UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Season Review: Dare You Look in the ‘Black Mirror’?


“Black Mirror,” a Netflix original series.

For me, Black Mirror has, for some time, been along the lines of what “Stranger Things” is to most people. I tend to stay away from trending movies and television series, but finally decided to give this one a try. Right off the bat, it appeared to focus on a dystopian government plot. However, I could see how wrong I was very quickly.

I’ll admit I liked one thing about it almost immediately. I can be really particular about my shows when I watch them, and I can never watch one season on its own without feeling the need to catch up on everything right from the first episode. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, even if it’s been some time since I watched it, I still feel this way. But Black Mirror is one of those beautiful brain babies where each episode can be watched as a standalone. This means you don’t need to have watched, say, seasons one through four to watch its newest season. 

“Black Mirror” isn’t necessarily something you’ll want to watch if you’re looking for unicorns and rainbows, but if you’re looking for something easily relatable to much of today, plan on not making plans. “Black Mirror” is what Rotten Tomatoes calls “social satire.” It has a 93 percent rating of its fourth season. The show can get really dark, especially when it gets scary relatable. Rotten Tomatoes says it often depicts “either a heightened reality in contemporary times or the ominous possibilities of a not-so-distant future.”  

The very first episode of season four immediately reminded me of a Star Trek episode if a writer from Doctor Who had ever attempted to bring the two together, and there’s a strange alien lady who gives me instant flashbacks of Avatar. Terms like “photon intensity” and “thrusters” thrown about only add to this feeling of a Star Trek throwback. I wasn’t not quite sure what I was watching, but whatever the scene was, it concluded too abruptly for me to catch on. 

Things do, however, explain themselves as we get thrust into a bit of creepy dull office environment. I won’t say too much for fear of spoiling, but let’s just say the name of the office is the name of the ship. Turns out we were just inside the head of Robert Daly, played by Jesse Plemons. It takes a minute to realize he’s the same one who’s the captain of the ship he was just fantasizing himself to be captain of. But it’s all in his head. 

There’s a new female co-worker who seems to be a bit more smitten with him than the rest. Nanette Cole, played by Cristin Milloti, connects with much of what’s on display in his office, and the foundation of the company he seems to have built via a special code as well. I don’t know why, but I kind of already ship these two. 

Or, rather, I did. But that’s enough on this section of this series season. Any more on this episode and you won’t have to watch it. The first episode of season four wraps itself up in the typical plot device. Good guys win. Bad guy gets it. Everyone who deserves it lives happily ever after. 

I take back what I said about it being some dystopian government thing I thought I would easily get tired of. I might even binge the other three seasons when I have more time. There is too much good in this show not to give it a chance even if all you watch is the recently released fourth season. Between the great acting on the part of the cast and the amazing writing, as well as the use of plot and flashback, it makes for an excellent Netflix binge.