Why are we so fascinated by a show meant to scare us?
Black Mirror made its debut in 2011. Ever since, fans have been mesmerized by the dark nature of the show. From being trapped in a game to fake humans, Black Mirror, and shows like it, have proven that we are fascinated by what we are capable of. But why this show? Why now? What do we find so captivating?
What really scares us about Black Mirror types stories is how possible they are. Black Mirror isn’t Star Wars. Ironic to say on a Star Wars based site, I know. But this isn’t futuristic tech. This is technology that we are capable of in the next ten to twenty years. It doesn’t worry us because we might be capable of it one day. It worries us because we can do it soon. And, knowing humans, if we can, we will.
If you’d like to see a short Black Mirror type film made for a film festival here in Atlanta, check it out here. The film is called “Will My” and it’s another example of how we can work ourselves into a nice little dark corner. A good friend was in charge of photography, earning the film several awards. If you enjoy Black Mirror, then you won’t be disappointed.
Season three episode one of Black Mirror was Nosedive, featuring Bryce Dallas Howard. This episode is one of the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. The episode focuses on social media and how it can control your life. Imagine your entire existence being based around Facebook likes. Not enough likes, you can’t get on a plane, be invited to a party, or live in a nicer neighborhood. Mental professionals are already warning of the dangers of social media, especially on teens. Black Mirror type stories are meant to show us what’s possible if we continue along the path we walk.
We like to think we are good people. Everyone does. We can’t imagine committing some of the crimes we see on tv and hear about in the news. But what if minor deviance and rating humans based on likes was the norm? Are we really capable of becoming the people we see in shows like Black Mirror? Your phone has the answer. No, really. Of course when you hear Black Mirror you go to the darkness that we are capable of seeing in ourselves. However, the name is meant to strike a bit closer to home. Look at your phone and turn it off. What do you see?
Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix now.
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.