Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror: Eerie, Scary And Ludicrously True

Hyper-realistic Black Mirror might be, but with the PM having to shag a pig on live television, is it really that far removed from Bushtucker Trials? After a dodgy run, Brooker is back on form and bang on the money...
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Charlie Brooker’s three part series Black Mirror began with an ominous tale depicting the depths of human intrigue.  “I know people. They love humiliation” is the line that explains it best.

The British Prime Minister (Rory Kinnear ) is woken to be informed of the kidnapping of the nation’s treasured Princess Susannah. The kidnapper’s demand is nothing so trivial as money but for the PM to have sex with a pig live on national television. There are numerous stipulations to this demand – one of which being that the poor leader has to commit the illegal act to completion. Anything like the performance of Will from the Inbetweeners’ dalliance with sixth form crush Charlotte, will not be tolerated.

YouTube and by extension the entire internet plays host to the distressing recorded message of the Princess pleading for her life in hysterical floods of tears. Official news media outlets have strict orders from number 10 not to run it but it’s too late.

Facebook and Twitter have their collective social consciousnesses hooked into the story. 18million YouTube views and 10,000 tweets per second knock the demonic Bieliber clans off their perch.  Public interest; a phrase journalists like to use so much, insists on widespread coverage.

Black Mirror – The National Election is eerie, scary, ludicrous and true. It also makes the impending debut series of Rape an Ape easier to get on board with.

Politicians shuffle down corridors, furiously trying not only to contain the story and prepare for the eventual fallout; they also have the small matter of a rescue operation to organise. It all has a whiff of The Thick of It about it and is intensified by well chosen cameo appearances.

There are also references to the summer’s riots as a lone reporter arrives on the scene of the Princesses potential whereabouts armed with an iPhone, Mark Stone style.

The separate factions are in a self perpetuating cycle of short sightedness. How do we spin this story to stay in power? What can we do to be the first to break the news?

Public opinion swings urgently away from sympathy as news of the Princesses severed finger fuels a desire for the Prime Minister to humiliate himself to save her life.  Take one for the team essentially.

The Osama Bin Laden style insurrection operation is a bust, the MI5 have been tricked by proxy servers and unfortunately the Prime Minister is out of options.

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Brooker’s plot is preposterously serious. On first hearing the command to “have sex with a pig” it sounds like a joke but in our reality this is just a couple of steps away from a Bush Tucker Trial. Millions tune in to watch famous people eat animal testicles so why not bestiality? It’s already out there after all.

The brilliant BBC mockumentary series, Time Trumpet, is set in 2031 and one of the stories recounted by the talking heads is of a hit TV show called Rape an Ape. It needs no explanation.  Although the idea is ludicrous, this first episode of Black Mirror makes it worryingly plausible.

It’s a hilariously disturbing thought and not so removed from the truth. The people transfixed to the depraved act are not so different from those of us gawking at the early stages of the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celeb or any number of programmes out there where the embarrassment of others is our entertainment.

The scene showing people across the country glued to their television sets watching the ordeal is eerily brilliant. Streets are as baron as groups congregate in homes, hospitals and pubs to watch the leader of the country bumping uglies with a pig for an hour.

The terrorist is found and a cover up instigated. A year later and things are back to normal on the surface level at least. The news doesn’t shy away from sensationalism, while at the same time consigning the act to history, like last year’s FA Cup final runner up.

Black Mirror – The National Election is eerie, scary, ludicrous and true. It also makes the impending debut series of Rape an Ape easier to get on board with.

Next Week – Black Mirror – 15 Million Merits.

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