Critics rave about Black Mirror season four
Released on Dec. 29, 2017, the fourth season of Netflix original series Black Mirror was a hit. With a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, many critics have claimed that the fourth season of the Netflix show is the best one yet.
Black Mirror, a science fiction anthology series, focuses on the often detrimental effects of innovative technological advancements in an alternate reality or near future setting, the specific setting of which is unclear. Each episode is standalone, so viewers are able to watch episodes from any season out of sequence. Previous seasons of Black Mirror were praised for their creative technology and plot twists. Black Mirror also mimics shows like “The Twilight Zone,” which explored controversial themes through standalone episodes.
While Black Mirror is often praised for its meaningful themes regarding human nature and society’s relationship with technology, Season 4 featured a variety of light-hearted episodes with less emphasis on the deterioration and evil of humans.
Global junior Mikey Beautz commented on the disparities between the seasons, saying, “This season was definitely more unique than the other ones and a little bit more light. Some of the past seasons messed with your head.”
Global junior Paulina Mnev had differing thoughts, stating that the new season “tried to reach a wider audience and made some of the endings too easy and happy…. The endings in seasons 1 through 3 were key parts of the plot… there was rarely a happy ending.”
As Beautz and Mnev both mentioned, episodes like “Hang the DJ” and Star Trek inspired “USS Callister” had noticeably happier endings than previous seasons. Both episodes featured wins for the underdog, something that rarely happened in Seasons 1 and 2.
Critics all around the world raved about the first episode of Season 4, titled “USS Callister.” The plot follows programmer Robert Daly, who created a virtual reality game called “Infinity.” Bitter due to the lack of recognition he received from his colleagues, Daly runs a personal version of “Infinity,” where he clones his colleagues using DNA samples and forces the digital clones to submit to him.
Episode Four was titled “Hang the DJ”, another audience favorite of the season. This episode portrayed Amy and Frank, who lived in a society where every relationship has a set end date. After many relationships, Amy and Frank decide to rebel against the system, breaking out of their society and discovering their world was merely a simulation. “Hang the DJ” had an uplifting ending and comedic performances from both main actors.
Sixth and final episode “Black Museum” wrapped up all the technological advancements featured throughout the season. The season finale featured three different short stories, each of them told by museum curator Haynes to visitor Nish. Eventually, it is revealed that Nish is there for revenge, as her father was a victim of one of Haynes’ crimes, and was trapped in the museum.
ISP senior Anthony Sheehi expressed that “the [sixth] episode portrays that technological advancement in all fields can lead to corruption and instability in people,” and that it “best shows the fine line between innovation and ethical conflict.”