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YMMV / Black Mirror

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Black Mirror YMMV
Series One
The National AnthemFifteen Million MeritsThe Entire History of You
Series Two
Be Right BackWhite BearThe Waldo Moment
Christmas Special
Series Three
NosedivePlaytestShut Up and DanceSan JuniperoMen Against FireHated in the Nation
Series Four
USS CallisterArkAngelCrocodileHang the DJMetalheadBlack Museum
Series Five
Striking VipersSmithereensRachel, Jack and Ashley Too

  • Anvilicious: Charlie Brooker's never been one for subtlety, but this is extreme even by his standards. Technology as we know it is meant to be helpful, however the message for each episode is to spell out the potential consequences for futuristic technologies.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The whole point of the series is to apply this trope to technological possibilities.
  • Broken Base: Season 5 had a pretty mixed reception with the fanbase, with a clear split between those who felt it was a decent season that just happened to come after the Tough Act to Follow that was Season 4 and those who felt it was a complete letdown. "Rachel, Jack, And Ashley Too" was especially controversial due to its Denser and Wackier plot and the inclusion of Miley Cyrus.
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  • Complete Monster: Matthew "Matt" Trent; Arquette; Robert Daly; Rolo Haynes; Catherine Ortiz. See those pages for details.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Nothing will ever turn out well for anyone, so why bother?
    • This came into play in an interesting manner after the release of Season 3, regarding "San Junipero", a Breather Episode between two extremely dark episodes. Though it was critically acclaimed and has a sizable fandom of people who find it one of the show's best episodes, it wasn't immune to criticism from other fans who found it too saccharine to fit the rest of the show. The episode still had some depressing moments, but it goes to show that there are many people who watch the show specifically because of how dark it gets.
    • The show also subverted this in Season 4, particularly with the fates of the protagonists in "USS Callister" and "Hang the DJ".
    • Fully exploited in "Black Museum," where Charlie Brooker's Author Avatar is a sadistic monster spreading chaos for fun and profit, lacking any kind of human empathy for the stories he tells. Season 4 also includes two (arguably three) episodes with straight-up happy endings.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The show has a pretty big following in China, where the series has been subject to rave reviews, including the claim that it's "better than a masterpiece". Also lead Chinese bloggers to dub surreal tech-related events "Black Mirror Moments".
    • Something similar happened in Brazil after Season 3, when the series became popular in the country, with the coining of the expression "dude, that's so Black Mirror!".
    • Not to mention the huge following it got in all of America after Netflix acquired the rights and cranked out a much-beloved third series.
  • Growing the Beard: While the series was already considered good, it really came into its own in the third season, which included what many consider to be the best episode of the entire series: "San Junipero".
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "San Junipero" was happy? The stories of "Black Museum" show the horror that people had to go through in order to make that technology possible.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • In Brazil, "Isso é tão Black Mirror" ("This is so Black Mirror"), said in reaction to a strange or surreal event.
      • Similarly, "This episode of Black Mirror sucks" in English speaking online circles when something in real life seems dystopian.
    • The "just like Black Mirror" meme in the UK (typically used in the same vein as "1984 was not an instruction manual") took on a very meta meaning in the wake of "PigGate" - an event that bore striking resemblance to the very first episode of the show - leading to Charlie Brooker himself using a version of the meme on Twitter.
    • "what if phones, but too much?" from Daniel Ortberg’s parodying of the show’s concept. Became an Ascended Meme when Charlie Booker acknowledged it inspired the episode "Playtest"
  • Misaimed Fandom: Join any online discussion about Black Mirror, and you will find at least one person that subscribes to the "digital copies are just code, even if they're self-aware" point-of-view espoused by the series' villains to justify abusing and torturing the copies.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Signature Scene:
    • Given the fact the show is an anthology, each episode has its most memorable moment, most of which are for disturbing reasons. But when it comes to the show overall, the one moment most fans agree they will never forget is the Prime Minister having sex with a pig from “The National Anthem.”
    • The Plot Twist of “Shut Up and Dance” is also extremely memorable. And as usual, not for good reasons.
    • The ending to "San Junipero" due to it being one of the only episodes that actually has a happy ending.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: As unsubtle as most of the episodes are, the lack of subtlety usually serves to advance the plot in a way that less blatant methods wouldn't, and they often show that avoiding such things from happening in the future is hard without being a little unsubtle]].
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Twilight Zone, in its intent and in its effect on viewers.
  • Spiritual Licensee: In many ways, Black Mirror could be considered a tv version of Tharg's Future Shocks, given how the episodes are self contained, have a science fiction theme to them, and often involve a Cruel Twist Ending.
  • Uncanny Valley: A big part of how the series gets its creepy, unsettling vibe.
    • Many of the episodes are set in a reality very similar to our own, many featuring technology that is about 20 Minutes into the Future, while others (most prominently "The National Anthem") is based on the use of technology that is already available in the present. That's the main source of Fridge Horror.
    • It's probably intentional, but in "The Waldo Moment" for all that Waldo is clearly an exaggerated blue cartoon bear, he's still incredibly creepy to look at and listen to. And that's even before he becomes the symbolic figurehead for what's hinted to be a covert global fascist / authoritarian movement.
    • The second series trailer starts off as a parody of iPhone / iPad-style commercials, but even before the 'gritty' imagery starts being threaded through, the fake and hollow Stepford Smiler nature of the shiny happy people using the technology is increasingly creepy enough by itself. There's also a computer generated voice that is modified to sound almost, but not quite, like a man's voice, making the repeated mantra of '[Something] more' delivered in a blandly emotionless voice gradually unsettling.


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