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The British series Black Mirror consists of self-contained and independent episodes and is therefore one of the so-called anthology series. At the heart of the series is the question of how technology and the media affect society and people. The question of how our lives would change if we were inattentive for only ten minutes and went through life with our eyes closed plays a central role in the series and is repeatedly cited by the producer of the show as the starting point of his episodes.
Due to their design, the content of the series is almost unplayable without using too many spoilers, and in this brief description we focus mainly on what makes this exceptional appearance on the production line: the incredibly dense atmosphere and clever approach of the team, Playing with known and unknown technologies and keeping a mirror of society's own Kosumverhalten (related to technology).
Even the title of the series is to be understood as an indication of the content. The black mirrors, which surround us all daily, are the namesake of the series: switched off screens of smartphone, computer, TV and co.
From this one can also derive the prevailing mood in Black Mirror: The series critically examines the risks and impacts of technologies on society and people and echoes the individual consequences with hints and possible consequences of an extreme use of these technologies.
This approach surrounds some episodes with an almost dystopian mood - somber, scary and distressing. This is especially the case with creators whenever technological concepts are well known to all of us. Although all episodes work independently and can be seen in any order and can be considered as a series of short films, there are always small, connecting elements - finding and interpreting these elements has become a real competition developed for the fans.
The main focus of each episode is always on the behavior of people in relation to technology. Video Games, Internet, Telecommunications: Black Mirror shows an often mysterious and gloomy picture of a world controlled and influenced by technology.
As a special highlight of the series, the makers of the show with the episode "Bandersnatch" published one of the first interactive serial episodes of all time: Based on certain decisions, the audience can determine the progress of the action and also the end of the episode. The background of the episode is the development of a computer game called "Bandersnatch", which turns the protagonist's life upside down.
The technologies presented in the individual episodes are partly real, but sometimes also invented. The influences brought into society by these innovations are viewed critically in the individual episodes. The great attraction that comes from the series and the individual episodes is also that not only different times, but also alternative realities are pursued.
Short glimpses of the future are also present during the squadrons, as are excursions into the 80s - however, all times are produced with great attention to detail and with a strong emotional depth.
Another special feature of the series is its scope. With only three episodes per season, the first and second are extremely elaborately produced and made great, but very short.
However, streaming service provider Netflix intervened in 2014 and signed a contract for two more seasons, each with six full episodes twice as long as the originals.
Black Mirror remains true to its own concept and makes use of the respective consequences of always other actors and talents. Among others, since the first release of the first season 2011, Cristina Milioti, Jon Hamm, Jerome Flynn, Rupert Everett, Michaela Coel and Rafe Spall have been involved in the series.
Will Poulter and Fionn Whitehead play two game developers in the world's best-known episode, Bandersnatch, who first write an interactive game and later drift away into an alternate reality.
With Alice Lowe and Craig Parkinson in the roles of the therapist and the father of the main character Stefan, this special episode is supported.
Black Mirror was conceived and invented by British TV producer and author Charlie Brooker. The production is being taken over by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones as executive producers and Barney Reisz as producer. Season 1-2 was produced by Zeppotron and the episodes since 2014 are produced by House of Tomorrow.
Black Mirror is published by Endemol Shine UK Publishing and was initially published exclusively in the British Channel Four. The newer series and episodes appear on the online streaming provider Netflix and are developed exclusively for the streaming giant.
Rating and recommendation:
The critics are in agreement: Black Mirror is one of the most important series on technology and utopia in recent years. Several times already the proximity to the legendary Twilight Zone episodes was highlighted and praised by the critics.
The positive reviews are also supported by the ratings of the series. Already the first episode of the first season, "The National Anthem", was one of the most successful starts of the year 2011. The enormous audience of 1.86 million viewers paved the way for the success of the entire series.
The series was honored with an International Emmy, received the GLAAD Media Award and won four awards at the Primetime Emmy Awards.
The enthusiastic reviews mostly refer to the talent of the series to present complex structures very compact and concentrated. The ideas of the individual episodes are repeatedly praised and described as brilliant. Dealing with the extremely difficult topic of media criticism and technology succeeds the series extremely well.
The series is definitely worth seeing, and not just for technology fans! The dramaturgy of the episodes and the great acting performances of the cast make the series an absolute favorite and lead to worldwide storms of excitement. A clear recommendation for this bold and different series!
Show plays again and again with special little moments, in the style of the computer game industry also called "eastereggs". There are rare connections between the independently rotated episodes and small elements that appear again and again in the background. The most famous Easteregg of the series is the repeated appearance of the title "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is" by Irma Thomas.