Black Mirror is a British TV show that began in December of 2011 consisting of 2 seasons of 3 hour-long episodes. It was created by Charlie Brooker, who also has been a writer on 5 of the 6 episodes. The show's name refers to the screens nearly ubiquitous in modern life.
The concept of the show could be described as a 21st century Twilight Zone obsessed with our relationship with technology. The stories are set anywhere from the present to an ambiguous point in the future. The episodes tend to hang on a particular scenario or piece of technology and explores what that would mean to humanity or society. Each episode stands on its own and features an entirely new cast.
The National Anthem
Fifteen Million Merits
The Entire History of You
Be Right Back
The Waldo Moment
Review (minor spoilers below)
Black Mirror is a great show. It can veer from some signature Brooker-esque
churlishness to a bit of shmaltz, but all in a good way.
The premise of the first episode is the sort of thing I would expect from Charlie Brooker (a writer on Brass Eye, the co-creator of Nathan Barley, generally a man with a warped sense of humor.) The episode begins with the prime minister being called into an emergency meeting. He's told that a very popular princess has been kidnapped and will be executed if the demands aren't met. The demands? That the PM goes on live television that very afternoon and fucks a live pig, to completion. While that premise sounds crass and puerile, it's actually used well to comment on politics, society, and our collective urge to gawk at the horrible and embarrassing.
The third and fourth are much more dramatic, in that they deal very directly with love and loss. In a way, they seem like they're stories that should have a bitchy Genie in them. The both deal with the sort of technology one might wish for. In episode 3 (The Entire History of You), it's the ability to record everything you've ever experienced. In episode 4 (Be Right Back), it's the ability to resurrect a simulacrum of a deceased loved one. Both stories deal with the unintended consequences of the premise. Those episodes veer more towards the emotional than the satirical.
Overall, it's a refreshing take on technology, society, and humanity. It has just enough biting satire to warm the cockles of my jaded little heart.