If you’re a TV series junkie who loves an awesome show that keeps you glued to your screen, you’ve most likely watched Netflix’s SciFi hit series Black Mirror.
This show is just so damn good that writing this entry and having to rank my favourites proved to be quite a challenge and almost painful.
5) USS CallisterLike in most of Black Mirror’s episodes, the magic of USS Callister is the irony behind it. I’m not sure if everyone will agree, but I believe that the antagonist in this plot is actually the victim. It is important to note that in the story-line, Robert Daly becomes obsessed with creating a world of his own because his real-life day-to-day experience is not very pleasant, with people pushing him around and treating him like an outsider. It is an escape mechanism that is not exactly healthy, but it takes a deeper human understanding to realize that maybe if everyone decided to treat people fairly and without prejudice, people like Robert Daly would be few and far between.
Also, hands down to execution! Love how they did it retro Sci-Fi style, especially the acting of the cast!
4) San JuniperoWhat I love best about this episode is how it had me guessing what it was about until around halfway through. I was wondering how the episode fit in the overall theme of Black Mirror, because it was set during the disco era and everything in the show is futuristic or dystopian. It’s so cleverly written that they had it running like that then slowly dropped hints midway about being able to shift between eras.
It is a beautiful technology that is featured in San Junipero, but then again I found myself asking at the end of the show. What if what is really out there on the other side is actually a much more beautiful thing than the alternative of staying forever young in a limbo? I bet it is =)
3) Fifteen Million MeritsThis is the rat race taken to a higher level. If we come to think of it, this is society’s current reality, cleverly executed as placed in a smaller box but at a much worse degree. Humans are treated like slaves in a cage, just without the collars. The tiny bits in the episode that I appreciate much are the small things. Fresh fruits being preferred over fast food items, and how at the end of the show, Bing was drinking fresh fruit juice instead of whiskey.
But I guess the most notable thing about the plot is how at the end of it all, despite his dedication for his cause, Bing sold away his moral integrity at the first opportunity to “change his life.” In a world where there’s a lot of hard work involved when you aspire to lead a better life, and sometimes a lot of hard work is not even enough, it is a great challenge for most of us to do what is right when our personal interests are put on the line. It is hard to fight for what is right when there is always the option to do what is safe or easy. But if we will allow ourselves to be eaten by this kind of system, change is far from coming. If we want a better world that treats everyone fairly and does not feed on people’s need to survive and desire to live better lives, we must always stand for truth and justice, no matter how hard.
What I like best about this episode is how close it is to reality – the kind of reality we all live in now where everything we see on social media is not real at all. The way it was produced, the colours, the styling, everything is reminiscent of how people these days try to make their Instagram accounts look like – perfect and polished. It is disturbing in a way that to a certain extent, what “Nosedive” shows is not far from happening. These days, we rate almost everything we do in our daily lives, from the food we ordered online to the cab ride we booked on mobile. People care more and more about how many followers they have, how many likes they get on their posts, to the point of showing an entirely different life on screen than they actually live in real life. Some people have even gone as far as taking photographs straight out of Google and posting it to pretend it is their personal experience. People are measured by how much influence they have on the internet, and the quality of services and goods are easily judged at first glance of how many stars they get, whether it be a book or a makeup item one ordered online.
Black Mirror has made it very clear where we are headed if we keep on behaving this way on social media. Our profiles are meant to be a reflection of who we are, as real people doing real things in a real world, not some made up someone-else who was created to be pleasing to everyone else’s eyes.
1) Men Against Fire“They hate all the same because of what they’ve been told.” That is the one line in this episode that stayed with me after watching.
This is episode is not as popular as most others from Black Mirror, but I am personally ranking it first on my list because of the depth and gravity of the issues it addresses – racial issues that I have always had a deep emotional sensitivity to, belonging to a race that gets subjected to a lot racist comments from others.
We live in a world where our views of other people is easily affected and manipulated by culture, religion, and media. In one wherein when people hear “Middle East,” the first thought to come to mind is war. Not the rich flavours of their spices, or the grand architecture of their magnificent mosques, or the million unbelievable hues of their fabric dyes. In one wherein when you say “Russia,” people immediately think of nuclear weapons. Not the breathtaking colours and patterns of their onion-domed cathedrals, or the Moscow Metro that is nothing like every other underground railway station you’ll ever see.
The war we must fight is not one against a certain race, colour, or religion. The war we need to fight in is the war between good and evil. Our real enemy is not another person with a different skin colour, but rather money-greedy and power-hungry warmongers who wage war at the cost of innocent lives.
WILDCARD : Hated in the NationI wanted so bad to include this episode in the list that I am actually making room for it. Hated in the Nation is that one episode that every “knowledgeable social media warrior” out there needs to see in order to give them a good whack on the head. There is a huge difference between having an actual, real opinion on a certain issue and subject matter; as opposed to just jumping on the bandwagon just for the sake of parading oneself as a “morally upright and concerned citizen.” This ego-feeding habit is a virus that has spread widely, and this episode sends a very strong message as to why it is actually not okay.
So there’s my list of my best-loved Black Mirror episodes so far. I know we all have our own favourites depending on what may have had the most impact on us. I’d be more than happy to know what everyone else thinks and which ones you would have ranked on this list!