I watch the first episode of Black Mirror, wind up doing a three-sentence running journal and give the series a Homer Simpson food critic-esque rating.
At least I’m not going to recommend Serial. I’m going to recommend the other thing.
When Arrested Development first premiered, I watched it. Sort of. I had the first episode on the TV while I talked with my roommates and sorta half watched it. Nothing jumped out at me — it was a show that required and rewarded attentive viewing, after all — so I stopped watching. Then my friend Steve started berating me constantly: “You gotta watch Arrested Development. Why aren’t you watching Arrested Development yet? You’re a damn fool if you don’t watch Arrested Development.”
FOX ran a marathon of Arrested Development shortly after that — this was the era before anything even close to on-demand — and I watched it. For the next two-and-a-half years, *I* was the one berating people about Arrested Development. Very few listened (until years later). It was canceled. I promised to listen to the TV Berators from that moment on, for I was a frustrated Berator.
Over the years, listening to the Berators has served me very well. I watched shows like Firefly, Community, House of Cards, The Wire, Orange Is the New Black and Sherlock thanks to them. And the latest from the Berators is Black Mirror.
Black Mirror is a British series that’s now available on Netflix. Odds are, someone has told you that you HAVE to watch it. And as much as I hate joining the TV hipster horde — I have to join in that chorus.
It was described to me as a sort of “technology age Twilight Zone” and that’s pretty on point. It’s as good of satire as I’ve ever seen in that area — and one of the best TV shows I’ve seen in years. Certainly the most thought provoking. (At least until Reading Rainbow comes back.)
I set out to keep a running journal of the first episode, but it quickly fell apart.
I will share it with you now (no spoilers).
0:00 – Alright! Finally! Let’s see what this prestigious British TV show is about.
4:58 – Wait… what?
42:44 – Well, that was fantastic.
The first episode is a great look at so many things, my favorite of which being how social media chews people up, spits them out, moves on, and forgets about them — but leaves their lives permanently affected. It also does a great job on media frenzies, ethics, poll-driven politics, cyberterrorism, voyeurism and relative morality.
All in the context of the prime minister of England having sex with… well, you’ll find out.