The notion that Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi horror anthology series, Black Mirror, would essentially be The Twilight Zone if it were about technology rather than supernatural events is not a new observation. A viral tweet summed up the mood of most of the Black Mirror episodes with the joke, “What if your mom ran on batteries.”
It only makes sense that Futurama would update its long-running parody The Twilight Zone to focus on a more contemporary point of reference, and Black Mirror would be the obvious target. And so The Scary Door became The Scary Mirror, but the mood mostly stays the same as before. As LaMarche’s voiceover puts it, “The one with the devil’s call? Now it’s a FaceTime call from the devil. The ‘devil’ part hasn’t changed.”
Just as “The Twilight Zone” played with the fears of society in its time, “Black Mirror” plays with our present-day fears of the rapidly accelerating pace of technological innovation. As the saying goes, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. And while supernatural events provided the disturbing premise for the Twilight Zone episodes, unimaginable technology fills that role in Black Mirror.
Longtime Futurama fans will no doubt appreciate that the show makes a contribution to the pop culture that has become fashionable since its previous cancellation. The cheeky “Black Mirror” parody is just one of many such references in the packed season 11 premiere episode.
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