Black Mirror (2011-2019)

I love this Netflix show because it is very sci-fi and controversial. It is the type of series that can spark good conversation among friends about almost any topic, from morality, the future, social interactions and even technology. Every episode portrays a twisted dystopia based on the secondary effects of using technology even with good intentions. This is really well put together. The social interactions and situations created by futuristic capabilities really make you think about our own use of technology in the present. Some of the episodes come dangerously close to our reality.

Below are my top picks. enjoy!

The Entire History of you- Season 1 Ep.3

In the future people have access to a memory implant that records everything that humans do, see or hear. Contact lenses record every visual, while a small hand held device allows the user to replay their own memories flashing before their eyes or in a screen to share with others. The episode reveals the way this technology permeates and shape every aspect of social interactions. Think about the applications! You can replay a situation for a friend to ask for feedback. Extremely helpful during arguments to re-play what actually happened instead of arguing about who is right. You can pop your favorite children’s videos during a family reunion right on your TV. It could be a bit troublesome for over-analyzers who may probably play certain interactions on repeat until they figure out the meaning behind a gesture. Jeez! That sounds like a nightmare! You may even be able to replay your favorite home made X rated movies. It all sounds very neat until someone has something to hide… Can you keep secret when the entire history of you is readily available to anyone who wonders? Will this technology enrich relationships or keep people apart when there is nowhere to hide who you really are? Share that snippet of content that you saw or heard and sometimes you forget what comes after until it is too late.. A feeling sort of like when you send that text to the wrong recipient… 🙂

Nosedive- Season 3. Ep.1

A woman desperate to boost her social media score hits the jackpot when she’s invited to a swanky wedding. The episode centers around technology that allows people to rate every interaction they have with each other. In turn, their star rating becomes currency that opens the door to different lifestyles. This episode hits close to reality for me. We already have websites like VRBO where hosts and visitors are rated. Reputation in social media is becoming a real thing. There are people losing their jobs for tweets they published years ago or earning money for the amount of followers that they have. Beware of what you post because your life is not private anymore. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google, they are not search engines or social interaction platforms, they are in fact, recording engines. The worst part is that every key stroke and interaction that you have in these platforms is publicly available. It only takes for someone to know a little bit of coding to inspect your page source and read what you are up to. You have been warned!

Playtest- Season 3. Ep.2

An American traveler short of cash signs up to test a revolutionary gaming system, only to discover that the thrills are a little too real. This episode is somewhat scary! I imagine this can happen to any thrill seeker living in the moment. How many people are out there trying to experience life to the fullest? This story is a modern fable of what happens when a person is exposed to a foreign environment with nobody to turn to. When things go wrong there is no support system to fall back into. And let me tell you, life is so unpredictable that there will be plenty of times when things will go wrong. This episode makes you think twice about ditching your support system in exchange for ‘unlimited fun.’ It also warns about the dangers of serving as subject for experimental technology of any kind. It sure sounds fun and intriguing. It may even sound seductively altruistic being the first one to test something that has never been used before. The pay may be great, but is it worth it? Desperate people do desperate things that ultimately put them in a vulnerable position. Would you do it?

Arkangel- Season 4. Ep.2

Imagine going to a park and stopping to chat with another parent for a few minutes only to find out that your child is gone? Losing your child is without a doubt the worst fear of any parent. How far would you be willing to go to ensure that your child is safe, not only from kidnappers but also from being exposed to the gruesome truths in this world? Isn’t that what parents are supposed to do? This episode is another modern fable that exposes the possible consequences of sheltering another human being too much. The sad truth is that when you desire an experience, the situation finds you, no matter what.

Striking vipers- Season 5. Ep. 1

This episode is a story about bromance, sexual possibilities and defining boundaries. Does anyone know the exact definition of cheating? Is texting about your deepest feelings with a person across the world cheating if you don’t share those feelings with your partner? Is sexting cheating? What about hooking up without any feelings when your sexual life is dead with your existing partner? If your partner tells you what they are doing, and you are in acceptance, is that still cheating? Chances are that if you ask each one of your friends about the definition of cheating, you will get many different answers. Cheating is really about defining your own boundaries. After all, we don’t own each other, and what we receive from a partner is not an obligation but a gift. What would you be willing to give up in order to stay with the person that you love?

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