[February 2018] Black Mirror: New season explores futuristic realities

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Dana Perelberg ’20

Like many other fans of the popular Netflix series “Black Mirror,” I was excited when season four finally came out. The previous seasons of the show were amazing, as they all explored alternate futures and their technology. But season four came up a bit short for me.  

This season mainly focused on the idea of human consciousness. Many episodes featured watching memories, transferring human consciousness and one of the episodes even had a device that put restrictions on it. This topic was touched on in season two in the episode “White Christmas,” and I like that they decided to continue exploring it in season four.  

However, this was definitely not my favorite season. Episodes two and three (“Arkangel” and “Crocodile,” respectively) were okay, but both lacked action. The tracking device that “Arkangel” revolved around did not have enough of a storyline to fill an entire 52 minute period, and although the memory watching concept of “Crocodile” is intriguing, it was poorly executed. Also, I disliked episode five, “Metalheads,” so much that I couldn’t even finish it. After 20 minutes of sitting through this silent, black and white, grown up version of “WALL-E,” I was too bored to continue.

That being said, I think “Hang the DJ” and “USS Callister” were amazing episodes. “Hang the DJ” not only had a fascinating storyline about online dating apps and finding love, but also an amazing plot twist at the end.

“USS Callister” was very different than the usual “Black Mirror” episodes but was very enjoyable nonetheless. It revolved around a ‘Star Trek’ like spaceship controlled by an abusive captain but was much more than just a remake as it had many futuristic twists that  revealed the consequences of further developing technology.

I also believe that episode six, “Black Museum,” was one of the best episodes of the series. It addressed the idea of uploading human consciousness into other people, objects, and even digital copies by having a girl exploring a futuristic museum, guided by a man with elaborate stories about each object.  This episode was not only creative and extraordinary but it was also the most thrilling and haunting.

Despite the fact that season four was not as good as the other seasons, I still believe the creators achieved their purpose of showing the audience the dangers of technology. The show demonstrated the consequences of technology well, especially when it comes to our privacy—a prevalent argument against the development of technology today.

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