“Black Mirror”: Dystopian Stories Return to Netflix

Netflix announced the return of one of its most successful series after broadcasting its last episode three years ago. What is known about the sixth season of "Black Mirror"?

Frame from the series 'Black Mirror'

Photo: YT-Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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Leer en español: “Black Mirror”: los relatos distópicos regresan a Netflix

"If technology is a drug and feels like one, then what are the side effects? This area, between pleasure and discomfort, is where "Black Mirror" is set." With those words from Charlie Brooker, creator of this anthology series, one of the most acclaimed stages in the history of television series began. And it is that for those who have not yet enjoyed "Black Mirror", this production crudely shows us all those evils that occur today. What is its success due to and why are the expectations about its new season on Netflix?

In 2011 it came to English television, specifically on "Channel 4", the first season of a series that would break the barrier between reality and fiction. There is no detail more attractive to the public than dystopian stories and "Black Mirror" aimed at this from the beginning, showing us stories where they analyzed how current technology affects human beings and, at the same time, generates an aversion or paranoia. But what was the point of all this? As Brooker himself explained in different interviews, his intention was nothing more than to alert him about the possible dangers that a technological dependency could entail.

The format of this series was formed from individual chapters with a self-contained plot, focusing on specific aspects which in turn were not related to each other. There was the beginning of his success on television, despite having only six episodes in his first two seasons (2011 – 2013). Added to this, it is worth mentioning that thanks to the variety that characterized the chapters in their plots, environments, and realities, "Black Mirror" remained consistent on screen and took its success to other frontiers after the acquisition of its rights by Netflix.

Also, as mentioned, the series does not have a common thread and it is possible to watch the episodes without a specific order. However, to get a better idea of what is to be seen, it is essential to see the first chapter of the first season ("The National Anthem" ) where the bases and general style of the work are marked, giving us a blow at the end of reality with what can happen if social networks and media pressure get out of hand. From there, we enter into a "black mirror" from which it is difficult to get out.

With Netflix now in charge, "Black Mirror" would have 12 more episodes divided into seasons three (2016) and four (2017), which would also be longer, even exceeding 60 minutes. Of course, the formula remained the same, and added to the fact that it reached a larger audience, the success was resounding. This motivated the production of a feature film called "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" (2018), unique in its style as it is interactive and has several endings depending on the viewer's choices.

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What to Expect From the New Season?

In 2019, the last three episodes of the series were broadcast, with its fifth season. It is worth noting that the sudden silence since then was not due to a cancellation or a definitive end, but specifically to the personal issues of Charlie Brooker himself. At the gates of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the creator of " Black Mirror" assured that he did not feel motivated or strong enough to continue writing stories about crumbling societies, especially at a time when all that fiction he had been telling he was beginning to look suspicious.

However, in recent days, the specialized media Variety published an exclusive claiming that Netflix is working on the casting of the sixth season. In turn, another of the details that they added was that there would be more chapters, to which they would be incorporating elements of the cinema to turn them into a kind of feature film. Finally, they did not comment on a possible release date, the issues that this new installment would be addressing, nor if it would have an interactive format as in "Bandersnatch".

To all these, the news has only generated great expectations in the audience and some suggest that the streaming platform is doing it in order to attract those subscribers who have lost in recent months. Beyond that, uncertainty begins to play an essential role from now on, since there are several current references that could be incorporated, such as the pandemic itself or even the war between Russia and Ukraine.

In short, "Black Mirror" is a phenomenon that wherever you see it has the necessary ingredients to overcome the success of its beginnings and even make us reflect on our surroundings. To do this, Brooker must reformulate his proposals so that the series does not remain on the surface during its new season. And it is that never before have fictional stories about social networks, technologies or artificial intelligence felt so real. Will we really be prepared for his return?

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