A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Black Mirror is an award-winning British series that offers dark, satirical parodies as a form of social commentary. There are lots of violent (and often scary) events, sexual themes, and cursing. Drinking and smoking are visible, too. There are references to social media like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, as well as similar but futuristic technological concepts, like a Tinder-esque app that helps people find their true love by using computer simulations. Older teens may be able to appreciate the provocative messages, but it's not meant for younger kids. Since it's an anthology series, much like The Twilight Zone, content differs drastically episode by episode, so some are more teen-friendly than others.
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What's the story?
Created by British satirist Charlie Brooker, BLACK MIRROR is a sci-fi anthology series that offers a humorously dark view of Western civilization by focusing on the relationship between technology and human nature. Each season features a collection of individual vignettes with uniquely creative and uncomfortably thought-provoking narratives. From underscoring the power of social media and the control it has in our daily lives to showing what life could be like when humans have access to memory implants, the show offers a profound -- and unsettling -- commentary on the society we live in.
Is it any good?
This provocative series offers a dark reflection on modern society that invites viewers to look at the world, and their role in it, from a very difficult point of view. The themes, which explore humanity's relationship with (and desire for) technology, are decidedly universal, despite the fact that a large number of the series' stories take place somewhere in the United Kingdom.
It's a well-written and brilliantly produced high-concept show, and while some episodes make their point better than others, all present interesting ideas. Appearances by well-known actors like Rupert Everett, Jessica Brown Findlay, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jon Hamm add to its appeal. All in all, Black Mirror offers a mature Twilight Zone-like viewing experience that is both entertaining and disturbingly captivating.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the themes featured in Black Mirror. What are these stories saying about the way our society uses technology like cell phones, and people's fascination with social media and reality shows? Do you think the show's dark, satirical style helps make these points? Or does it detract from them?
Is Black Mirror a good title for this series? Why? What does the term mean?
Do you think technology enhances people's lives? Can you think of examples where it seems to have gone too far in real life?
For kids who love sci-fi and thrills
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