Black Mirror review

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Black Mirror (2011)

review & opinion

seasons 1 through 4

Black Mirror is a Netflix Original series, produced by Zeppotron, a British-based production company headed by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.  There are 19 episodes over 4 seasons (Netflix has ordered another season).  Each episode is around 40 minutes to nearly 90 minutes in length.

 

The spoken language is English, and Netflix offers dubbing and/or subtitles in several other languages. There may be more language options available in your area.

 

Black Mirror is rated TV-MA.  This series contains scenes that viewers may find disturbing, including nudity and violence.

 

Black Mirror in short, will freak you out. Could any of what you see actually happen "in the near future"? There's always a chance. Anything is possible.

Alex Lawther in season 3, episode 3 of Black Mirror.

Alex Lawther in season 3, episode 3 of Black Mirror. (Source: Netflix)

Among the dark themes, there is some humor. Odd, creepy humor. Don’t feel weird or awkward laughing at certain situations that may otherwise be inappropriate.

I binged the entire series (4 seasons) one weekend in 2018 (over 1,000 combined minutes in 19 episodes). Black Mirror has been reviewed ad-nauseum, and I have nothing more to add that will influence anyone’s viewing decision either way. However, I will offer a brief opine and a selection of the best episodes for your consideration.

Each episode is a self-contained pseudo-science fiction story, running anywhere from 43 minutes to nearly 90 minutes. I can compare it to an updated version of The Twilight Zone, at least that’s the first thing I thought of. Except, in Black Mirror the characters aren’t really in another dimension per se, they’re in the now and all the freaky stuff that happens is ‘common’ among the population.

Screen capture from season 4, episode 1 of Black Mirror.

Screen capture from season 4, episode 1 of Black Mirror. (Source: Netflix)

Technology, and how it can affect (sometimes adversely) everyday life is the centerpiece of each episode. If you’re looking for a feel-good series with predictable plots you’re not going to find it in Black Mirror. You’ll see the dark side of humanity and what people are capable of when this cool technology is exploited for all the wrong reasons: some of these episodes get really gloomy.

Although each story can stand on its own (you can afford to miss episodes and still know what’s going on), I counted least seven chapters that briefly refer to another in the series (like a specific piece of technology, or a quote from a character). If you miss the reference, though, it’s not going to totally throw you for a loop.

Among the dark themes, there is some humor. Odd, creepy humor. Don’t feel weird or awkward laughing at certain situations that may otherwise be inappropriate. I was horrified after the first episode in season 1 (The National Anthem). Truly sickened, in fact. When I watched it a second time, I giggled like a mad-man. But it’s that humor that makes Black Mirror a fun and addictive series to watch. Some of the ‘laugh-out-loud’ moments, for me, were in seeing justice get served to the deserving. What boundaries will they cross in the next season I wonder?

series & technical details

 CURRENT STATUS:

streaming on Netflix; renewed for season 5

 GENRES:

drama / sci-fi / thriller

 CONTENT RATING:

TV-MA

 SEASONS:

4

 EPISODES:

19

 RUNNING TIME:

approx. 40 to 89 mins /episode

 🍿 TOTAL BINGE TIME:

155 binge minutes (se.1) / 206 binge minutes (se.2) / 382 binge minutes (se.3) / 348 binge minutes (se.4)

 ASPECT RATIO:

1.90 : 1 (some episodes) / 16:9 HD (se.1-2) / 2.00 : 1 (some episodes) / 2.20 : 1 (some episodes)

 SOUND MIX:

Dolby Digital

 ORIGINAL LANGUAGE:

English (various subtitle languages also available)

 CAMERA:

Arri Alexa (se.1) / Red Epic (se.2-3) / ALEXA 65 (se.4)

 PROCESS:

Digital Intermediate (4K) (master format) / Dolby Vision / HDR10

business details

 PRODUCTION:

Zeppotron / Channel 4 Television Corporation / Gran Babieka

 DISTRIBUTION:

Netflix

 RELEASE DATES:

4 Dec. 2011 (se.1) / 11 Feb. 2013 (se.2) / 21 Oct. 2016 (se.3) / 29 Dec. 2017 (se.4)

 PRODUCTION BUDGET:

--

worth noting

 AWARDS:

Won 7 Primetime Emmy Awards. Another 20 wins & 73 nominations

Black Mirror Logo

Black Mirror stars Bryce Dallas Howard; Alice Eve; Cherry Jones; Wyatt Russell; Hannah John-Kamen; Wunmi Mosaku; Ken Yamamura; Elizabeth Moynihan; Alex Lawther; Jerome Flynn; Susannah Doyle; Gugu Mbatha-Raw; Mackenzie Davis; Malachi Kirby; Madeline Brewer; Ariane Labed; Kelly Macdonald; Faye Marsay; Benedict Wong; Jonas Karlsson; Jesse Plemons; Cristin Milioti; Jimmi Simpson; Rosemarie DeWitt; Andrea Riseborough; Kiran Sonia Sawar; Georgina Campbell; Joe Cole; Maxine Peake; Douglas Hodge; Letitia Wright; Jon Hamm; Rafe Spall, and more!

Black Mirror (2011), Opinions

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I used to be the guy who did that thing on the show you never heard of. Now I'm Head Nincompoop here, writing about binge-watching.

Website: https://8flix.com

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