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Review – Black Mirror S1

An anthology series focusing on the darker aspects of life and technology.

Normally, I would go a little further into detail about the plot of whatever film or TV show I’m about to review, but that’s kind of difficult to do with Black Mirror, or at least that’s what I’m led to believe after viewing season one of Charlie Brooker’s show. Each episode from the pilot tells a completely different story about completely different people, and if I’m completely honestly with you, I can’t really be bothered with explaining the plot from each of these three stories. I would usually try to go above and beyond for you guys, but I’m currently living hand-to-mouth with my reviews and if I plan on getting them out on the days I intend to… well, you’re starting to get the picture.

Anyway, back to Black Mirror – I initially wasn’t sure about this one. It was homework for a podcast episode and so that’s the reason I watched it. I have to admit that, given the nature of the show’s narrative style, I was more in love with some episodes than I was others. However, the show has done enough to spark my interest and to make me want to stick with it through its other seasons.

The episodes I have seen were host to a plethora of talented British performances, and provided a good insight as to what audiences here have to look forward to seeing on their screens as a decent number of these performances came from up-and-coming actors. A particularly honorable mention goes to Daniel Kaluuya who I had only previously seen in Sicario (a good place to have previously seen him though). He played the lead in “15 Million Merits”, the second story of the season, and was tremendous to watch. It was a stand-out for me, and kept my attention through the episode that, I felt, was the weakest of the three I’ve seen.

The way this show is written makes each episode feel more like a short movie, which is a good thing in a way as if you’re someone who doesn’t consistently have a lot of time to sit and follow a TV show from start to finish, you don’t lose where you are with a story that runs throughout. Of course, this has its problems as well. If you’re someone who likes the draw of a story that runs through a show, this show can be tough to sit down and get into from episode to episode, or at least that’s what I found. Because there was nothing that could ever be left on a cliff-hanger to carry over to the next episode, I found it hard to dedicate time to go back and watch the next episode each time I finished the one I was on. Personally I prefer something bigger to get my teeth into, but that’s just the sort of thing I like.

On the whole, I can’t say I would 100% recommend Black Mirror to anyone just yet. The show has done enough to gain my curiosity, but I’ll need to see more before I can come to any sort of solid judgment about it. Somehow, I just don’t think it’s my cup of tea, but I’ll persevere and see what happens.

7

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