When it first hit, “Black Mirror” took audiences by surprise. That is no embellished sentiment as, before 2012, it felt like eons since a worthy anthology series had hit the small-screen. Aptly so, the British series was immediately compared to the likes of “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Then, with two seasons under its belt, the show presented a Christmas special — starring Jon Hamm — and then proceeded to go dark.
What transpired, actually, was a brilliant takeover by Netflix. Announcing they’d be bringing a longer season to their platform — 12 episodes, in total — a new Season 3 trailer dropped on Friday (Oct. 7) that gave fans a glimpse at the first six. If anything, it’s evident the show hasn’t strayed from its edgy sci-fi tone.
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With the era of the anthology series upon us — both loform and short — it may be safe to say that “Black Mirror” is the most intelligent and unique one out there right now. Exploring modern day issues (personal, cultural, political) in a very near future, the stories have a profound and deep impact. Never forget, the prime minister and the pig.
The premiere of the new season is right around the corner. We’ve watched the above preview multiple times and here are our five important takeaways from the Season 3 trailer of “Black Mirror.”
Social media affliction
“In this world, we’re all so caught up in our own heads, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s real.” This line of dialogue, spoken by Bryce Dallas Howard, opens the clip as we get a peek into an episode starring her character.
From the looks of things, her episode exists in a world where social media status and real life goes hand in hand. Referring to it as a “solid popularity arc,” the idea is a ridiculous notion that also feels not that far out of our society’s reach. On that note, please be sure to “like” this article when you’re done reading.
In a different clip, a young man is given a test in what looks like a focus group environment. He’s there to play a game. We’re not exactly sure what he’s in for, but with the rise of virtual reality as an option for interactive entertainment, we have a feeling that’s the direction this is going.
Everyone wants an immersive gaming experience in 2016. In the future, however, how will this odd version of Whack-a-Mole play a part in the equation? Or… Is that just a small part of the bigger test at hand?
Violence in voyeurism
The idea of putting tape over the webcam on one’s computer brings up thoughts of hacking conspiracies and privacy threats. “Mr. Robot’s” Elliot Alderson has tape on his computer’s webcam. So does Facebook’s Marc Zuckerberg. What could go wrong?
Well, by the looks of the new trailer… a lot. How exactly was this young man coerced into the acts he performed in front of his camera? We’re not sure. But, one thing that’s quite obvious is that it has sent him down a very dark road.
FPS / PTSD
War. What is it good for? In the video game world, so much. And if we’re understanding the peek into the new episodes, it feels like the show will be tackling the very real and debilitating issue of PTSD in soldiers. Asking a man how he feels after his “first kill” opens us up to so many possibilities as to where this story will go.
With the FPS (First Person Shooter) perspective we are given, as a female soldier unleashed hellfire upon her victims, we have a feeling there will be a deeper angle on gun safety, war and the mental health of America’s soldiers.
A not-so-distant singularity
The concept of “singularity” is one that has come up a lot in scholarly discussions over the past decade.
The idea is simple: One day, technology will become so advanced that it will impact civilization’s rules to an extent that previous generations will find the proposed reality incomprehensible. It sounds like an out there concept, but with driverless cars and biohacking gaining popularity, the singularity may be closer than we think.
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Going into its third season, it feels like “Black Mirror” is keeping its promise in delivering a “Twilight Zone”-style series in the digital age. But what does that mean? With so many different types of technological terror being explored there-in, is it possible the Netflix series is giving us a realistic peek into our inevitable future? That may be the most frightening question of all.
“Black Mirror” Season 3 premieres Friday, Oct. 21, on Netflix.