4. Black Mirror, Part 6 (June 15, 2023)
Black Mirror has long been a reflection of the horrors and possibilities of human capabilities and the latest season may be one of the most chilling to date. The series’ trademark existential dread and worrying realization are on full display across all five episodes of the sixth season, but three parts in particular are among the series’ and year’s best horror.
Joan is Awful stars Annie Murphy in a tense performance as she is forced to witness her entire life go up faster than flames, right in front of her eyes, and anyone else that simultaneously knows Joan and carries a subscription to this new, cutting-edge, streaming service app, which has been collecting content from people’s lives to use in conjunction with powerful Artificial Intelligence technology to create a streaming TV series for anyone that wants to click on it. Sit down and watch, alongside Joan’s husband, employees, parents, and more, as “Joan is Awful” ultimately cracks open Joan’s life and secrets–and a future once considered implausible fiction.
Loch Henry is about two friends making a true crime-style documentary after one of them learns something about the other’s past and the small town they’re both filming in, named “Loch Henry,” which opens up the doors for clever commentary on how our society uses people’s pain and trauma for content–and how hard we resist healing and moving on.
Beyond the Sea is an intense drama starring Aaron Paul that takes place in an alternate history where a bad romance takes an otherworldly turn. Starring two astronauts in space who are able to visit home during off hours through the use of “artificial replica” bodies (which are located on and kept back on Earth), Beyond the Sea explores love and death, and even cracks open how men can choose to see themselves in the face of tragedy and pain.
Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix.