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B-List Delights: Black Mirror

Looking to ponder life more deeply than you originally hoped? “Black Mirror” is the show for you. Without a doubt, it has quickly become a popular show created by Netflix to engulf their audience so they will wonder about technology. It practically gives you an existential crisis after watching a single episode. Created by Netflix, “Black Mirror” currently has four seasons and is renewed for a fifth. Director Charlie Brooker wants the audience to explore the depth of techno-paranoia. It was created as a modern version of “The Twilight Zone.” I could talk about almost all of the episodes and how insane they are, but I want to highlight the two episodes that really stuck with me more than the others.

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The first episode I want to bring to light is ‘Playtest’ (2016), which was the first episode that hooked me into the show. It started out somewhat boring, seeing a man walking around a public area. He spontaneously left home one day to explore the world, but runs into issues and decides to test a complex video game for money. At first, the traveler seems to enjoy the video game but is soon unable to differ virtual reality from reality. Problems arise within the horror video game and he has to ward them off. The ending was what really shocked me, not as much the horror part of the episode. I was speechless afterwards, staring at the black screen in front of me while my friend sat waiting for me to ask questions since she had already seen it. I don’t want to give the ending away, and I won’t, but it truly made me think about our technology and the future advancements. I don’t know how long it will take for us to create the complex video game that was in ‘Playtest’ but I believe it could be a part of our future. Aaron Morton’s work of the cinematography, the eerie and somewhat dark work, is what really finished off the episode.

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The other episode is ‘Nosedive’ (2017), where a woman named Lacie hopes to boost her social media status. The catch, people are able to and definitely will judge you by ratings on an online app after a “meaningful encounter” with you. Everywhere you go, people that are your drivers or baristas will rate you based on your actions. Those ratings affect the places you travel and people sometimes could refuse you things simply for that. The people in this utopionized world are trapped by the need to be loved by many, which isn’t too far off from reality. It slowly drives Lacie insane once she can’t reach a certain status. Seamus McGarvey left me shocked with the cinematography in ‘Nosedive’, with a colorful and technological edge.

Each episode is something different and new, where revelations are made every time. “Black Mirror” brings the technological fears to life and nudges at the limits of technological advancement. It is a show that you are able to watch by yourself, but of course you can always bring a friend to watch and discuss the episodes later.

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