Review of Black Mirror

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The highly anticipated fourth season of Black Mirror, a futuristic anthology series, was released on Netflix on December 29, 2017. Previous seasons of Black Mirror have shown a bleak future, yet this season provides a few glimpses of hope. There are six new episodes, each offering a take on how technological advancements will influence the human experience. The overarching theme of this series is digital consciousness, which is a copy of your mind that can be stored in the cloud.

 

“USS Callister”

This was the episode I was most looking forward to after seeing the promos. As a lifelong fan of Star Trek, I was really interested to see how the creators would create a realistic version of this sci-fi idea of the future. The interesting technology featured in “USS Callister” is a virtual reality gaming console that uses airpod inspired-nodes to make the player feel as if they are living within the game.

 

“Arkangel”

“Arkangel” is arguably the most thought-provoking episode of this season. In this future, parents are allowed to insert a chip into their child, allowing them to see what their kids see, censor what they hear and monitor their vitals. Though it may sound like any overprotective mother’s dream, this reality is more reminiscent of a nightmare. I was fascinated by this episode, because it delved into the question of censorship and the complex relationship between mother and daughter.

 

“Crocodile”

The cinematography of this episode was stellar. Iceland’s barren landscape seemed to have a character of its own. Despite this beautiful setting, “Crocodile” shows humanity at its worst. In a world where the government can access our memories, what lengths would we go to preserve our darkest secrets?

 

“Hang the DJ”

“Hang the DJ” was the installment that depicted the most optimistic vision of our future. Using a Tinder-style dating method as its premise, it shows the story of a young couple unfold despite extenuating circumstances. This episode explores how dating apps will evolve over time and, hopefully, help us find our perfect matches.

 

“Metalhead”

This was my least favorite episode of Season 4 for one simple reason: it doesn’t depict the future. “Metalhead” follows a group of people being tracked by robotic “dogs” designed to prevent looting. Perhaps this would have been a novel concept five years ago, but extremely similar technology already exists. Check out Boston Dynamics Robots, whose dogs are similar to the “dogs” of “Metalhead.”

 

“Black Museum”

This installment of Black Mirror seems to be pretty divisive. Some viewers, including myself, were enraptured by the three examples of what could be done with digital consciousness. Others, though, were annoyed by the series of short stories and the classic plot twists most viewers have come to expect from Black Mirror.

 

Black Mirror is perhaps one of the most-lauded series of today, as its twisted visions of our future allow for the electronic-obsessed generation to see the possible ramifications of our reliance on technology. Yet, the fascination I have with this series lies in its exploration of family, relationships and the struggle to find joy in this modern world. Black Mirror is about much more than technology: it’s about humanity.