Black Mirror is no doubt one of the biggest creations of television. Black Mirror shows the average TV-watching audience something extremely different than a normal TV show.
Generally, it shows the ugly side of the world that we live in. It shows how ugly humans, society, politicians, or technology can get.
It reminds us that the future may be darker and more haunting than ever.
Ultimately, answering the what-if questions that birth in all our minds.
What if, we had eyes that could record our whole life? How would a world like that be?
Well, a Black Mirror episode can give you a general idea.
However, that is not the topic of this article. Here, I will share an unpopular opinion I have been itching to share- Black Mirror is overrated.
As popular as it may be, as different as it may be from the general Netflix shows, Black Mirror is kinda overrated.
At least, not as good as it is claimed to be.
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7 Reasons Why Black Mirror Is Overrated
I have watched through the entirety of the show (including the rotten Bandersnatch movie), and I personally think of the show as interesting but average.
Here are 7 reasons why I personally think Black Mirror is an overrated TV show.
1. No Origins Or Continuations
This may be a no-brainer, and I personally know many peers that actually praise Black Mirror for having no continuation, but personally, for me, it is a big turn-off to watch an hour of an episode with no origins or continuation.
Every episode starts at a different place. A different universe. Different characters. And a different storyline.
The first episode starts in the real world where I am expected to watch a story of a government official committing bestiality. And at the end of the episode, I would love to have seen or known the consequences of the actions that took place.
But, the second episode gives me a universe where people wake up to an animated rooster, exercise on a stationary cycle to earn points that are spent on lunch and toothpaste, play games, and go to sleep.
And some episodes just make you frustrated with the open ending that is played off as something Interstellar-like but in reality, it’s just annoying.
Continuing the example of the second episode, I personally see no point in showing a story like that. We never understand how people ended up the way they were, where the winners of the reality show go to, where the judges came from, nothing!
You have to justify yourself with an ending that you think of by yourself (in my case, reading Reddit comments).
And the aspect just does not sit right with me.
A mysterious start to an extremely unfamiliar world is only appreciated when you actually get to see and realize the origins at the end of the day. Maze Runner is an extremely good example.
But Black Mirror, which skips the difficult part of building a storyline and bringing it to a satisfying climax? Overrated.
2. The Show Did Not Age Well
Contrary to the first reason, which could be faced with a frown by most fans of Black Mirror, it is almost unanimously agreed that Black Mirror did not age well.
And I don’t necessarily have to pull dirt on the first episodes to prove the show was bad. Sure, maybe the first seasons were actually good.
What I do not understand is how a show can be this popular when its new seasons are generally agreed upon to be extremely stale (by its own fanbase).
TV shows get popular when they stay in their prime throughout their age.
Breaking Bad is still one of the most popular TV shows there is only because it aged like fine wine.
On the other hand, The Walking Dead, while being the biggest TV show in the US, lost its popularity when the newer seasons started to get repetitive, stale, and boring.
But to my surprise, Black Mirror did not face the same response.
From making episodes that shed light on the reincarnation of a loved one and its emotional aspects, Black Mirror now makes episodes where Miley Cyrus wants to sing rock songs instead of pop, and the show still enjoys popularity!
3. Black Mirror Is Not Too Relatable
Black Mirror deals with plots that are hypotheticals, almost never found to be associated with the real world that we live in.
Except for some episodes where you can still tie strings around and relate yourself to be in the shoes of the main character, like being blackmailed to fight a person to death because you watched some illegal stuff on the internet (believe me, that is not too far-fetched compared to other Black Mirror episodes), most of the episodes are just theatrical entertainment that you can’t really relate to.
Watching the episode of San Junipero, you can’t ask yourself anything but the question: ‘would I want to live a virtual life with a gay partner? Yes? Ok.’
Which kinda makes the creator’s job easy. Black Mirror can release an episode showing how my guitar likes to play itself at night when I’m sleeping and is currently having an existential crisis, and they would still get away with it.
Because most episodes are so metaphoric, you just have to be forced to tie the things around and have it make sense to you and relate to it.
That’s just too effortful, lazy, and overrated.
4. Black Mirror Mostly Deals With Cliche Topics
Now I know Black Mirror is famous for bringing out what other TV shows don’t, or cannot.
But if you squint your eyes and really look into it, almost all the episodes have a cliche plot or moral.
To summarize almost half of the episodes, Black Mirror tells us technology is horrifying and scary.
Would you really consider that take as an original and non-cliche one?
The other majority of episodes tell you politicians (or people in power) are bad- like we didn’t already know that?
