Every episode of Black Mirror ranked!

When Charlie Brookers series gets it right, its mixture of sci-fi and satire is like nothing else on our screens. Heres its 23 chapters still further, from worst to best

23. Crocodile

An hour of television so relentlessly dour that it leaves nothing for anyone to cling to. Andrea Riseborough plays a surly assassin forced to cover her lines as she goes on another surly slaying spree. The panorama where she murders a blind child with a hammer that’s still dripping with gore from his father’s skull remains the epitome of Black Mirror’s off-putting propensity to be nasty for the sake of it.

22. Black Museum

A compilation of half-thought-out, sub-Saw morality tales that trample so much worn floor( a woman’s consciousness is transferred into an abandoned toy, a assassin is be converted into a hologram that can be repeatedly electrocuted) that it teeters on the edge of self-parody. Plus, and this is rare for Black Mirror, it’s so pleased with itself that you just want to punch it.

21. Shut Up and Dance

The end of this occurrence- in which hackers extort a boy for masturbating to porn- is the television equivalent of being vanquished over the psyche with an specially stupid stone. The boy carnages a mortal. The hackers release the masturbation footage anyway. There’s a montage of people crying and screaming to Radiohead’s most overblown song, and then it turns out that the son was watching child porn all along. A conveyor belt of Charlie Brooker’s worst excess, this is an episode that feels as if it was made by a breach Black Mirror algorithm.

20. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

Miley
Miley Cyrus in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too. Photograph: Netflix

Miley Cyrus play-acts Britney Spears, had Britney inexplicably decided to download her entire personality into a Furby. It’s hard to see what the message of this occurrence is- Fame is hard? Managers are evil? Pop music is bad?- and even harder to care.

19. White Christmas

Black Museum, but festive. Every idea here- what if you could download someone’s personality into a thing? What if you could block someone, but with your psyche?- are indicated in other Black Mirror episodes in a more satisfying form.

18. The Waldo Moment

The
Poor execution … The Waldo Moment. Photograph: Hal Shinnie/ Channel 4 image advertisement

Points scored for preempting the rise in populist non-politicians- here, a wiseacre cartoon endure is becoming a unlikely political figurehead- but points lost for execution. Especially the orgasm, where the person who is controlled the suffer suddenly acquires himself homeless and truncheoned in a dystopian police state, which is a little bit of a leap.

17. Men Against Fire

A soldier stubbles the earth, murdering a number of grotesque mutant monsters. But wait, what if those monsters has only just been normal people disguised by an augmented actuality chip in the soldier’s head? Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you? Except you did, right from the very first frame.

16. Arkangel

Black Mirror isn’t exactly a series that shies away from a heavy-handed metaphor, but the culmination of this Jodie Foster-directed story- where a girl literally beats her mom to death with an iPad- is so hilariously on the nose that it has to be self-satire. Because, if it isn’t, hoo boy.

15. Smithereens

What
‘ What if acting, but too much ?’ … Smithereens. Photograph: Netflix/ Black Mirror

Black Mirror is often written off as:” What if phones, but too much ?” However, in Smithereens, Andrew Scott updates this to:” What if behaving, but too much ?” There are instants of backdrop chewing in Smithereens that would put locust besets to shame, but underneath that is a very simple and somewhat effective hostage thriller that works right up until you realise that its larger content is literally only:” Wow, people look at their phones a lot .”

14. Playtest

Another episode about an augmented world chip, although this fares much better than Men Against Fire because it waives any Important Message About the World in favour of flat-out genre silliness. This is a horror story, plain and simple, and Brooker clearly has fun splashing around with all its campy conventions.

13. White Bear

Your tolerance for White Bear will largely depend on your tolerance for unexplained screaming, because that’s what most of this episode consists of. There is crying, and then there’s screaming and then there’s more crying. The late-stage twist- our supporter is a murderer who had her remembrance mopped so that members of the public can penalise her anew every day- is just about clever enough to justify all the preceding noise.

12. Fifteen Million Merits

In a dystopian future, the only way out of poverty is to debase yourself on television. The supporter, when rendered his hit on TV, breaks down and starts on a Howard Beale rant about how vapid and awful television is. The rant connects with audiences, and he’s rewarded with a sanitised television testify of his own. Brooker and his co-writer wife Konnie Huq call this’ The Screenwipe story ‘, for good reason.

