Netflix is widely known for its "hit or miss" shows. It seems that Netflix's Black Mirror hit the center of the target in 2011. Four seasons of chaotic entertainment later, Black Mirror is received the same amount of hype with the recent release of its fifth season.
The storylines in themselves are beyond creative and incredibly horrifying. Each episode ends on a major cliffhanger, leaving you wondering about the unseen ending for days. And although every episode surrounds a very different story, a general theme presents itself every time: the abuse of technology. Many episodes exist in a futuristic setting in which technology is much more advanced. The main character(s) often find themselves in trouble thanks to the new "cutting-edge" technology of their society. The variety of the series is very pleasing and equally pleasing to watch.
Regardless of a similar theme that occurs throughout the series, no episode feels repetitive. From transferring consciousness to a dating AI, you can expect the writers of the show have something new in store every time you click “Next Episode.”
With a different story every episode, there is a massive variety of actors including Bryce Dallas Howard, Toby Kebbell, Jon Hamm, Daniel Kaluuya, Pom Klementieff, Andrew Scott, and even Miley Cyrus. The actors do an amazing job portraying their character, especially since the nature of each episode is very abnormal.
Despite the benefit of Black Mirror’s lack of need to commit to watching it, there are some downfalls to the show. To start, the lack of exposition as well as a satisfying ending can make an episode hard to watch; of course, this merely depends on personal opinion. In addition, Black Mirror contains an unnecessary amount of rising action.
For example, in “Metalhead,” the unnamed main character is being chased by a robot “dog” for almost an hour. And sure, it’s frightening and you would like to see that the woman survives, but the process of watching the chase is a bore. (I kid you not when I say that I fell asleep halfway through the episode and woke up ten minutes later to the same part.) In a similar fashion, “Smithereens” consists mainly of empty death threats and clueless police.
However, I do have to give some credit to “The Black Museum.” Presenting three unique stories and tying them all together in the end with a good old revenge plot was so entertaining. And sure, the part where the doctor mutilates himself is a little scarring, but isn’t that what Black Mirror is all about?
Tl;dr: This show is unpredictable and does not require commitment. Black Mirror is good to watch late at night for a good scare or to liven up a boring sleepover. However, if you hate cliffhangers, gore, sex scenes, and questioning your morals, it might do you better to just watch Friends.