Lauren Windle offers a breakdown of the content of series six of Black Mirror from a Christian perspective, plus what the Bible has to say about the main themes.
Charlie Brooker’s world-famous Black Mirror is back with another series on Netflix. Each episode is a stand-alone story, often in a dystopian setting, that offers an unsettling challenge about our society, nature and desires. Here’s everything you should know about the latest additions, to help you decide what to watch - but don’t worry there's no plot spoilers.
Episode 1 – Joan Is Awful
Harrowing? A bit.
What will it make you think about? This episode raises questions about the extent to which we sign our lives away in long T&Cs that we rarely (if ever read). It also explores the damage artificial intelligence can do when it’s used to produce content unchecked and the unethical intrusions of big media companies into our private lives.
What does the Bible say? Each individual is to be afforded respect and to be treated with care. The value of human life is intrinsic, it derives from God, who made human beings in his own image (Genesis 1:26–27).
Episode 2 – Loch Henry
Scary? Medium level - think creepy true crime.
Harrowing? I would say so.
What will it make you think about? This episode addresses our collective thirst for titillating true crime. It prompts questions about the cost of society’s collective voyeurism into dark acts and the impact that interest has on the victims and loved ones of those affected.
What does the Bible say? Don't let yourself get sucked in by things that are not of God. In John 3:19-20, Jesus says: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed."
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Episode 3 – Beyond The Sea
Scary? Yes but not in a slasher movie way - more in a deeply disturbing way.
Harrowing? Yes. Yes. Yes.
What will it make you think about? This episode exposes the potential unforeseen problems in artificial intelligence and the damage our "smart solutions" can have when in the hands of flawed and broken people. It also touches on adultery and the idea that we are owed the things we crave like sex and relationships. You'll also be left asking yourself questions about forgiveness under extreme circumstances. This one will stay with you for a while.
What does the Bible say? The Bible is clear on adultery - it's a no go. But as for the rest of the content of this episode, it's hard to know where to start. The Bible doesn't have an AI section sadly (although we could all do with one), but the general message of scripture applies to all circumstances; love God, love each other (Matthew 22:36-40) and set your eyes on heavenly things (Colossians 3:1–2).
Episode 4 – Mazey Day
Scary? Yes - this is the closest to a traditional horror movie plot.
What will it make you think about? This episode is a head on challenge to the world, the press and the paparazzi. It highlights the lengths people will go to in order to obtain "content" and the huge prices people are willing to pay intrusions into celebrities privacy.
What does the Bible say? The Bible warns about the damaging pursuit of idols over God (1Corinthians 8:4, Jeremiah 2:11) and, with a multitude of examples, makes it clear how damaging it is for people when they start worshipping things other than him.
Episode 5 – Demon 79
Scary? No - although there's some violence and gore.
Harrowing? Not to the same level as the last two.
What will it make you think about? Armageddon, weighing up challenging moral dilemmas and the value of life. Heads up: this one has a depiction of a demon in training who is portrayed as a lovable cheeky chappy.
What does the Bible say? Making light of what is evil is never a good idea. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, Paul says: "For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." Showing a demon as a roguish, joker with vulnerability and love only undermines the truth nature of evil. Instead let's focus on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).