A few quick words on “Black Mirror” Season 1 (2011)

Season 1 of Britain’s “Black Mirror” (2011) was absolutely terrific.  (To be clear, this first “season” consists of only three episodes, although subsequent seasons have more.)  This looks to be a truly superb dystopian science fiction anthology series — I’d rate it a 9 out of 10.

I’d point to two qualities that make this show stellar.  First, it’s truly smart stuff.  The story devices are thoughtfully invented and quite original.  (These are “near-future” -type sci-fi tales depicting how new technology or cultural trends can have unforeseen consequences.)  This show doesn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence, it relies on him or her to pay attention and think.

Second, the writers here have a firm grasp of genuine psychological horror.  There are no radioactive monsters in the sewers here, or killer robots from the future — but “Black Mirror” manages to be scary without those things.  It does just fine presenting the viewer with visions of human shame, fear, jealousy or existential loss.  These are stories that deal primarily with the psychology of their characters — and they truly get under your skin.

This is great stuff — I’d recommend it.

 

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