The dystopian, depressing but darn good ‘Black Mirror’ is making its return with season six coming to Netflix in June.
To get you prepared for all the mind-breaking episodes I’m gonna share the five that I see as essential Black Mirror viewing. I’m talking about the plot lines that are unique to the show and will stay creeping somewhere in your mind and freak you out about the only inevitable there is: The future.
THE SIX 'BLACK MIRROR' EPISODES YOU NEED TO (RE)WATCH BEFORE SEASON SIX
S1 E3: ‘The Entire History of You’
Everyone in the world has access to a device that lets you view your memories through your own eyes. Sounds sick right? WRONG! It also means other people, if they obtain your device, can view your memories. Yeah, a bit more ceebs now isn’t it?
This early episode does an incredible job of informing the audience that technology in the future won’t be all it’s cracked up to be. At the end of the day, humans will be humans and use it against our best interests. THE theme and message of the show.
S2 E1: ‘Be Right Back’
New AI technology allows people to text their dead loved ones. Soon that extends to an exact lifelike replica of your late beloved being able to walk, talk, and be around as if they weren’t dead.
With artificial intelligence hastily creeping into our lives making everything easier in an offsetting manner this episode, released ten years ago, is strikingly topical today. Starring Domnhall Gleeson from ‘About Time’ in another love story with an absurd premise, this episode tugs at heartstrings, laugh strings and fear strings.
S2 E2: ‘White Bear’
Imagine Hunger Games but everyone is trying to just kill you and it’s in public with random citizens filming you on their phones whenever they see you.
Here, Black Mirror builds on itself with a wild plot twist. It comes out of nowhere as even without it, the episode would be messed up enough and fit fine into Black Mirror’s catalogue. ‘White Bear’ is themed around justice and morality more than the dangers of technology, and signals the show's willingness to incorporate the darkest evils of mankind.
Christmas Special: ‘White Christmas’
IMBD’s top-rated episode of the show and for good reason. It’s a well-acted, perfectly-paced, riveting story that is a culmination of everything that makes the show so engrossing and unique.
Fascinating yet not far-fetched tech, the story takes turns, twists, and loops as horrible, vile characters are acted brilliantly (shoutout to Jon Hamm). If there is just one 'Black Mirror' episode to watch, it is ‘White Christmas'.
S3 E1: ‘Nose Dive’
Social media and Uber ratings combine to give us a world where every single action you make can be ranked from 0 - 5 stars by every person. You’re overall rating dictates your social circles, access to amenities and, of course, indirectly your self-worth.
Dallas Howard is awesome in this obvious commentary on how the apps we use every day affect us. Despite its bright colours and mostly picturesque setting, in true ‘Black Mirror’ fashion ‘Nose Dive’ makes you fear another easily possible future. However, unlike some eps that are just horribly bleak, there are pockets of hope and lessons to be learned in this episode.
S3 E4: ‘Shut Up and Dance’
Picture 'The Amazing Race' but for absolute scumbags and chuck in one of the most stomach-dropping and heartbreakingly disgusting plot twists in television history.
The future isn’t relevant in ‘Shut Up and Dance’, rather it’s rooted in the evils that exist today and the powers of today’s technology. The premise will freak you out, the plot twist will break you.
Season 1, Episode 1: ‘The National Anthem’: Prime minister + a kidnapping + a pig = one of the most wtf am I watching debut episodes ever, IYKYK.
S5, E2: ‘Smithereens’: An Uber driver goes off his rocker and Eric Forman from ‘That 70’s Show’ is a hippy Mark Zuckerberg.
S3 E4: ‘San Junepiro’: A movie-length, bright, beautiful love story that travels through time.
No piece of technology, job, way of living, person, romance, possible future, or even animal is safe from getting the Black Mirror treatment, so who knows what the next season holds for us? Just try to enjoy these ones (and our retroactively alright present) in the meantime.