Black Mirror’s fourth season, which dropped on Netflix at the very end of 2017, features one standout episode: “Hang The DJ.” The episode explores some interesting ideas about love via dating apps. Of course, in typical Black Mirror style, it also leans heavily into how this type of technology could ultimately kill the part of you that gets excited about relationships at all. Although that might be a sentiment a lot of people today could get behind, the truth is the Coach app is a far cry from our current dating apps—well, at least until now. Today, Black Mirror announced that it has created the Coach app from its season four episode just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“Hang The DJ,” a kind of spiritual sister episode to the Emmy-winner “San Junipero” of season 2, features a very beefed-up version of Tinder in its Coach app/device, which coaches you through all your relationships until you eventually find your most perfect match. You have to trust the system, though: you will be paired with random people through the app for a set duration (which you can find out ahead of time only if both of you decide to do so through the app), and the system will learn about your likes and dislikes so that each new partner is more algorithmically suited to your needs, until you meet your most perfect match and can finally ditch the app.
Black Mirror didn’t exactly come out with a full-on dating coach app, though. What they released is a website with an image of the device used in the episode that you can click to reveal how much time you have left with your current partner. Once you access the website, you are given a unique link, which you then send to your partner. Once you both log on, you can both elect to see how much time you have left together—but, just like in the show, only if you both agree at the same time. Presumably, though, this is not algorithm-based but completely random.
It may just be a fun little gimmick, but it’s not the first time a Black Mirror episode has threatened to come to life. In China, season 3’s “Nosedive” has more or less become a reality, and Boston Dynamics keeps making those robots that look exactly like the creepy “dogs” from season four’s “Metalhead.” Even Pizza Hut is taking cues from the show. So, is Black Mirror a documentary or a fictional anthology series? The question might have seemed trite at one point, but honestly, nowadays, I don’t quite know how to answer the question anymore.