I finally sat myself to check out Black Mirror today. It was highly recommended by people I knew and people I did not know. I watched two episodes; they were great, and I couldn't ask for more. No, literally, I couldn't and I never will ask to watch any more of it.
Before I get to my reason on why, I would like to state that I completely understand that "black mirrors" aren't exactly a boon at the moment. And that is how they are portrayed in the series as well. But the amount of negativity each episode conveyed was unbearable. "But that's the reality, Bavishya!" Yes, yes, I'm aware that it portrays the reality. But it does not portray the entire reality.
Black Mirror has led to the acceptance of the negativity rather than its realisation and need for change.
Watching this series, which traps a good human within inescapable darkness, was depressing. You see, people find it easy to blame the voiceless for their faults. In this case, the voiceless are the black mirrors. Humans conveniently blame technology instead of owning to the fact that they are the ones wreaking havoc. And it is important that humans need to be aware of this - that it is their fault and theirs alone.
The series carried its plot forward using the negativity and it ended on the same negative note. This, unsurprisingly, made me accept that this is how the world is and that nothing could be done about it. Black Mirror has led to the acceptance of the negativity rather than its realisation and need for change.
The truth is, this isn't the reality. Yes, people do get hurt through technology. There is a large array of terms to describe each type of crime and its effects on the users. But people don't accept it and roll with it. People take a stand, fight against it and they bring change at least slowly, if not immediately.
It wasn't that kind of an open-ended resolution. It didn't leave the audience clenching their teeth over the suffering of the good. Instead, it did give a close-ended resolution, which wasn't the kind that drove people towards change for the better, but towards the acceptance of the worst.
Now, I know the reason why I started contemplating on the harshness of humanity equipped with technology is because of the negativity of the series. But I wasn't trying to contemplate about humans or about technology. I was merely trying to understand why the hell I was so damn depressed after each episode.
Again, you might argue that the negative ending is what drives people to take action. But it wasn't that kind of an open-ended resolution. It didn't leave the audience clenching their teeth over the suffering of the good. Instead, it did give a close-ended resolution, which wasn't the kind that drove people towards change for the better, but towards the acceptance of the worst.
It said, "Look, people are suffering due to technology." And it did not stop with that. It continued saying, "People can't rebel against it; it is hopeless. So just accept it." That is the solution it offered. That is where it ended. It does not give space for us to think about why those people suffered. Instead we are spoon-fed a hopeless resolution that says "Yes, some of them suffered. Others enjoyed the suffering. It is what it is. Now let's move on to another negative episode."
And that was utterly depressing. That's what was wrong about it. That's why I didn't like it. Instead, if it had ended where the Prime Minister engaged in the act, and the singer turned into a porn actor, then the negativity of technology is still conveyed.
But this time, people are left with the suffering of the good in their minds instead of the justification of their suffering and acceptance of it. This time, the audience will have a chance to contemplate the negativity and take action. This time, the negativity serves a purpose, instead of acting as a depressing agent that leaves you hopeless. This time, Black Mirror will reflect on the reality, instead of absorbing them into its darkness.