The Black Mirror series is a set of three mini movies which explore some of the ideas of modern life and the media which make many of us nervous. In a nutshell, hated the first one, loved the next one.
Episode 1 The National Anthem
Weird, weird, weird. This one shows how an individual can use the internet (and a little old-fashioned kidnapping) to blackmail the British prime minister into screwing a pig.
Yes. He does the dirty. With a pig.
Shocking concept, great build up and very realistic, but it fell short. First, it makes an undecided half hearted attempt to show the story from the point of view of random members of the public. They shouldn’t have bothered.
Secondly, they never explain the perpetrator’s motives, apart from the PM’s aide muttering some crap about him making a ‘point’ on the phone. Now turning down a knighthood or leaving excess packaging at the check-out desk is making a ‘point’ hen. Forcing another human being to have sex with an animal is something else entirely.
It seemed like the Channel 4 execs just wanted to leave the Brit public with the image of the PM doing a pig. Seriously? Just imply he’s having a career damaging affair, in accordance with acceptable media tradition.
15 Million Merits
Brilliant! So brilliant! So scary.
Set in the not so imaginary future where people spend their days pedalling strange exercise bikes (probably to generate electricity). By pedalling, they earn merit points which they then exchange for food and entertainment. The only possessions they can buy are virtual ones which their avatars can enjoy.
The only way to escape this drone drudgery is to become rich and famous, notably through an X Factor/ Pop Idol type talent show. But to become rich and famous, you gotta prostitute your humanity.
How do you fight it?
Watch the Black Mirror series on the Channel 4 website 4OD and look out for the final episode in the series, The Entire History of You, on the 18th on Channel 4 at 10pm Spanish time (9pm UK time). We use Expat Shield to watch brit tv online, but there are lots of options out there.