Female Narratives Drive Black Mirror Season 4

For those of you who may have been living under a rock, the Emmy award winning dystopian anthology series, Black Mirror, recently released season four on Netflix. What’s different about these six episodes, however, is that every single one unveils a female driven narrative and protagonist.

Even for many viewers of this season, this may come as a surprising realization, because when watching the season, you don’t really think about this aspect. These diverse female centered storylines are written so naturally and are so universally relatable, with each story completely different from the other. These episodes also do not heavily advertise or self congratulate their socially progressive accomplishment, like many television shows do now in order to get views and buzz.

 

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  On the contrary, the creators of the show did not even realize that all of the episodes came out to be female centered storylines until the season’s completion. Executive producer Annabel Jones explained, “Charlie [Charlie Brooker; the creator of the show] and I don’t tend to think about the stories that way. Sometimes, it just comes out. But it's great — great! — that they’re all strong female protagonists. I think what’s lovely about the show is that it's not a strident statement. It’s more: Why not? We don’t even think about it from a gender perspective and I hope that’s progress. It’s more that we explore the best story and the best way to tell it."

 One of the female narratives in question explores the complex relationship of an overprotective mother and adolescent girl, mixed in with future technology and its repercussions. This episode, “Arkangel”, revolves around the give and take of freedom and trust between a parent and their child, which I think every person can relate to.

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 Another episode called, “Hang the DJ”, explores the trials and tribulations of modern dating, with added futuristic technology similar to dating apps. Everyone from our generation can understand the hard to navigate dating scene, and many of us are right there with the protagonist as she goes on first date after first date.

Via Netflix

  And so, along the lines of Jones, I believe that the great social progress here is not that these female narratives were made, but that they were made solely because it was the best way to tell the stories that they believed were so universally relevant. A lot of movies and shows that are made with female protagonists make it a point to make that aspect of it, the most important part of the work. It now becomes a “girl movie” that women can relate to, but not everyone. However, movies with male protagonists are seen as the status quo story to go with in order to reach everyone. Black mirror breaks this barrier and proves that female narratives, especially those from women of color, can reach everybody just as much as male narratives can.