Netflix recently announced the release date for the fifth season of Black Mirror, a British science fiction anthology TV series created by Charlie Brooker. Black Mirror is a film that interrogates the dark side of technology, its direct effect on human interactions with it, and how it might affect the human society in years to come.
Charlie Brooker, when asked what informs the idea behind the show and the title, said:
“If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where black mirror, my new drama series, is set. The ‘black mirror’ in the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.”
Episodes and the different technologies explored therein range from crazily funny to mildly creepy to definitely scary. The very first episode explores the use of YouTube (or a similar streaming platform) in the blackmailing of a British Prime Minister. Another introduces social scoring (kind of app ratings) as a parameter used to determine who gets what access to social amenities. The higher your ratings, the better services you receive. Every episode takes on a new plot and cast, showing us a new angle on how our lives might be affected by technology now or in the future. It is worth watching and pondering over.
However, it is important to point out that Black Mirror has as much to do with us as it does with technology. Technology is not the enemy here (Is the robot invasion a thing?). Rather, it’s our relationship with technology that needs checking. How attached are you to your cell phone? What basic but essential human action are you heavily reliant on technology to perform? The darkness in the mirror might just be a reflection of whom we are or who we are becoming. Because in the end, we’ll always be our own enemy.
The fifth season of Black Mirror will premier June 5 on Netflix. It is expected to have just three episodes starring Miley Cyrus and Andrew Scott among others.