11. Hated in the Nation

Black Mirror’s first feature-length episode is about a swarm of robot bees that murder people who unknowingly use certain hashtags. However, hokey premise aside, this is a smart and well-executed police procedural that is much more gripping than you’d expect.

10. Metalhead

The robot dog one. Shot in black and white and merely 41 times long, Metalhead is a model of glinting propulsion. All you need to know- and all you’re told- is that the dogs are out to kill the humans. The remainder of the chapter is taut and dread-filled and benefits tremendously from any lack of real explanation. Metalhead is the Terminator version of White Bear, and all the better for it.

9. The National Anthem

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A high watermark … The National Anthem. Photograph: Ed Miller/ Channel 4 Picture Publicity

The episode that started it all is still a very good beginner’s guide to Black Mirror. There’s an preposterou premise( the prime minster must have sex with a pig on Tv) with an overcooked content( it’s a stunt masterminded to draw attention to society’s obsession with the media) that has times of true-blue transcendence( the waves of mirth and fright and misfortune that pass across the audience in real occasion ). A high watermark.

8. Striking Vipers

Easily the best of the newest Black Mirror batch, Striking Vipers employs its casting of Marvel suns to tell a sweetly unexpected narrative. Two old friends discover that a VR videogame allows them to explore their feelings for one another in a new and interesting behavior. Despite its tendency to go dark, Black Mirror’s best chapters have a core of pure humanity. This is one of the most human tales yet.

7. Hang The DJ

And this is another. At its worst( check the ending of The Waldo Moment ), Black Mirror suffers from a berserk longing for tragedy. Here, though, the opposite is true. We’re introduced to a hellish dating app, which tells the daters exactly how long their relationship will last as soon as they meet. Our heroes try to escape their fate, but find themselves trapped in a miserable labyrinth of stern authoritarianism. Then, just when all hope is lost, the chapter pullings out and reveals that rarest of things: a happy Black Mirror objective. Wonders may never cease.

6. USS Callister

Gripping
Gripping and timely … USS Callister. Photograph: Netflix

Black Mirror’s fourth season introduced itself in a Technicolor blast; a big-budget, all-star reimagining of Star Trek that quickly descends into a very necessary deconstruction of toxic fandom. It’s not only one of very good arguments for Black Mirror upping and leaving for Netflix- candidly, try to imagine this on a Channel 4 fund- but one of the best episodes altogether. It’s gripping and timely, but it’s also very funny and doesn’t end on an abject bummer. Amazing.

5. The Entire History of You

Written by Peep Show’s Jesse Armstrong, this is possibly the most agonising Black Mirror yet. Set in a world-wide where everyone is basically fitted with a cerebral dashcam, it revolves around a single suspicion of adultery that balloons into all-consuming terror. By the conclusion, when years of secrets and disloyalties have been permanently smashed to pieces in unsparing detail, you feel as if you’ve been beaten to a pulp.

4. Bandersnatch

Even if you detested this chapter- I didn’t, but others did – you cannot fault its aspiration. A Choose Your Own Adventure-style interactive tale about the creation of a video game, the simple life of Bandersnatch is the result of herculean toil from a squad as big as an legion. Credit must go to Brooker for deploying it with such verve, too. Not many novelists could get away with debuting a brand-new type of storytelling by direct critiquing its restrictions as brazenly as he did. The time where “Netflix” appears as an interactive option, for example, is just sublime.

3. San Junipero

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‘ A exultation’ … San Junipero. Photograph: Laurie Sparham/ Netflix

Everyone adores San Junipero. It’s won Baftas and Emmys and GLAAD honors, and appeared at the top of several rolls like this. And for good reason, too. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s futuristic and nostalgic. It’s bleak and hopeful. It features personas who aren’t just empty cyphers for techno-misery. San Junipero was arguably the episode that pushed Black Mirror over the top for many onlookers. It’s a triumph.

2. Nosedive

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ tv-and-radio/ 2019/ jun/ 06/ every-episode-of-black-mirror-ranked-charlie-brooker

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