The Netflix show that hits terrifyingly close to home.

Imagine a world where people are so tied to their devices they don’t bother to look up as they pass each other in the street.

One where they’ve uploaded a photo of their lunch before they’ve even taken a bite out of it and where, if your carefully cultivated social media persona takes a hit online, there are real world consequences. It’s not hard, is it?

And that is essentially the premise of Nosedive, the first episode in Season 3 of Black Mirror, which dropped on Netflix over the weekend.

(It’s been a low burn for Black Mirror withe Season 1 and 2 being critically acclaimed, but Season 3 grabbing public attention).

Over six self-contained episodes the British show, created by Charlie Brooker, tackles what a slightly different or slightly distant future might look like if human beings continue their unhealthy relationship with technology.

In Nosedive, people rate one another based on every single social interaction, creating a sort of social capital that is needed to secure everything from houses, to promotions to cancer treatments.

The main character Lacey becomes increasingly obsessed with her ranking, convinced her value is equivalent to the ever changing number on her smart phone, only to discover that it actually sort of is.

Not every episode of Black Mirror is as blithely satirical as Nosedive. In fact a lot of people don’t make it past episode one, Season 1, in which the British Prime Minister is blackmailed into a sex act with a farm animal.

Nor is every episode as compelling. But some are excellent, some will keep you up for days and all will make you reconsider the way we rarely question the wisdom of allowing ever-more invasive technology into our lives, our homes and even our bodies.

There are of course a few stand out episodes. For me at least, San Junipero is by far the best of Season 3 and not just because it was a welcome relief after episodes two and three scared the begeesus out of me.


Yorkie and Kelly meet in San Junipero. Source: Netflix

It's rarely immediately obvious what the lesson will be in Black Mirror and in this episode you're suddenly thrown backwards in time to the late 1980s with all the Morrisey and arcade games that tends to entail, which is at once incredibly nostalgic and totally unsettling when you've just been staring into the dystopian future for three hours straight.

Two young women meet in a club and feel an instant connection and, not to spoil it, but it's one of the show's only forays into romance that will actually make you feel optimistic about falling in love.

It also handles the relationship beautifully without diminishing or fetishising either woman's sexuality - a rarity when it comes to LGBTI love stories on TV.

Honestly, it will break your heart in the best possible way and I could talk about it for years.


Episode five, which stars Australia's Sarah Snook is also really solid and much more cinematic than some of the others, although the final episode runs for a full 120 minutes.

If you've yet to watch the previous seasons, again the episodes can be a bit hit and miss, but The Entire History of You from the first season and Be Right Back from the second are two of my personal favourites.

At its best Black Mirror makes you consider not just the role technology plays in our day to day, but how it will shape our global future — and how it could go horribly wrong (if it hasn't already).

It's all on Netflix. Also, you might want to stick a piece of  Blue-Tac over your webcam.