Black Mirror is definitely “the best show you’ve never heard of.” It’s British, for one thing. Who better than the Brits to put a crazy spin on something, right? And it’s an updated, contemporary techie take on the old Twilight Zone of long ago. So last night I watched the second episode (of six) of the first season. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all day.
I won’t give the whole thing away, but this is a brief synopsis. All living breathing people in the world in that episode live in a huge complex of little rooms shaped like boxes. The glass walls inside the boxes are black mirrors, kind of like TV screens, and apps play on the walls. The people work to accrue points (money) by riding stationary bikes in designated areas within the complex every day. That’s their work. Rows and rows and rows of numbered bikes that have a TV screen attached to the wall in front of each bike and a person assigned to each bike. I think maybe the bikes power the electrical system and the people get paid by doing their part to keep the power grid up. The people use their points (money) to buy apps or buy processed foods out of vending machines, etc. The people are limited only to riding the bikes and staying in their glass box rooms. They each create an avatar that can move around the worlds inside the apps. They can use their points to dress up their avatars or to dress up the walls inside their box homes, too. They can ride the bike a lot and accrue a lot of points so they can buy a lot of apps, or they can ride the bike just enough to sustain their life day to day and maybe buy a few apps so they won’t be bored while they’re (working) riding the bike or sitting in their black glass rooms when they’re not working.
So they are working for money that is not real to buy things that are not real to power a system that is not real. Whoa! Chew on that scenario for while.
I miss you. So much.