[Series Review] BLACK MIRROR Season 6

[Series Review] BLACK MIRROR Season 6

BLACK MIRROR has always felt like it was on the precept of colliding with the current state of the world. In some way, the series provided a false sense of comfort that the scenarios presented weren’t happening now. No, the series served as a warning of what was to come.

On June 15, after a four-year hiatus, BLACK MIRROR returns with its sixth season, and it doesn’t hold back any punches. Our worlds have now collided with society caving in on itself on top of the advancement of technology and the use of AI.  With that, BLACK MIRROR has returned to remind you that there’s no end or escape in sight.

This latest season focuses on an array of themes but the one that’s most prevalent through all six episodes is that of autonomy. Whether it’s shown through the lens of a troubled actress or an executive whose life gets turned upside down, the common thread that snakes its way through each and every episode is the lack of control we have. We may like to believe we are in charge of our life, and our destiny.

The reality is that the truth is far more heinous. BLACK MIRROR has always warned about what the future could hold for technology and how it could integrate itself into our lives and strip us of our privacy. We may like to try and ignore it but BLACK MIRROR forces you to confront just how insidious it all is.

A more grounded BLACK MIRROR

Over the course of six episodes, we get a range of stories that mostly hit their mark. Creator and co-showrunner Charlie Brooker takes the helm once again in writing all six episodes (with the exception of “Demon 79” which is co-written by Bisha K. Ali). This season felt more grounded in reality than seasons past possibly due to pulling from the chaos of the past near-decade.

In the past few years, the United States has turned into its own dystopian nightmare, first under the Presidency of Donald Trump and never fully recovering under Biden, with most marginalized groups being attacked and stripped of their autonomy. On top of that, the rise of AI has been a concerning topic of conversation between the use of programs such as ChatGPT to even more terrifying creations such as Robotic police dogs. Long ago are the days in which BLACK MIRROR felt like a fictitious tale. Now, it’s the life we are leading every day.

Though each episode stands on its own, “Loch Henry,” directed by Sam Miller, is the strongest of the bunch. Taking the concept of a true crime story centered around a murderer named Iain Adair, the episode shows how society views tragedies in the form of entertainment.

What to expect

Cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2023.

Even though “Loch Henry” stands above the rest, it doesn’t mean the remaining episodes suffer under the weight of it. In “Joan is Awful,” Joan, played by Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy learns the importance of reading over the Terms & Conditions. In “Beyond the Sea,” starring Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul and Penny Dreadful‘s Josh Hartnett, two astronauts living different lives converge in an unforgettable way.

In “Mazey Day,” starring Atlanta‘s Zazie Beetz, a paparazzo follows a troubled actress in hopes of getting that million-dollar shot only to learn that some photos aren’t worth the risk. In “Demon 79,” starring Spider-Man: Far from Home‘s Anjana Vasan and Men‘s Paapa Essiedu, morality is put to the test when a retail worker and a demon come together to finish a ritual.

Of the episodes, “Mazey Day” was arguably the weakest. A longer episode would have allowed for smoother tonal transitions. The ending itself could have benefited from further fleshing out to deliver maximum impact. That’s not to say the episode is bad. Compared to the rest of the episodes, these elements made the episode’s weakness more noticeable.

Overall, this new season of BLACK MIRROR is more somber than seasons past as we inch ever closer to the series replicating our reality. For spoiler reasons, I’ve kept this review vague but fans of the previous seasons are sure to have an inkling of what to expect. With each segment crafted into its own individual episode, there’s something for each fan to enjoy. Regardless, this season reminds us how unforgettable BLACK MIRROR is.

BLACK MIRROR Season 6 is now on Netflix.

Shannon McGrew
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