocking but they really are great anecdotes on the modern human condition- let me know what you think!

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  2. I've never heard of this before. My son lives on Netflix, I'll have to ask if he's seen it.

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  3. This looks very interesting. I might need to give this a try.

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  4. I haven't seen it yet. I watch Netflix daily so will have to check it out!

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  5. Awesome, a new show to watch. We needed one! This sounds perfect (and terrifying)!

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  6. I'm sold! This sounds like a great show. I'll give it a try.

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  7. I have not heard of this show before, sounds like something my husband would enjoy!

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