Black Mirror has never minced words about its mission: it’s trying to examine our relationship with technology. But the show has never touched on streaming media, one of the biggest modern technologies of all.
It’s easy to see why, given that Black Mirror is a Netflix show. An episode that calls for viewers to examine their streaming habits would be counter-intuitive, and maybe not very popular with Netflix executives. But in Season 6, which hits Netflix on June 15, Black Mirror finally dives into this conundrum.
Season 6 is different from previous Black Mirror seasons in several ways. The five new stories are described as “films,” not episodes, and each is explicitly described as existing in its own “world.” Sorry if we just sunk your theory about how all the show’s episodes are connected somehow, but you can check out the Season 6 trailer below.
The first episode spotlighted, “Joan is Awful,” is the most intriguing. Set in a world where the biggest streaming service is called Streamberry, which happens to look a lot like Netflix, a woman named Joan (Annie Murphy) stumbles upon a streaming service based on her life where she’s played by Salma Hayek.
It’s unclear how that initial premise unfolds, but it's the first time Black Mirror has looked inward and taken on streaming itself. Given the trailer's tone, it’s likely the episode will satirize the very service that gave it a sixth season.
It may just be one episode, but it shows that Black Mirror is getting ambitious enough to turn its lens on the hand that feeds it. And even if the episode lands a little on the silly side, it would prove that Black Mirror is trying to combat its own biases, and that it has the creative freedom to examine its own platform without getting shut down.
With Season 6 just a couple weeks away, we won’t have to wait long to see just how Netflix looks when it’s reflected through the Black Mirror. However it turns out, it probably won’t be what we expect.
Black Mirror Season 6 premieres on Netflix June 15, 2023.