Netflix just announced Season 3 of the BBC show “Black Mirror“.
Billed as a ‘Twilight Zone for the social media generation’, if you missed seasons 1 and 2, you should queue them up asap. But be warned: it’s as brutal as it is brilliant. Black Mirror is a very appropriate title. There’s no “…who’s the fairest of them all?” here – you’re just as likely to be horrified as you are fascinated when you look.
A ‘fifteen minutes in the future’ kind of Sci Fi, the show’s writers have an eerie knack for standing right in the intersection of technology, cultural trends, and our primal human appetites. Whether it’s the sordid voyeurism for political scandals, clones of deceased loved ones downloaded with personality algorithms based on social media profiles, to reality shows, pornography, virtual reality, the impact of mnemonic cyber implants on relationships, what makes the show remarkable isn’t merely its excellent script, stories, or acting, but the terrible plausibility of it all.
Again, this won’t be everyone’s cuppa, but I suspect it will engage futurists, fans of William Gibson, and SF junkies out there. As a Christian, I’m both struck and dismayed by how astonishingly well it captures humanity’s capacity for creativity and innovation, as well as reflecting the deep-rooted flaws in our souls that only God, not technology, can remedy.
And as a SF writer, I confess I’m a little jealous.
The incredible true story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a Hamas founder, and top secret informant for Israeli intelligence for more than ten years. The movie also features his main handler, Gonen Ben Yitzhak, and chronicles their unlikely alliance and friendship during the violence of the first Intifada. I won’t spoil it, but it is a gripping, well-produced and fascinating documentary well worth your time.
Free on Netflix, this smoldering, stripped down revenge flick was actually Kickstarted to life on the screen. To describe it as a straightforward revenge-type flick doesn’t do justice to the realistic portrayals, the lean, taut writing, the rock solid characterizations. No glamor, snarky one-liners, or trite rationalizations, this is a bloody straight-edge razor of tragedy, confusion, and the mess of vindictiveness and retribution. Worth it but be prepared.
Called the Twilight Zone for the Facebook and Twitter generation, this is another Netflix find. Essentially a ’15 minutes into the future,’ kind of sci-fi, Black Mirror extrapolates and toys with the effects of rapidly advancing technology on the social media generation. The title is apt; it does indeed reflect the darker side of human nature. After watching several episodes, I was both jealous and horrified at the brilliant and terribly plausible scenarios. British-produced, it has the usual deliciously understated acting and polished script. Be warned however, this show is blunt and handles mature themes. It somehow manages to be explicit without being graphic, but there are some very difficult moments.