The British cult classic show Black Mirror first made its debut on Channel 4 back in late 2011 and now it gears up for its stateside revamp filled with an all-star cast. Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror – which refers to the reflective omnipresent, dark screens of your smartphone, laptop, tablet and, yes, TV – is an anthology series which focuses on one of the most terrifying things that exist in our world today: technology. What started out as a colloquial show soon went viral, even attracting the likes of Jon Hamm who starred in the show’s 90-minute Christmas special, “White Christmas.” To put it this way, think of Black Mirror as the modern-day Twilight Zone for the existential crises of the Millennial era.
Brooker’s searing social commentary presents a place where technology has wreaked havoc and warped people’s minds. What is possibly one of the best things about Black Mirror is its ability to present something that seems completely ridiculous, but at the same time, something wholly familiar. The dystopian alternative realities – or simply extreme social scenarios – don’t feel that far off from the current state of our tech-dependent world, which only makes them that much more unsettling. Letting technology take over our social, domestic, and working lives, we are advancing to the point where we give it too much control or lose control of it altogether.
Another example Black Mirror takes a look at is artificial intelligence. What happens when we give too much artificial intelligence to the wrong software? Though many see AI as science fiction, it’s quite the opposite. In fact we are already living in a world of AI, but instead of seeing a robot, we see it in smartphones, computers and video games. Especially with video games being able to bring a new level of realism and immersion to the experience, it’s no surprise influencers such as Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have revealed to having nightmares about the future of AI.
Many believe we are just taking a small leap, a small advancement, but if we look at everything in aggregate, we are moving towards a place where we’ve uploaded our lives and our thoughts and there’s a cost to that. With every advancement to technology, there’s always something darker lurking and we haven’t given much thought to the potential consequences.
You can watch the first two seasons of Black Mirror streaming on Netflix now. Make sure to catch Black MirrorSeason 3 which airs on Netflix on Friday, October 21, giving us a foreboding view on a not so distant dark future. Check out the trailer here.