How Black Mirror redefined the “Dark” genre: Part 1

Dissecting the Netflix blockbuster that exposed what others deny

t’s been quite a while since Netflix took the world by storm; in the aftermath, people got access to a plethora of intriguing content. One such example was arguably the dystopian anthology series called Black mirror, collectively produced by Annabel Jones and Charlie Brooker. The idea behind this series is to give you a rich glimpse of the calamitous world that exists when technology is misused. Interestingly it’s not only the technology exploitation but also the dark tendencies of human instinct that is exposed. The most desolate part of this entire series is that none of the episodes have a happy ending, and the purpose is to teach us a profound lesson.

This particular masterpiece aired with just 3 episodes for season 1 on 4th December 2011. Interestingly being an anthology, every episode conveyed a regretful yet meaningful story. It started by exposing how a calculated kidnap and social media can be exploited to compromise the harmony of an entire nation. The alleviated pain of a royal guinea pig can result in revolting actions, but what's interesting to note is that a large chunk of people unconsciously are sadists. The first episode portrays excellently how the mindset of the masses can shamelessly change in a split second. Furthermore, it's also sad to know that how individuals who take great strides to do the right things are the ones who suffer the most within.

“A person who supports and silently watches an abuse is equivalent to the one committing it”

The season further describes how even the most talented minds are exploited for all the wrong reasons. The dystopian technology can put people in a loop of mundane life that eventually leads to madness. It's only in the most unlikely ways people can actually break free. What's truly amazing is how detailed certain aspects of greed and fake happiness are portrayed in the second episode. People are so obsessed with living a robotic life, that they completely forget what true happiness really means. They lose the capacity to identify true talent as well. Sadly, most people embrace such a monotonous life at the cost of their own health and sanity. Even if a single person makes a monumental effort to be different, they are either neutralized or pushed into the depths of ignorance.

“Irrespective of your skill or intentions, you end up in places you never wished to be”

Finally, the season concludes with a chilling episode showing how technology that aids photographic memory would have devastating consequences. The episode brings into light that people prefer existing in the past to the present. Even though all the tech portrayed in this series are purely fictional, they appear to be very thoughtful inventions. Having a wearable device to rewind your memories and delete them at your disposal is truly disruptive. Ironically, the characters in this episode utilize this tech for all the wrong reasons. Its exploited to such an extent that the character loses the tendency to forgive and forget as it's never an option. The privacy barrier seizes to exist as all of your memories can be played like a movie to the general public upon persuasion. What we infer is simple, we don't achieve anything by trying to solve problems from the past. But no matter how hard we try to live in the present, past trauma always catches up and wins.

People in the dystopian tech age should either remain ignorant or vigilant as remembering memories of deceptive people will only lure one into insanity.

It's interesting to note such a mind-boggling series advented back in 2011 itself. The ideas that were portrayed were simply light years ahead. Moreover, the plot was exceptionally written that it never failed to amuse even the most inquisitive minds. What truly sets this series apart is that it tries to tell a bitter truth without sugar-coating any component. Whether such a bleak future exists or not is a debate for another day, but the consequences of misuse always remain the same. This is easily one of the rare series from which you can learn a lesson or two that can profoundly impact one's life.

“You are free to make choices, but you are not free to escape the consequences”

Hi, I am an engineer by profession and a content writer by passion . I enjoy writing about arcane topics from a wide spectrum of domains !