Dark technological future explored in new Black Mirror

The rapid advancement of technology is moving faster than most could have ever imagined.

Netflix’s “Black Mirror” explores our society’s deepest fears of what this technology could potentially do to us in the near future.

“Black Mirror” is an anthology television show, meaning that there is a new story, director, and cast every episode that falls into a different genre. Similar to the 1950’s “Twilight Zone”, which told science fiction stories with social commentary relevant in the 50s, “Black Mirror” focuses primarily on our society’s obsession with technology, hence the show’s name which is a reference to what our phones look like when we don’t use them.

“Black Mirror” was created by British journalist and screenwriter Charlie Brooker in 2011. After season 2 Netflix bought “Black Mirror” and began to develop new seasons with the original creator.

Season four contains six episodes that are all vastly different in tone and story. Below is a ranking of each episode from worst to best.
I will very vaguely explain the plot for each episode since the best part of this show is not knowing what is going to happen next.

6. Episode three of season four entitled “Crocodile” falls under the genre of a thriller and is the worst of the new season.
A basic premise of the story consists of Mia Nolan (Andrea Riseborough) being visited by her ex-boyfriend ten years after they killed a bicyclist in a hit and run.

The biggest flaw with “Crocodile” is that it’s just not as creative or original as “Black Mirror” usually is.

The technology featured in this episode is similar to previous episodes that were much better than this episode and the overall twist just seems unnecessary. Overall, this episode is still worth a watch it is just the weakest of the six.

5. “Metalhead” which is episode five of the new season is the shortest episode of the season and feels the least like a “Black Mirror” episode. “Metalhead” is filmed in black and white and falls under the genre of a monster movie.

The plot is very simple which is primarily why it is so low on the list. Bella (Maxine Peak) is being chased by a robotic dog in what seems to be a post-apocalyptic landscape.

This episode explains very little about what is going on which will anger many viewers. However; this episode is very intense in certain moments and is extremely well shot. The robot antagonist is also terrifying and looks like something that could actually exist in the very near future.

4. In fourth place is episode two entitled “Ark Angel.” This episode centers around Marie (RoseMarie DeWitt) who buys a piece of technology that is inserted into her daughter’s brain that is a tracking device of sorts that also allows her to see what her daughter is seeing.
“ArkAngel”, directed by acclaimed actress Jodie Foster, has some brilliant commentary on parenting and is filled with very realistic and complex characters.

The main weakness this episode has is that it’s very predictable.

3. The sixth and final episode of the season entitled “Black Museum” makes it into the top three. “Black Museum” is a very unique entry to the season due to its anthology format. The episode is two stories wrapped around another story.

This episode should be watched last as it ties in technology that is seen from past episodes. “Black Museum” is one of the most enjoyable episodes of the season that acts as a classic horror film with black comedy elements.

2. The second greatest episode of the new season is episode four entitled “Hang the DJ.” This episode acts as a romantic comedy that is a satire of dating apps such as Tinder.

The story takes place in a society where couples are paired up with a dating platform that also puts an expiration date on every relationship.

This episode perfectly encapsulates the loneliness and overall weirdness of the dating scene. The actors who play Frank (Joe Cole) and Amy (Georgina Campbell) make this episode great with their excellent chemistry and comedic chops.

1. The best episode of the season is definitely “USS Callister.” The first episode of season four is a hilarious sci-fi epic. This episode is best viewed with knowing as little as possible.

However; without ruining anything, I can say that this is a very thought-provoking episode that focuses on virtual reality and the civil rights of all beings. The episode is also a satire of Star Trek which makes the episode even better.

Overall, this season has some great episodes that rank up with the best of the series.

It’s not the best season of “Black Mirror,” mostly because it does not feel as original as it used to. However, it still proves to be one of the best shows on television.

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