Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror

10 posts


English media critic Charlie Brooker has created a three part TV series which deeply and effectively mocks the crass hybrid of narcissistic individualism and low brow mobocracy which is contemporary televised entertainment.

The first episode, The National Anthem, concerns the kidnapping of a young royal. The only condition for her release is that the Prime Minister have sex with a pig on live television. The program deals mostly with the the emotional crisis of the Prime Minister as he weighs the toll such a heinous act will have upon his public credibility and marriage.

Part 1 , 2 and 3 of The National Anthem.


Why don't the Brits just do a Jonestown and complete their national suicide in one shot? Why drag it out like this?


Island nation + Former imperial giant + Subordinated to the US military in the war on Eurasian Socialisms + Cultural theft by the US + Royalty made ceremonial + Clerics removed from matters of state = Maddening of the people

Niccolo and Donkey
Niccolo and Donkey
Niccolo and Donkey

I haven't watched this as of yet, but am reasonably familiar with Brooker's other TV work and have read some of his columns in the Grauniad. He can certainly be amusing in his vituperative attacks on mass culture, but I am always left with the niggling feeling that his solution lies not in any real elitism or embrace of hard nihilism, but instead in some leftist boilerplate.

Some here ( popfop niccolo and donkey O'Zebedee ) might also enjoy the work of Victor Lewis Smith, a forerunner of Brooker and the likes of Chris Morris. TV Offal was probably the most complete representation of his TV work:

Niccolo and Donkey
I'll fully concur with you here. Accurately targeted criticism, but the medicine could possibly be worse.

Brooker, like comedian David Mitchell who also writes for the Guardian, is definitely left of center. But what many probably don't realize is that the reason British TV has turned out so much crap, even by American standards, in the last 20 years or so, is because the Tory Right had been attacking the earlier mid century programming of BBC as 'elitist'. As such, they promoted utter garbage as "what the people want." This is a classic idiot populism of the corporate right wing. Champion the rights of 'the people' to be utterly trashy and demand only the most grotesque and lowbrow forms of culture.

Team Zissou
Yes. The Brits truly sold their souls. I was talking with my Syrian in-laws about the Anglican Communion. It should have been the Church for the English and now it's a unitarian cesspool.