You’re Being Watched


Cindy Oyervides, Editor

     Black Mirror is a popular show on Netflix that focuses on the ways people may one day use technology. From inserting a chip into children’s heads as a way to track and monitor them, to an endless cycle of confusion and mockery, Black Mirror shows viewers the possible dangers and outcomes of technology being put in the wrong hands. The show was created back in 2011 and currently has four seasons on Netflix that viewers may stream.

     Black Mirror is a very different show that doesn’t have a lot in common with other shows. For example, the seasons in the show go backwards instead of going 1-2-3-4. Season one starts off with an episode called “USS Callister”; this episode focuses on a virtual simulation in space much like the show Star Trek and shows that a lonely person may go to crazy lengths to fill the void they have in real life. Episode two is about a mother whose daughter goes missing; after this happens, the mother has a chip inserted into her daughters head that allows her to be monitored through her own eyes, tracked as well as other things. By the end of the episode, this procedure proves to be a bad thing that the mother came to regret. The fourth episode shows what relationships might be like if people keep turning to technology for dates. People in the show are paired with many different people for various lengths in order to help pair them with their “perfect match” later on. Although the method may take it’s time, one couple at the end figures out how the system works and rebels. The final episode of season one is called “Black Museum”. In this episode, a young girl traveling ventures into the museum while she waits for her cars battery to charge up. Things make a dark twist at the end, leaving viewers wanting more.

     Season two of the show begins with an episode entitled “Nosedive”. This episode focuses on what life would be like if technology allowed people to rate every interaction with a person. The main character of the episode is trying to get a better personality score so that she may buy a nice house and is invited to a wedding that changes the entire course of her life. Episode two is about a game that uses a person’s greatest fears in order to push them to their limits. The use of the game seems too real for many people that try it out and endure endless cycles of fear and anxiety. “Men Against Fire” is the fifth episode of the season; this episode shows what it would be like if there was a glitch in a technology that makes normal people appear evil and dangerous. Soldiers are sent out to kill normal people that look very different in their eyes because of the technology being used. A glitch in one of the characters system reveals that things aren’t always what they seem.

     The third season of Black Mirror is a much shorter one compared to the previous ones. In the first episode, a girl’s boyfriend dies in a car accident and she becomes devastated. Soon after his passing, she is told to call a number that will allow her to stay in contact with her deceased boyfriend. At first she’s hesitant, but she eventually gives in and calls. The girl sends all the information she has about her boyfriend to the number, which allowed the service to make the calls seem much more real. After having many phone calls, she learns that she can purchase something that would become a physical version of her boyfriend. While she is happy to have the copy of her boyfriend around, she realizes it’s nothing like her actual boyfriend and has to decide between getting rid of the copy or keeping it around to keep her even slightly happy. “White Bear” is the second episode of the season; in this episode, a girls life is played over and over without her even realizing it. She has to try and figure out what’s going on but never does. Before she gets the chance to put the pieces together she is shocked and forced to relive the cycle again and again.

     The latest season of Black Mirror only has three episodes in it, each being over 40 minutes. The first episode “The National Anthem”, focuses on the possible dangers of people having a need for technology at all times. The princess in the show is kidnapped and the Prime Minister is instructed to perform a horrible thing on public t.v.. He has to decide if the act and the shame and embarrassment that comes with it is worth the princess’ life. “Fifteen Million Merits” is the second episode of the season and is about the way technology can be used to reward us with more technology. The characters in this episode have to ride gym bikes for most of their day in order to earn money and that money can be used to entertain themselves with games, show, food, and many other things. Without riding the bikes, people aren’t able to make money unless they have lots of power. In this episode, a boy meets a girl that is very talented and is determined to get her the fame he thinks she deserves. He gives up almost all of his money so that she may become famous, but things don’t go as planned for her or for him. Episode three focuses on the concept of memory recording. A couple in the episode begins having problems and the boyfriend is determined to prove to his girlfriend that she is up to something. The memory recording device most people have is used to help playback old memories like a movie. The boyfriend gets more and more suspicious that his girlfriend is cheating on him and plans to use the memory recorder to prove himself. Although he wants to know the truth, the pain from the possibility of him being right is bad enough to tear him apart.