Every once in a while, it happens: Everyone you’ve ever met starts talking about Black Mirror. You break out in a cold sweat. Is it really that time of year again? Where did this fucking show even come from? You tried watching one or two episodes and just couldn’t get over how depressing it was. Why are people watching this?
Here’s Black Mirror Lite™, a special collection of made-up Black Mirror storylines that are gentle enough for your kind soul to digest, while simultaneously being vague enough so there’s a chance other people might assume you suffered through the actual show on Netflix.
Episode 1: It’s sometime in the very distant future. Everyone is so obsessed with their phones that verbal language ceases to exist. Everyone is always just texting, texting, texting. Nobody looks up, human bodies begin to hunch over to make it more comfortable to look at phone screens, while hands begin to grow more fingers so texting can be done faster. Nobody is trapped in a psychological prison for thousands of years, everyone just texts a lot.
Thing to say when talking to someone who saw the real Black Mirror: “And how about that episode with the phones? Technology is really crazy.”
Episode 2: Two men are snowed in while staying in a cabin and don’t have cell phone reception. The WiFi password is written on post-it on the fridge, but the two men can’t decipher if it’s a lower case “L” or the number one. They try countless variations, but to no avail. Why didn’t the cabin owner think about this when writing down the password? Why didn’t they just change it to something other than 2J2K3ZI4IJJLL1Kl1k000_00O0? What kind of monster does that?
Thing to say when talking to someone who saw the real Black Mirror: “And how about that episode with Jon Hamm? The cabin? He’s so talented!”
Episode 3: A woman keeps receiving hate mail from an anonymous Twitter user. It’s filling up her inbox, and because she’s too nervous the person has sent her a virus, she won’t open any of the emails — leaving her unread email number at 81. Infuriating! Also, why won’t Twitter ban this idiot? He’s a verified Nazi? Imagine living in a world where this was acceptable! The episode ends with her creating a new primary Gmail account, which is aggravating. She gets stung by a bee, the aftermath of which is the subplot of the episode.
Thing to say when talking to someone who saw the real Black Mirror: “That episode with Twitter was kinda boring, right? Not my favorite. Also, and I’ve been saying this for years, fuck bees!”
Episode 4: To protect against blue screens, all of humanity has to place shields on their eyeballs. Spooky!
Thing to say when talking to someone who saw the real Black Mirror: “And, like, how many episodes are they going to use white contact lenses for? Am I right? Ooooooverkill.”
Episode 5: A boss, in order to exert power over his unruly employees who hate him, secretly turns off the WiFi in the office so that everyone has to use their data to call or text or check something on Facebook if using their phone. His staff begs him to reset the WiFi, promising that they’ll be nicer to him, but the power goes straight to his head. He knows none of them have unlimited data and would never be willing to pay for it without being on a family plan of some kind. One of the employees decides enough is enough and buys a secret hot spot for everyone in the office. The boss never notices.
Thing to say when talking to someone who saw the real Black Mirror: “Uh, that episode with the mean boss? How can he just do that to his employees? They’re human beings!!! Who thinks like that!?”