New ‘Black Mirror’ Episodes Are Freaking Audiences Out
Black Mirror, a Netflix anthology series, hasn’t released a new episode since 2019. But now, writer-producer Charlie Brooker and crew have brought it back with a new season of five brand-new episodes. I’ve seen every one of the Netflix original movies that debuted on Thursday. This was a treat because Black Mirror hadn’t released a new episode since before the epidemic, and even then, season five only had three.
But Black Mirror continues to rank among the finest anthology TV shows ever produced, so I have no intention of criticizing either the Netflix program’s infrequent release schedule or the rather meager serving sizes. It has elements of science fiction since many of the plots include futuristic technologies. However, it is also diverse enough to draw from different genres and styles. It has elements of The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone—the original Rod Serling version, not the poor new remake—and it’s utterly, deliciously amusing.
It’s difficult for me to express how much I adore the new Black Mirror season without giving away any details about the five individual episodes. As with the finest anthologies, the executive producers of the program, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, have created a setting where anything may happen at any time. Characters don’t need to survive because they won’t appear in the next episode, so any tension is genuine and well-earned. The unpredictability has been increased throughout the board by Brooker, who co-authored the fifth episode and penned four of this season’s episodes.
The programs this year might start off lightheartedly but turn serious later on, or they can begin in one genre and abruptly switch to another. They’re also virtually never predictable, always entertaining to witness, and equally difficult to forget later.
The season’s opening episode on Netflix is titled “Joan Is Awful.” It features Schitt’s Creek actress Annie Murphy as the horrible Joan. She is seen ruthlessly dismissing a coworker at work, betraying her partner by getting back together with an ex and then coming home to her boyfriend (Himesh Patel) for a peaceful lunch at home that he has lovingly cooked before they sit on the sofa and watch TV. However, because this is Black Mirror, the TV show they are viewing is on a streaming service that resembles Netflix nearly perfectly. But the name of one new item on the scroll-down menu, “Streamberry,” draws his attention. Once they press “play,” this Black Mirror episode ventures into uncharted terrain and takes viewers on a wild voyage through current technology.
Another episode is “Demon 79,” which is odd and all the more endearing for it. Anjana Vasan, from Peacock’s We Are Lady Parts, portrays a modest department shop salesperson who receives a visit from an apprentice demon, who is similar to the antagonist of Clarence the Angel in It’s a Wonderful Life. The world will perish if only this monster can get her to murder three people in three days. She attempts to get away from him, but he follows her around and continues the discussion wherever she goes. Actor Paapa Essiedu portrays the devil who speaks and moves quickly.
From then, this episode also takes a turn that cannot be foreseen at all. While Brooker authored all the other installments by himself, he co-wrote “Demon 79” with Bisha K. Ali. Each one is utterly unique. The plot of “Mazey Day” involves the paparazzi pursuing a starlet. An ancient murder case in a tiny Scottish village is the subject of “Loch Henry,” a title that, if you look closely, is really there on the Streamberry program menu during “Joan Is Awful.” The most eerie of them all is “Beyond the Sea,” which stars Josh Hartnett and Aaron Paul as astronauts on a protracted, far-off space expedition. Not one of them is a dud. Although “Joan Is Awful” and “Beyond the Sea” may be my favorites from this cycle, I devoured and adored all five books, and I have no doubt that you will feel the same way. That’s pretty much the only kind of forecast that can be made with confidence regarding the creative vision of Black Mirror.