There are innumerable upsides to the Age of Technology. It’s led to medical advancements, the rise of social media as a tool for activism, and countless other tectonic shifts in the way we communicate. But technology is a double-edged sword, as shown to us by Black Mirror. Our dependence can lead to the diminishing of our collective humanity, demonstrated in both seasons of the Charlie Brooker-led British show. Next up for the revolutionary mini-series will be a full 12-episode season on Netflix, scheduled to begin shooting this Fall.
The new season will represent a massive change for Black Mirror, given the fact that its first two seasons contained just three episodes each. In classic British form, the show has been limited to a shorter format that always leaves audiences wanting more, a la Sherlock. Whether it can hold up with four times as many episodes remains to be seen, but it’s hard not to trust a show that’s been so masterfully executed up until now. If anything, the Twilight Zone-esque slant that Black Mirror specializes in makes it a perfect candidate for an extended season.
Over its 12 episodes, there will be plenty of stories to tell. In just six episodes and a Christmas special, the series has taken on the seminal issues that plague the Age of Technology. Already Black Mirror has shown us the consequences of every aspect of our modern society: Our propensity for recording everything, society’s addiction to screens, broken political systems, and reality TV among others. Each story told leaves viewers with an unsettling pit in their stomachs, causing us to question the technology we’ve come to depend on so much. The name of the series itself is apt, as it asks us to take a good, hard look at ourselves.
Brooker comments on the move to Netflix give us a host of reasons to be excited for the new season, noting that the new platform “connects us with a global audience so that we can create bigger, stranger, more international and diverse stories than before, whilst maintaining that Black Mirror feel.” As we’ve seen with past popular shows making the jump to streaming, in a lot of ways it affords them carte blanche creatively. There’s no studio exec asking for changes that will help bump primetime ratings, and without that, Black Mirror has a chance to truly spread its wings.
Black Mirror is a series that’s socially relevant virtually all the time. Drawing from current events and applying them to a an all too probable dystopic future, it’s the one fixture in pop culture cautioning us on our attachment to technology. Every other presence in our daily lives encourages us to push forward with the next big smartphone, the next faster computer, and the most advanced forms of everything. This push toward the future comes with a price though, and we fully expect the 12-episode new season to dig even deeper into that.
Given that the way between Seasons 1 and 2 was a long three years, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be in no hurry to rush out the Netflix episodes. Even so, we can rest easy knowing that Season 3 promises to be Black Mirror‘s best ever. In the steady hands of its original creators on a streaming platform known known for allowing creative freedom, the British series will soon return with a run of episodes that will once again make us question everything we believe about the Age of Technology.
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