When we think about series, we don’t really consider them TV shows anymore, considering that a high percentage of them are being aired on platforms like Netflix and Disney.
However, if you take the time to know a bit more about them, you’ll notice that they continue to be aired on channels more than streaming platforms. The issue lies in whether you have it on your TV cable or not.
Although it is more famous for the Netflix stream, Black Mirror is actually a TV series that aired on its specific channel before anywhere else.
Now, we’re confident you’ve heard about it before, and if you haven’t taken the time to watch it, you are losing a huge binge for your boring nights after a long day or just to have a good time entertaining yourself.
Here, we will take our time to review the series and let you know if it is truly worth your time according to preferences and expectations. Though, we can tell you it won’t disappoint unless you are not really into it, like 5% of the audience only.
And if there’s something we won’t forget are definitely the details of the actors and how much the TV show has made so far.
Black Mirror’s Plot – Inside an Anthology Series
Before we jump in and tell you what the series is about, are you familiar with the word “anthology”? If you aren’t, we better take our time for this.
The anthology is a genre for radio, TV, film, series, and even videogames that combines with different genres to complete the project’s theme.
Following its structure, anthology series presents a different story and characters in every episode or season, according to how the show (in this case) was designed.
Some series decide to have different casts per episode, but directors and producers worked with different stories and characters per season in the past. Though, some of them were played by the same actors and actresses.
In the case of Black Mirror, you have an anthology that combines speculative fiction, science fiction, and dystopia, which means we are going to have quite a wild ride.
Also, keeping in mind that every episode or season comes with a different story and cast, you can expect this to be a bit confusing in terms of plot. However, we will do our best to make it understandable and see if you want to binge it or not, and without giving you that many spoilers (or most likely none).
The show will take you into a look inwards at the darkest aspects of society and humanity in the modern world and how our darkest instincts collide.
To make this possible, it focuses on the theme of technology, hence the second meaning. To keep the concept basic, the black mirror is our screen and rules our lives.
The show uses current phenomena, such as the popularity of talent shows on television and the impact of social media on our lives, to speculate on how these phenomena might evolve in the future. Each episode tells a unique story with different characters and focuses on an entirely different theme, keeping a central one based on the learnings it wants to give us.
Each Black Mirror episode is a dark and bleak tale about how technology and modern life can lead to our descent into madness. With the short stories, we are introduced to.
The first episode is set in the present and how an unknown person kidnaps a fictional princess and posts a ransom video anonymously to YouTube. The ransom states that prime minister Michael Callow (a fictional character) must have sexual intercourse with any pig, which will be broadcast live on all British television channels within four days. If not, this unknown person would kill the princess.
The next episode will be about a future that is both commercial and false. Everyone is forced to play games in order to earn false money and spend it on fake objects.
Fake food-dispensing machines give out fake packaged fruit to eat. It’s a completely commercial world, and there seems to be no outside.
This one episode also shows two attempts at escaping from the dreadful life we live in. Each works to a certain extent before it becomes dull and fake again.
This is achieved by performing a satire on a talent contest and winning it. It contains a lot of references about how people take gaming and the Nintendo Wii seriously.
The third story and episode are about a dark love story that takes place in the future.
It shows how bad it would be if people were able to re-watch their past and share their mistakes with others.
The small chips placed behind people’s ears make it possible to view their vision on any screen. This can be done with a small tool or a fast, everywhere Wi-Fi.
The idea behind it is that people might become obsessive about the past and search their memory for small details, ultimately leading to insanity.
The rest of the episodes of the series continue to follow a dystopian theme that can make some people feel a bit overwhelmed with how modern technologies and humanity’s greatest innovations can be our destruction. However, the show has a great premise, and you cannot ignore how well-developed the entire history of each episode is.
Also, it is divided into four series; the first two have three episodes each, while the third season and fourth have six episodes. Meanwhile, a fifth exists, but it consists of a film with three episodes, and some specials are included here.
A Huge Cast & Production: Making the Series
Working with an anthology means you have to deal with many people, both in front and behind the cameras.
Black Mirror is a series created by Charlie Brooker, who is also part of the writers’ team along with Konnie Huq, Jesse Armstrong, Rashida Jones, Michael Schur, and William Bridges.
The origin of the series is from the UK, so you will be dealing with a British show that has a lot to offer.
Executive producers are Brooker (our previous creator) and Annabel Jones, whiñe Zeppotron handled the production from 2011 to 2013, and House of Tomorrow took it from 2014 to 2019.
The current distributor is Endemol Shine UK, and although the series started in Channel 4 from 2011 to 2014, the current release is handled by Netflix.
Most of the episodes have been written by Brooker solely despite having other writers on the team.
The idea of “series” disputes the very few episodes per each, lies in how the anthology series is structured and the little connections with each episode.
With this in mind, what about the crew? We have a long list of cast members considering all the previous mentions, but we can add a few that were quite relevant compared to others. Just keep in mind we will add their real names only since it can be a bit confusing to mention their characters’ names:
- Owen Harries.
- Carl Tibbetts.
- James Hawes.
- Bryce Dallas Howard.
- Hayley Atwell.
- Cristin Milioti.
- Jon Hamm.
- Daniel Kaluuya.
- Michaela Coel.
- Letitia Wright.
- Alex Lawther.
Earnings & Salaries: Did It Make Millions?
Following series that are part of streaming platforms nowadays is a bit hard since they don’t focus on the usual earnings as TV channels and networks.
Instead of following commercials, product placement, and other ads, which are a huge part of making profits from a TV series, platforms like Netflix handle other structures.
That being said, Black Mirror’s earnings when it was airing on Channel 4 weren’t disclosed, but since the show changed to Netflix, some info about the budget and earnings was released.
For seasons 3 and 4, Netflix paid $40 million for a total of 12 episodes, and according to some reports, made over $2 billion in earnings (without including extra expenses) for both seasons.
Since Netflix sets a standard per viewer, the show hit over 4 million when the fourth season came out. However, no specific details about profits were disclosed, and the detail we have is that fifteen million merits followed the show’s success.
Now, what about the actors and actresses?
It is hard to tell, and for once, we will owe you this information.
When the show started on Channel 4 on British TV, actors and actresses were paid about $30k to $100k per episode.
Since many of them weren’t “big names” at the time, some assume salaries weren’t a problem for the production.
However, when it changed to Netflix, big actors and actresses started to join the cast to keep the show on board, which led to some people believing over $300k were paid to some actors and stars following the $3.3 million budget per episode for seasons 4 and 5, including Miley Cyrus to act like a pop star for this sci-fi TV show.
6 Surprising Facts About Black Mirror
- Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror’s creator, and writer are known for being a satirist and comedian.
- The name “Black Mirror” refers to a blank video screen, which we kind of mentioning during the show’s plot.
- The show has attracted many celebrities, directors, and writers due to the theme and topics approached. Jodie Foster was one of them, and she even directed a season-four episode.
- According to Brooker, “The Twilight Zone” anthology series inspired him for the show.
- Stephen King loves the show as he stated during a tweet, “Loved BLACK MIRROR. Terrifying, funny, intelligent. It’s like THE TWILIGHT ZONE, only rated R.”
- The show released its final episode in 2019. However, it hasn’t been canceled, but its future is uncertain. Basically, we don’t know if it was the final one.
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