Black Mirror: Season One (2011) – A Dark Reflection

There is something that scares me about Charlie Brooker. In fact, he indeed inspired by “The Twilight Zone” by Rod Serling. Charlie Brooker also inspired by a computer or smartphone screen. When we turn it off, a black screen with a black reflection of us is there. It is really terrifying. In my opinion, “Black Mirror” is one of the series. Yet, it’s not one of your binge-watching types. Watching this series is a collision for us. There is a sense of silence and speechless. The first season is just three episodes. But, those episodes were things but they were curious. People would always hype for this series. It’s just one of that speechless impression.

“Black Mirror” is a series of anthologies where the stories and characters in each episode are different. The simple thing is, “Black Mirror” tells something objective from media, technology, and society. But, it rather views the negative effects of the presence for such things. In my opinion, this isn’t something that doesn’t need to be commented on much. Considering that the first season is three episodes. Regardless, “Black Mirror” is a British series to discussed in-depth way. All aspects are so cool, technically, ideas, and the way its executed. The acting is even the same as other theatrical films. So perfect from any corner. An impression that arises will be that each episode can be commented on.

The first episode opens in a thoughtful way. A quiet atmosphere emblazoned on the title but there is something that gives this episode so incredible. From its execution is so extraordinary that we cannot breathe as long as the episodes are running. “The National Anthem” is an ironic title to a shivering twist into our heart. It tells about the British prime minister, Rory Kinnear as Rory Kinnear. Necessary to do something insane to save Princess Susannah played by Lydia Wilson from a death threat.

Even though it seems simple, “The National Anthem” really illustrates how such information can spread uncontrollably. It can change one’s personality to never be the same again. Additionally, it’s about political blackmail. Social media is a benchmark of this episode. People laughed, the silence when Rory Kinnear had to do what the kidnapper said. At first, we laugh at him but the whole country became quiet without anyone whispering at all. The twist really such a thing so does the characterization of each character. Although seems quite predictable, the conclusions are perfect and the irony is there. Tension is spreadly. Each scene is more than creepy, shocked, so we can’t clap itself. You can’t talk again when you see the first impression of one episode.

“Fifteen Million Merits” is the second episode and one of the best, in my opinion, for this season. Unlike the first and third episodes, this episode lasts for one hour so it feels like a movie. The world created in this episode is so ambiguous. It’s full of interpretations even though various kinds of confusion were still hampered. It tells about the world where humans required to work on a stationary bike. People can get a “merits,” a currency in that world. This was what Daniel Kaluuya as Bing felt with such epic performances. Just like the title, he has fifteen million merits where he can do everything. Playing video games, eating lots of snacks, watching porn, and etc. Until his life changes when he meets Jessica Brown Findlay as Abi.

Apart from a world full of interpretations, there are many things which need to be discussed in this episode. How the internet is going forward making a person so trapped into a time-honored world. The setting is amazing. The plot twist is so shattering. The ending is just spectacular and one that really makes me terrifying and disturbing after watching this episode. The chemistry between the two main characters is really there. Character development, the interaction between two characters, up to several minor characters. It represents the picture of society in assessing ‘content’ both on social media and entertainment. Rating, money, fame, essence, all as if alluded to in this episode.

“The Entire History of You” is a third and final episode for the first season. It tells in an alternative universe. A technology where the device can store and redo a person’s memories from birth to the present. This is what Toby Kebbell as Liam below. He suspected his wife of having an affair with one of his friends. Apart from the technology in this episode is so cool, the presence of it seems so creepy and haunting. How Liam suddenly became madness, his wife including the people around him was bitter yet irony.

In the end, the technology itself destroys himself. Although this wasn’t too intense from the previous two episodes, the conclusion was full of bitter, and depressing. Yet, not too disappointing. The transition when Liam looks back at his wife’s memories to be in the same location is just brilliant. It gives a unique impression and dilemma.

The entire first season starts from the first episode to the third really got. Each twist always shows something unpredictable, great execution, and a perfect story. The second episode is one that really feels for me up to the other two episodes. The first and final episodes are also like that. It’s more like it really describes the world we still occupy. Each episode always presents an atmosphere that is so tense, goosebumps, and speechless. “Black Mirror” from here is a TV series with very genius story ideas and insane by Charlie Brooker.

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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