Then some episodes tell you celebrities have a difficult life and it’s not really as happy as they show it on social media…
Do you see where I’m getting at?
In essence, Black Mirror just deals with a cliche take on life and makes a very weird reality around that cliche topic to make it seem interesting.
Now, just to show you that I’m not being entirely biased, I do believe some Black Mirror episodes are original masterpieces and not cliche at all.
To name a few: White Christmas and White Bear.
However, if the entirety of the show mostly deals with the topic of ‘phones are bad’, I would consider it to be overrated.
5. Black Mirror Character Choices Are Laughable
Even if you were to believe Black Mirror does do a good showing a hypothetical reality where things are extremely different than to what we are familiar with, if they’re choosing humans as the main characters in the episodes and expect them to resonate with our behaviors, I think most of what they do is laughable.
The best example, The Waldo Movement.
As hysterical or ‘real’ as the creators wanted to show the plot to be, people can vote for anyone who puts up a good image of themselves in front of the world and has people believe that they’re one of them, voting for a cartoon character as the president is just laughable.
And these impractical choices are seen in many of the episodes where you just get frustrated when a rational character makes a stupid choice.
Another good example, working years to earn 15 million merits, only to spend it on a girl you think has a good voice.
It’s as baffling as when you watch a stupid horror movie and the main character chases the creepy sounds where the ghost is waiting to kill them.
A show with stupid characters shouldn’t be popular unironically. If it is, it must be overrated.
6. Repetitive Storylines
For a TV show that releases 3-6 episodes per season, all dealing with a different universe than the other and having no connection with the previous episodes, Black Mirror storylines should not be repetitive.
But, they are.
As discussed before, most Black Mirror episodes have the same old story where they show how technology is bad.
Like yeah, we get it, it’s scary.
And, to my surprise, each episode has the same conclusion. There is not a single episode where they show the use of advanced technology that actually proves to be beneficial for the world.
It’s always just bad.
Apart from that, in a show of 22 episodes, 2 episodes follow the same storyline showing the dangers of too much surveillance (The Entire History Of You and Arkangel), 3 show the dangers of VR (Striking Vipers, Playtest, and USS Callister), and 2 show politicians are bad (The National Anthem and The Waldo Moment).
I get that it’s a British show. And British creators don’t really like to release many episodes in a season. But if you’re making people wait years for a season of just 3 episodes, at least give them something new.
Else, the show would just seem overrated.
7. Many Episodes Are Boring- there, I said it
Yes, Black Mirror does get boring. In fact, quite often you will feel yourself too lost to connect the dots of an entirely unfamiliar universe, where you’re watching a character walk or drive for just too long without no purpose in a “thrilling and suspenseful” scene, that you will feel bored.
At least, I did.
Episodes like the 15 Million Merits, The Waldo Movement, Men Against Fire, Metalhead (I think I slept thrice in its duration), and Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too.
Every season has one.
And, I’m not exaggerating, it is difficult to watch it through its entirety.
Even though I don’t really care much about IMDB ratings, I think IMDB did a great job rating these episodes: 6’s and 7’s.
And for a 22 episodes show which has 10 episodes (including the movie) rated 6-7/10, and just ONE episode rated higher than 9/10, I think the show in itself is overrated.
5 Black Mirror Episodes That Are Actually Good
Considering all the reasons that make me believe the show is overrated, I will say that I didn’t really regret watching it.
I do think it’s a good watch and it’s entertaining.
I just don’t think it lives up to its hype- that it’s overrated.
Considering that, here are some of the episodes from Black Mirror I would actually recommend you to watch that I think actually are worth their while.
Don’t worry, there’s no order to watch these episodes. None of the episodes are connected with each other so you can just pick anyone, watch it, and have a good time.
- The Entire History Of You (S01E03)
- Be Right Back (S02E01)
- White Christmas (S02E04) (Also, A MUST WATCH)
- Shut Up And Dance (S03E03)
- Hang The DJ (S04E04)
Conclusion- My Take
To summarize my opinion, I have respect for the creators of Black Mirror.
I praise the creators for trying to do something different and I would personally recommend it to people looking to watch perspective-enhancing movies or shows.
However, I think the show could’ve been handled much, much better.
Non-canon episodes that take place in weird and unfamiliar territories- I think Rick and Morty do a better job.
All in all, the show has its highs, but I would consider it to be overrated.
Here’s an exciting read that could intrigue a Black Mirror watcher like you: 5 Times Black Mirror Predicted The Metaverse.