Much has been written about Charlie Brooker's series Black Mirror which originally aired in 2011 on the British network Channel 4. The series spans 4 seasons with 19 episodes which can range from 40 minutes long to over 70 minutes in length. Although this is a series, the episodes are unrelated (apart from a few easter eggs). What binds the episodes together is a dystopian view of the future which seems too close for comfort at times.
Fans of the show are passionate about their favorite episodes. Routinely ‘San Junipero‘ (Season 3, Episode 4), starring Mackenzie Davis from Halt & Catch Fire, comes up again and again as one of the ‘best‘. Personally, I think it's one of the weaker installments. However, I would say that ‘San Junipero‘ does offer an easy introduction to the whole Black Mirror concept. Certainly, it's more viewer-friendly than ‘The National Anthem' which is the very first episode of Black Mirror. It starts with a British Prime Minister being woken late at night to learn that Princess Susannah, a much-loved member of the Royal Family, has been kidnapped. For her safe return, the kidnappers demand that the Prime Minister must have live sexual intercourse with a pig on national television!
My favorite episode is ‘Nosedive' (Season 3, Episode 1) which features Bryce Dallas Howard as Lacie, a young woman living in a world where people are scored on a rating system just like a social media post. If an individuals rating falls too low, they're shunned by wider society and access to travel, job promotions and many of life's basics are denied to them.
Other classic episodes include ‘USS Callister', which deals with a more traditional Sci-Fi scenario and ‘Black Museum' which ventures into concepts of crime and punishment, a recurring theme in the series. Black Mirror is must-see television, it can be thought-provoking, dark, comic and incredibly sad at times.