Black Mirror season 6 review: A fantastic ‘F You’ for humanity

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Charlie Brooker once did an excellent six-episode series called How TV ruined your life. In it, he reviews the different ways that television, with its emotional manipulation, sneaky narratives, and misleading advertising, has had a negative impact on the world, spreading fear and distorting our sense of identity and community. In a way, it’s almost a precursor to what would become his biggest hit to date, black mirroran equally critical and damning indictment of society, media and technology.


Why did the first series fail and the second succeed? Simple: narration. Brooker dominated the television medium with incredible storylines to turn the show against the audience and society at large with increasingly dire reflections on where the world is headed. That’s where the title comes from after all, the dark screen of a TV or phone, blank but reflective, showing you looking at it in its black mirror. By season six, the show seems to have stopped saying with prophetic urgency, “I’m warning you,” and now simply says, “Fuck off.”

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It’s a good look. black mirror It’s always been cynical, like all of Brooker’s work, but season six is ​​downright misanthropic, with almost every episode leaving you more depressed and less hopeful about the human species. It’s more The fog that Miseryand that’s okay, because depression and hopelessness are sometimes the right response to the world if you’re a genuine human being, especially when it comes to a sense of clarity or even justified anger.

black mirror it rarely descends into ‘misery porn’ and even manages to have a lot of fun with how fucked up everything is (and how damaged the human subject has become). The order of these five episodes is clever, unleashed by Charlie Brooker’s frequently witty writing, and the way season six builds rarely leaves you feeling bad for long. The series even gently lulls you to sleep in its sixth season with an abundance of humor and raucous nonsense with a clever if self-indulgent first episode.


Joan is horrible (4 / 5)

Black Mirror season 6 episode Joan is horrible
Netflix

Season 6 opens with what feels like Charlie Kaufman’s directing. black mirror, a meta mind meld that’s delicious but extremely self-indulgent and a bit stupid. It is certainly the lightest episode, even if lives fall apart and the universe is threatened. “Joan Is Awful” follows the titular Joan (the always lovely Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Cove and Kevin can fuck himself); she’s not particularly worse than anyone else, but still, she’s human, so there’s a horrible foundation built in, like black mirror continually suggests.

One night while browsing Streamberry, an obvious Netflix avatar in the world of black mirror, he finds a show that essentially recreates his own life. Except the last episode contains events that happened on that very day. And Salma Hayek plays her for a reason. The world can see what Joan does and is generally disgusted with her, leading to the ruination of her life, which also plays out on the streaming platform (except for the show Joan watches, Salma Hayek-as -Joan discovers a program about her life where Cate Blanchett plays her).

Things get more and more absurd and silly, and the public should enjoy the anomaly that is a black mirror diarrhea joke The most audacious thing to happen here, though, is how this Netflix show takes extremely direct takes on Netflix, ultimately criticizing the entire institution and its algorithm. It essentially argues against Netflix and against its very existence, which will become a recurring theme this season.

Lake Henry (4 / 5)

Black Mirror season 6 episode Loch Henry
Netflix

Where “Joan Is Awful” obscured its dark critique with colorful direction, meta histrionics, and sheer silliness, “Loch Henry” ditch the jokes and wade into darkness. It’s another episode, one after another, vehemently criticizing Netflix and all the true crime madness of the streaming platforms. The episode follows two young filmmakers, an interracial couple who come to the young man’s conservative hometown to make a movie.

“Loch Henry” starts out quite slow, taking its time to introduce the characters and their world. They’re charming and likeable, and when the episode takes a morbid turn right at the point where it almost runs out of steam, you really worry about what’s going to happen. Things get very dark here as the true crime story becomes all too true, and the episode has a lengthy and bitter epilogue that feels like a firm middle finger to Netflix and its fans. “Loch Henry” is ultimately one of the most haunting and moving episodes of the season, with a powerful and heartbreaking finale.

Beyond the sea (2 / 5)

Black Mirror season 6 episode Over the Sea with Aaron Paul
Netflix

It will be interesting to see how “Beyond the Sea” plays out with the public. It features some serious star power, with Josh Hartnett and Aaron Paul as two American astronauts in an alternate reality from the 1960s. In this version of American history, the astronauts can spend long years in space travel but still experience their life. on earth; they have perfectly built androids on Earth where their consciousness can be uploaded. When the men are done with their relatively light amount of work, they can lie down and beam their consciousness into their robotic bodies.

Related: Black Mirror: The Best Episodes, Ranked

“Beyond the Sea” covers a lot of familiar territory for black mirror, and we’ve seen a lot of this before. It combines the awareness-raising elements of “San Junipero” and “Striking Vipers” with the obsessed critique of the patriarchy and men of privilege seen on “USS Callister.” Hartnett and Paul are good, as are Rory Culkin and Kata Mara, but everything is so bleak and slow, so void of anything but melancholy, that this feature feels more like a deflated indie film than anything else. The ending is miserable in the literal sense of the word, and for once, black mirror that misery is not earned.

Mazey Day (4/5)

Black Mirror season 6 episode about paparazzi Mazey Day
Netflix

black mirror He quickly changes it up with “Mazey Day.” Half the length of the languid “Beyond the Sea,” this episode is lean, vicious, and smart. The story follows a guilty member of the paparazzi whose recent photos of a sex scandal led him to commit suicide. He’s debating leaving the game, but is close to being evicted, so when some kind of “white whale” enters his orbit, he can’t resist trying to take some snapshots.

Related: Black Mirror: The Best Performances From The Series, Ranked

The titular actress was kicked off a film set after an accident and has been in hiding; there’s a bounty on her head for pictures of her, paying $30K to get some quality pictures of her (or $40K if she looks stoned). The episode oscillates between the two women (the paparazzi and the actress), wading through the murky waters of celebrity and media while commenting on the cultural moment when things began to change in 2006. It’s another painful glimpse into our collective baggage, but It would be a shame to reveal the twists in this episode. Suffice to say that the last 15 minutes are breathless phenomenal.

Demon 79 (5 / 5)

Black Mirror season six episode five Demon 79
Netflix

“Demon 79” is another near-feature episode, but this time it’s worth it. While it doesn’t feel like a movie, the episode makes good use of every minute, telling the story of an immigrant to the UK circa 1979 who accidentally summons a playful demon with an ominous message, occasionally leading up to May Day. , three people must be killed as human sacrifices to the devil to prevent the apocalypse. Shy and awkward Nida now has to stalk her prey with the help of the demon that only she can see.

The episode maintains a funny but tense tone, which is surprising considering its detours into comedy, horror, serial killer thriller, and allegorical fantasy about the working class and work. It’s amazing that “Demon 79” feels so fast and engaging considering it’s primarily a two person show. Anjana Vasan is amazing as the meek and frustrated Nida Huq and Paapa Essiedu is a timeless delight as Gaap, a seemingly kind demon who feels more like a guardian angel, even if he’s making poor Nida murder people. After all, she’s preventing the apocalypse, right?

Despite being one of the most explicitly apocalyptic episodes of black mirror, this one manages not to feel so viscerally depressing. Maybe that’s because, by the end of this season, Brooker and company have come to terms with the awful. They have swum into it and are done fighting the current, opting to float towards destruction. For so long, Charlie Brooker has been warning us of an ominous future, forecasting the apocalypse, laughing at all the ways we’re destroying our lives. Now, at the end of everything so far, the show opens its arms to embrace that destruction. We are doomed, and it was about time.

Hello ruin.

sixth season of black mirror, along with all other episodes, is currently streaming on Netflix (also known as Streamberry). You can watch the trailer below:

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