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Reviews Series / Black Mirror

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09/25/2017 04:15:18 •••

Loathsome and Inspired

Frankly, this series is one of the most brilliant pieces of surreal horror to come out in the last decade; let credit be given where credit is due, in that respect.

This is, however, not the spiritual successor to Twilight Zone, nor will it ever be, if the trend of the series continues as is. This series fails in one fundamental regard, one aspect that is worryingly neglected in the episodes; the vast majority of characters (most of whom made my skin crawl just by listening to them) are utterly inhuman.

Now, this isn't a fault, necessarily; it means, however, that the series scope is inherently limited in a manner with which Twilight Zone was not.

Inhuman people (more akin to tracts, if we're going to be honest here) in inhuman situations can only produce a limited variety of outcomes, after all; the protagonists, to the last, are utterly destroyed in one form or another. Great for tragedy, I'll admit, but the annihilation of the chance for even a doomed moral victory reveals that, to the last, these characters are custom built to fail and fail alone and despairing.

And here is where Black Mirror, in my humble opinion, fails; tragedy shouldn't always be averted, but to make tragedy the only option, and to make the characters at times willingly walk into that situation . . . it's irksome to see this series even tangentially related to Twilight Zone.

Twilight Zone, for all it's faults, was a series that was concerned with examining human beings that confront inhuman situations. Some people died despairing, like in Black Mirror. Some died alone and without another soul to comfort them as they passed. This is only to be expected, after all; we're all so fragile, so easily broken by fell circumstance. But when people broke in Twilight Zone, they broke uniquely; some were broken long before we saw them, and some broke as we watched, helplessly.

And, finally, this is the difference; Black Mirror shows the horror of isolation and inevitable destruction, but does so with inhuman characters that have the moral fortitude of china, and thusly always shatter. In Black Mirror, a protagonist might allow another person suffer from being ostracized due to being broken by society, but in Twilight Zone, the protagonist may very well see that invisible person and embrace them.

Overall, Black Mirror is good at what it does, but it's no Twilight Zone.

09/25/2017 00:00:00

If it helps, check out San Junipero of the third season on Netflix.

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