Netflix can become a big part of your life as a student, and more than often this can result in both late night binges, and an ever-growing pile of unfinished reading. There is something ridiculously addictive about having hundreds of series at your fingertips that are simply waiting to be watched. Despite this, I have managed to exercise a reasonable amount of restraint with most Netflix series, however when it comes to Black Mirror, I’m obsessed.
Although I was a latecomer to the party, after being recommended by a friend I quickly became hooked. With four series of gripping episodes, if you like dystopian fiction with unique storylines and the occasional twist along the way, then I highly recommend this for you.
One of my favourite things about Black Mirror is that the episodes are all self-contained. This means they share a common genre and themes but not a storyline, making it an easy watch for both lazy and dedicated Netflix users. Choosing between all the episodes to pick out my favourite ones seemed like an impossible task, however I eventually managed to whittle it down to five fantastic episodes. Unfortunately, I am far too indecisive to rank my five favourites in an order, so you will have to decide that for yourself after watching them.
Two men have been living together in a secluded cottage for five years, yet they know very little about each other. However when December comes around, in the true spirit of Christmas, they decide it’s finally time to get to know one another. At a time where technology rules the world, the two men share their stories, revealing how they ended up where they are today, but will the past come back to haunt them?
There are lots of layers to this story, so you need to pay attention. Split up into three different parts that are cleverly connected, this episode will not fail to fry your brain (in a good way).
In a world not too dissimilar to our own, each individual is given a rating based on the opinion of those around them. This all-important number follows you wherever you go and the higher your rating, the more successful and happy your life…supposedly. A glimpse into an alternate reality reveals the lengths one woman must go to in order to maintain that perfect score, but is perfection really achievable?
I love this episode because I think it encapsulates the concept of Black Mirror, and set in a world somewhat reflective of our own, the narrative is eerily relatable.
Men Against Fire
In a futuristic society plagued by ‘roaches’, it’s up to the armed forces to protect the public from these mysterious, yet threatening beings. In an effort to keep people safe, men and women must sign their lives over to serve in the forces, expressing complete dedication to the cause. In return they can rely on sweet dreams for the rest of their nights, but this only makes the real world appear even more horrific…
This episode had me on edge the entire time, if you like a fast-paced, gripping narrative with reams of tension, then this is the one for you!
Beginning in a sci-fi universe on board the USS Callister, this episode relays the adventures of the crew as they fight against forces of evil inside this virtual reality. Captain Daly runs a tight ship, until the arrival of a new crew member threatens his perfect vision as they suggest that perhaps the monsters outside the walls of the ship are not their only enemies.
I must admit I was unsure at the beginning of this episode, but it turned out to be one of my favourites in the most recent series. Trust me, stick with it and you will NOT be disappointed.
Hang the DJ
When it comes to love, nobody has time to waste. Set in a society where experts believe they have found the answer to finding ‘the one’, people are left to put their faith in the system to find their ultimate match. Until this is achieved, all matches are given a time limit, ranging from minutes, to years. When Frank and Amy meet they are disheartened to discover that they have an expiration date of just 12 hours. Will they put their trust in the genius of the system, or try and take matters into their own hands?
I loved this episode from start to finish. In a series that often deals with melancholy or frightening issues, this is a breath of fresh air. This one is for all the romantics out there.
Everyone has a different opinion about which episodes come out on top, but these are just my personal favourites. I’m actually upset that I managed to watch all of the series so quickly as now I’m left with no episodes to watch…so instead I recommend them to others. Even if you’re not an avid Netflix user, take some time to sit down and watch any one of these five masterpieces, I assure you they will not disappoint!