Black Mirror

Well that was sure unlike any TV I’ve seen before.

Dweeby but exhilarating. Preachy but chilling. The vibe half BBC half precocious student film. Like Dr Who and Spooks had a brilliant evil child. Fucking creepy. A bit spectacular.

Our Episode One protagonist, the British Prime Minister.

 Black Mirror is a British (blacker than) black comedy about our technosocial present moment. The black mirror of the title, according to its creator, Charlie Brooker, is “the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.” Someone else finds smartphones even more sinister than I do!

Black comedy doesn’t quite contain what this is though. I feel like it lifts out of the potential corniness of commentating on the ills of a facebook-addicted world and actually manages to paint a new, stark picture of who we’re turning ourselves into. You can laugh, but you might scream.

It helped that ads for a creepy-as-fuck looking Commonwealth bank smartphone app for getting property prices by taking pictures of houses (so creepy the ad itself resorts to mock-creepiness, trying to sneak in the knowing irony back door, which come on) kept interrupting the show on SBS On Demand.

But even without advertising coincidences confirming/parodying its worldview, this thing packs a punch.

And if that iPhone screen crack is not the most perfect thing ever…

If you’re in Australia, the first episode is on SBS On Demand until 23 October! Get on it. The second one’s up too, and if I didn’t have a stupid degree to be getting, I’d be watching it right now.

UPDATE: Second episode pretty disappointing. Let’s hope the third is a return to form.

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