There’s no other way to say it: Black Mirror is a mindfuck. The anthology series premiered in 2011 with just three episodes, but that was all it took to leave an impact on viewers.
As the title suggests, Black Mirror forces viewers to look at technology and its possible advances in a new realistic lens while allowing us to reflect on ourselves. What’s a black mirror, you ask? It’s what you’re left with when you shut off your TV, phone, or computer—again, mindfuck.
When we think of the future, it's often painted like Back to the Future Part II, with flying cars, time travel, hoverboards, and self-lacing sneakers. But Black Mirror shows us an alternate reality with advanced (and terrifying) technology. What’s most terrifying is that most of it doesn’t feel too far-off from our current reality. Instead, it shows how one small piece of tech can change our lives, the same way cell phones and social media have radically altered our behavior and language, while adding on new problems like the politics of unfriending someone or accidentally liking an old Instagram post.
While viewers might initially think that the ability to playback memories, or the introduction of mechanical bees to ensure pollination are good ideas, Black Mirror proves that even seemingly harmless ideas aimed at making our lives more convenient and enjoyable can have terrifying pitfalls and inevitable consequences. Now, Black Mirror’s showrunners, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, have us questioning the existential dread of the future of technology. And as some of their episodes seem to be happening in real life, we also wonder: does Black Mirror imitate life, or is life imitating Black Mirror? Here’s every episode of Black Mirror, ranked.