Hey guys! I’ve been talking about every Black Mirror episode at length for a long while now, and now that’s over, I might as well go over my top 5 Black Mirror episodes. And because these are pretty much interchangeable, this is a list in no particular order!
I will say that it was so difficult to narrow it down to five episodes, and the honourable mentions were The Entire History of You, Arkangel and Fifteen Million Merits.
White Bear was a wild ride, that’s for certain. It also inspired one of my short stories that I wrote back in November 2019, and is now reworked to become its own thing. Anyway, I like that you’re supporting this woman and pretty much on her side, until you find out that she’s actually undergoing daily psychological torture because she was part of a brutal killing of a girl she kidnapped. The “White Bear Justice Park” is open to visitors that can record her suffering, and then the memories of that day are wiped for her and she goes through it all again. I think that’s hugely impactful, but it also raises some moral questions and doubts, especially when it comes to the enjoyment of the torture. Does it make the general public as bad as her? Remains to be seen, I suppose.
San Junipero is the token ‘happy ending’ of Black Mirror, where it’s actually more bittersweet than happy, for me anyway. The episode is full of 80s nostalgia that I felt so hard despite actually being born in 1992. That said, having been brought up on 80s culture helped a lot to feel more connected to the episode, and that kind of theme does carry on with Bandersnatch too, I suppose.
I still need to get some artsy posters for my home!
Nosedive, the episode that spawned a board game! Nosedive is practically tied for first place, with its visuals and dystopian setting being the focus. As you’re viewing the episode from the point of view of Lacie, it seems very aspirational, but it’s what China has, with a similar Social Credit System in place, so that the better score you have, the more perks you enjoy. I just love Lacie’s descent into madness, and the soundtrack for this episode is amazing!
White Christmas is a standout for many reasons. It did the anthology thing, with three different stories in this Christmas special, but in a special way, they link together really well. Matt’s role as a guide to help men pick up women feeds into the end of the episode, as does Joe falling into the power of the in-real-life blocking feature. The cookie feature does get used again in future episodes, but it’s at its peak here, with Joe’s artificial consciousness being tortured by the real-world effects of the cookie. It’s a very dark ending overall, though, and it’s not the usual fare you’d put on over the Christmas period, but it works for me!
The National Anthem
I can understand that this is a very controversial choice, but I felt that it was perhaps the best introduction to the Black Mirror series. The fact remains that while it may have been a little farfetched, the focus for me isn’t on the Prime Minister being forced to fuck a pig live on TV, it’s the reactions of the general public, hungry for controversy, going as far as to watch the viewing despite them being encouraged not to watch it. This combined with its present-day setting allows us to immerse ourselves further as it could be something that happens in our reality. I wouldn’t want to watch Boris Johnson doing that, let’s just leave it at that!