Remember when I used to make Top 5 posts? Haha…I feel like I meant to write more of these but I always forget that it’s a thing. Regardless, today I have a top 5 topic that’s sure to be a fun one. Today I’ll be writing about my favorite episodes of Black Mirror. I recently rewatched a few of my favorite episodes and it made me want to write about them….so here we are!
If you’ve never watched the show, Black Mirror is an anthology series in which each episode has new actors, new characters, and a new setting. Each episode is usually set in an alternate reality or near-future and generally they involve some dark themes and social commentary. Lots of people have described it as a modern-day Twilight Zone, which I definitely agree with. It’s psychological and really makes you think about how we live in our current society. I will say that this show can be really heavy at times too – if you prefer something that always has a happy ending, this might not be the show for you.
But anyway… there’s currently only 13 episodes out and I honestly love ALL of them, but these are my ~top 5~!! I won’t include spoilers for any of them in case you plan on watching the show, but here’s my favorites: (I’ve linked to each individual episode on Netflix in case you can’t wait another minute and want to watch right away!)
Series 3, Episode 1
This is probably my favorite episode overall! The premise of “Nosedive” is that everyone has a popularity rating from 0-5, and everybody “rates” everyone else using their phone based on interactions with them. People with higher ratings have more privileges and opportunities – like living in better communities or getting discounts on things. The episode’s main character (Bryce Dallas Howard, who is amazing in this), is obsessed with her star rating and how others view her. The whole concept is just eerily similar to real life and how people obsess so much over getting likes on Instagram and having a picture-perfect life for others to look at. To be honest, it kind of gave me a bit of a reality check and made me want to stop focusing so much on social media haha. I love this one because it’s just similar enough to real life to feel realistic, and it’s super relevant to my life as a social media-savvy person. I also think this is a great one to start with if you’re just getting into Black Mirror.
Series 3, Episode 4
“San Junipero” is an extremely popular episode and for good reason! This one is different than a lot of the series in that it’s not as dark and depressing as other episodes, and has a more positive ending depending on how you interpret it. It’s also one of the few stories that revolves around a romantic relationship. I honestly can’t explain the plot much without giving the whole thing away – but this one feels a bit more science fiction-y and futuristic than “Nosedive”. I really don’t know how to describe this without giving it all away so I’m going to steal Wikipedia’s episode description haha – “the episode, set in 1987 in a beach resort town named San Junipero, tells the story of Yorkie, a shy young woman visiting the town and falling in love with a regular visitor, Kelly.” All of this sentence is accurate but this “beach town” is a lot more than meets the eye, and it’s all a very intriguing concept once you figure out what’s actually going on. I’m sorry I’m so vague but I really don’t want to spoil this one because the ending is so good but I urge you to watch it and not read the wikipedia before doing so hahaha. This episode was also recently nominated for 2 Emmy awards!!! It will also get this song stuck in your head for weeks on end, which I consider a bonus.
The Entire History of You
Series 1, Episode 3
This is an earlier episode from the show and the only one from series 1 on my list. This one is set in an alternate reality where everyone has a tiny implant in their head that allows them to instantly replay any memory of their life. People can either replay memories inside their own head or project them onto a screen for others to watch. As you can imagine, reliving good memories can be a fun time, but other things are best left to be forgotten…can you imagine being able to literally replay every bad thing that’s ever happened to you?? This one was very well-received, so much so that Robert Downey Jr. actually acquired the rights to the episode to potentially make it into a movie. I love this one because it really plays on the idea that sometimes technology goes too far, and how life could be if we let it get to that point. It’s just far enough inside the realm of possibility to feel relatable (a common theme in this show, clearly) and that makes it one of my favorites.
Series 2, Episode 2
“White Bear” is another episode that I STRONGLY encourage you to watch without reading any spoilers beforehand!! For that reason, it’s also one that I can’t really describe without giving too much away haha. This one centers around a young woman who wakes up in an unknown place, with no idea who she is or how she got there. She encounters some strange symbols and people and appears to be in danger – but the reality of what’s happening is very different. Again, sorry to be so vague about this one but I really urge you to watch it and see what happens! I was completely hooked the first time I watched this, seriously like…on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what happens. This one is another that really makes you step back, take look at our society and think about things – things like crime and punishment, empathy, justice, and how we treat people in the world today. It’s one of those “bigger picture” episodes and I really, really love it.
Rounding out my top five we have one of the first episodes I watched during my first run through of the series. In “Be Right Back”, a woman is devastated after the death of her husband, and discovers an online service that claims to be able to put people in contact with deceased relatives. The service says they use the dead person’s social media and online accounts to learn more information about them and speak in their voice through instant messaging and email. She reluctantly decides to try it but soon realizes she’s in over her head and sometimes you just have to let the dead lie – literally. I love this one because it’s both heartwarming and slightly uncomfortable. The whole concept just made me feel weird, but in a good way…and the ending really left me wondering what the heck I just watched. Which is always a good feeling after watching a tv show. And as a bonus, the couple in question is played by Bill Weasley and Agent Peggy Carter, so that’s fun haha
Honorable Mentions: “White Christmas” is an amazing holiday special starring Jon Hamm; “The Waldo Moment” is uncomfortably similar to our current US political situation; and both “Playtest” and “Shut Up and Dance” are both really, really good, but just a little dark for my taste. If you are sensitive to dark dystopian plots those might not be the ones to start with haha
And those are my favorite Black Mirror episodes!! I know this is different than my normal makeup and wedding posts but you gotta switch it up every once in a while sometimes haha. I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you watch the show what your favorite episodes are!
See you next time ❤ Kaela