Black Mirror Season 3
Oct 20, 2016
Fans of Black Mirror, the cult-favorite sci-fi anthology series from the U.K.'s Channel 4, may have been wary when Netflix acquired distribution and ordered up 12 episodes. Indeed, part of what made the series so intriguing came from the savvy release model of slim 3-episode seasons. Charlie Brooker's visions of the future are searing, seething, and all too possible, and each episode of the original U.K. run is powerful enough to cause psychic tremors that ripple from first viewing into the in future indefinitely. In each episode, there are images—and more impressively, concepts—that stick, and their power increases with the breathing room allowed by the scarcity of installments.
The new season of Black Mirror has a lot of the series' patented dystopian juice, with commentary on the self-inflicted prisons of social media, hostage crises, and other socially and politically relevant content taking center stage. The show is obviously aware of the increased exposure coming to it, and each episode is tightly constructed. No element is out of place in the worlds created here, creating experiences so immersive that even the scattered celebrity appearances are unable to take you out of the moment. The only drawback is that the plethora of episodes in the latest season—expressly designed for binge watching (which would be a great Black Mirror premise...)—detract from the overall impact. With its anthology format and prescient content, Black Mirror has always drawn comparisons to The Twilight Zone, but until this season it has been more in reference to those canon episodes, with scintillating visions that penetrate through time. Though Season 3's content remains iron-clad, the proliferation forces things closer to the territory of having "forgotten" episodes, watering down the power of Brooker and his team's vision. More is seductive, but beware dilution. (www.netflix.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 7/10
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