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‘Black Mirror’ Season Six Gets Sucked Into The Black Hole Of Modern Leftism

Annie Murphy in "Black Mirror" episode "Joan is Awful."
Image CreditNetflix/YouTube

In place of deep questions about morality and meaning, the show’s writers injected smug irony into season six and passed it off as fresh.

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When the series began over 10 years ago, “Black Mirror” was instantly one of the most prophetic, poignant, and popular shows on television. For the first three seasons, each episode captured the dread and dehumanization accompanying the rise of digital technology, social media, and high-speed internet. Throughout most of the series, viewers could catch a masterfully made glimpse of where their brave new world was headed: five-minute fame, social credits, constant surveillance, flash mob populism, virtual reality merging with physical reality, and a number of transhumanist nightmares.

What was even better about the series was its paradoxical ability to portray the dehumanizing effects of technology with the utmost humanity. True to its title, the show used certain premises and settings as a means of collective reflection, not as some futuristic or other-worldly escape. It had something to say about the postmodern world and compelled viewers to consider what they were sacrificing in the name of progress.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. In its latest season, “Black Mirror” has lost the very qualities that made it so unique and relevant. Instead of telling tight, provocative stories with compelling characters and interesting premises, the show has degenerated into insipid tales of horror with turgid pacing and characters devoid of all personality. 

The one exception to this is the season’s first episode, “Joan Is Awful,” which fits with the best of the series by successfully satirizing the narcissistic mindset of being “the star in our own movie.” However, the following episodes of the season fail to measure up and almost completely depart from the qualities that made “Black Mirror” what it was. 

The final episode of the season, “Demon 79,” descends the furthest and is mostly revenge porn for today’s woke audiences. The story takes place in a British town in 1979 that is apparently teeming with racism and xenophobia. The protagonist is a quiet Indian woman who lives alone, works at a shoe store, and occasionally fantasizes about killing the irritating white people around her. She’s visited by a charming demon who tells her she needs to murder three people to stave off Armageddon. It’s meant to play out like a dark comedy, but the social agenda is so obvious and the characters so simplistic that it comes off tedious and silly.

While it may be cliché to point out, it’s evident that “Black Mirror” is yet another series that has fallen victim to modern leftism. And this goes beyond its effort to push diverse representation in the cast and incorporate woke messaging in its characters and plots — the show suffers from a dearth of ideas. 

Somehow, in the era of Covid, working and living remotely, Chat GPT, augmented reality, deepfakes, Neuralink, artificial wombs, Big Tech totalitarianism, and alternative media, the writers just couldn’t think of anything beyond going back in time to remark on just how un-progressive and hypocritical people used to be. 

It’s as if they are either unwilling or incapable of using their imaginations and thinking critically about these issues. They’ve been duped by the very things earlier seasons of “Black Mirror” warned about — they can never bring themselves to ponder the large-scale abuses of technology, nor can they ever move beyond leftist stereotypes. And in place of deep questions about morality and meaning, they inject smug irony and pass it off as witty and fresh. 

Needless to say, it makes for poor television.

This does not mean “Black Mirror” is creatively spent and deserves cancellation. The premise of the series still offers plenty of opportunities for good storytelling and insightful social commentary. However, the writers of the show must look in the mirror, black or otherwise, and rediscover what it means to be human in a world increasingly dominated by devices.


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