Last year, I was in a pitch meeting when the conversation turned to Black Mirror. At one point, the executive I was pitching revealed two of his favorite episodes and my (internalized) reaction was “Really?!”. I mean, they weren’t bad, but of all the episodes to choose from, why those two? And then, just last week, someone tweeted out their Top 5 Black Mirror episodes and I was again completely stunned. Again, not bad episodes, but Top 5?
So I got to thinking. Maybe an individual’s taste in Black Mirror episodes reveals deep-rooted psychological issues. I recall that, during that pitch meeting, the executive asked me to reveal my favorites. When I did, he nodded knowingly as if he’d figured me out and remarked: “You like a certain type of story.” I do? Yes, I suppose I do. But what does that say about me?
You tell me. Here, for your psychoanalyzing pleasure, is my Black Mirror Top 5!
#5. White Christmas
Two men find themselves trapped in a cabin, forced to weather a furious snowstorm. But as they wait and open up, secrets are revealed and we realize…all is not as it seems. The series has drawn comparisons to The Twilight Zone, and nowhere are the parallels more evident than in this twisty-turn installment.
#4. San Junipero
A love story set in 1980’s southern California. Or is it? A great set-up with a terrific sci-fi pay-off that offers up one of the sweetest, most uplifting episodes of the entire series. Or so I assumed until my writing partner pointed out that my assumed happy ending was anything but.
#3. USS Callister
An episode at turns humorous, horrifying, suspenseful, and utterly delightful, this one focuses on a nerd fanboy who exacts revenge on his co-workers by trapping them in a simulation remarkably similar to Star Trek: The Original Series.
#2. Be Right Back
A woman, mourning the loss of her husband, is seemingly offered the opportunity to recapture what she had in the form of a duplicate AI, its personality constructed from her late hubby’s aggregated internet activity. A touching and powerful story where the clever technology is as important to the narrative engine as the emotions driving our protagonist.
#1. The Entire History of You
We are presented with a near future where every individual’s memories are recorded for convenient playback – and sharing! – at a later time. When a husband begins to suspect his wife of infidelity, their review of recent history sets them off an a harrowing descent into their unexplored pasts.
List your favorites so I can judge you as well!