Have you ever watched a movie or television show and wondered if the plot already happened or will happen in the future? Screenwriter and satirist, Charlie Brooker will have you thinking ten times as hard with his Black Mirror series! Black Mirror is a British anthology series that was shown on British TV in 2011. The show didn’t have a long run, but Netflix picked the series up in 2015 and commissioned a season of 12 episodes which was divided into two seasons and made available on Netflix by October 2016.
The interesting thing about the series is that every episode has its own uniqueness. Every episode picks your brain. So far my favorite episode is “Shut Up and Dance.” This episode wowed me as it had a huge plot twist! Like most of the Black Mirror episodes, it started out with very much suspense. You usually won’t grasp the meaning of the episode until it reaches the climax or the end. That is what I love the most about it, the plots are never easy to figure out, but by the end of every episode you’ve either learned a lesson or are left wondering will this happen or has this already happened.
In this particular one, it starts with a woman in a parking lot and she looks like she is in a frantic state. She is a character you should pay attention to as she is tied into the end of the episode and the beginning makes more sense. We then get introduced to another character, Kenny. He seems like your typical teenager, down to the masturbation. Kenny throws a big fuss over his sister using his computer after he retrieves it from her and has to remove a virus. He then went on to strip down in front of his computer, disregarding the web camera. You can assume from the grabbing of the tissues what he was about to do. Shortly after Kenny receives an email from an anonymous sender basically confirming with Kenny that the act he just committed is no longer a secret. The sender went on to ask for his phone number threatening to spread his secret to everyone. The madness began, but was it really madness or bad karma? He gives his number not knowing what he was in for. Kenny starts to receive very peculiar texts instructing him to do things and go places. By this time Kenny is as frantic as the woman we saw in the beginning. Kenny was sent to meet with someone who was in the same situation as him. They were hacked and threatened just like Kenny. To fast forward, Kenny‘s anonymous texts led him to other people harboring secrets darker than his or just as dark. Toward the end of the episode things got bloody, Kenny ended up having to fight someone to death who held the same secret as him. Kenny walked away from the fight, but did he really win? Did any of the characters in this episode win? The answer is yes.
In modern society, most things are accessible just by a google search or a click. Our biggest fears are having our files compromised or emails hacked. Having your identity stolen seems like the end of the world, but what happens if you are harboring secrets such as the characters in this Black Mirror episode? By the end of the episode, we found out every character’s secret. That’s right, the hackers weren’t so much of the bad guys. Although they did not hold their end of the bargain, they taught their victim’s valuable lessons. We learned that Kenny was actually masturbating to child porn, Hector had a family but was cheating on his wife with prostitutes, and the young lady from the beginning was racist. Hackers used their abilities to reveal the ugly truths of regular everyday people. This episode had me on a high because it narrates perfectly what is going on in our current society. People cover up their ugly secrets so good with a simple smile, they work at our jobs, watch our children, even serve us food. Charlie Brooker did a good job of displaying to us what it looks like to live in deceit.
If you haven’t already, check out Black Mirror on Netflix. You won’t regret it.