Find out “Black Mirror: Does Season 6 take digs at Netflix?” LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The popular dystopian anthology series ‘Black Mirror’ on Netflix has established a distinctive reputation for delivering insightful social and political commentary on the worrisome intersection of technology and human existence. Creator and writer Charlie Brooker has already delved into various themes such as the social credit system, immersive metaverse, human clones, and even simulations. In the latest season, Brooker appears to set his sights on streaming services and the creation of content, drawing intriguing parallels between the initial two episodes.
Enthusiastic fans have taken to social media to share their speculations regarding these particular episodes, as Brooker’s intentions were far from subtle. It is undeniably startling that Netflix would endorse a series that essentially scrutinizes the very products it offers to its viewers. To gain deeper insights, let us explore these episodes further and examine how they critique the overwhelming abundance of reality TV programming that dominates our current media landscape.
Black Mirror: Does Season 6 take digs at Netflix? Streamberry and the commodification of stories
‘Joan is Awful’ and ‘Loch Henry’ are the titles of the first two episodes of the series. Streamberry is a made-up name for a streaming service that is included in both of them, but the former more so than the latter. But is it just made-up? Absolutely not. The videos make no attempt to hide the fact that Streamberry is entirely modeled off of Netflix, from the logo and design all the way down to the recognizable tu-dum sound effects that have become synonymous with the brand. The fact that Streamberry is portrayed as a villain in each of these episodes for reasons related to the plot of the show is a crucial point to keep in mind here.
The plot of “Joan is Awful” is based on a simulation in which the setting depicts a streaming service that is essentially stealing and cloning the identities of people in order to make shows. Emotional manipulation is a crucial component of this, and so is extensive surveillance of everyone’s lives, to the point that no one is even aware that they are being watched or followed in any way. A common criticism leveled against streaming services such as Netflix is addressed in this episode. Salma Hayek is quoted as saying, “They have taken one hundred years of cinema and diminished it to an app.” It draws attention to the fact that movies and television series are losing their individual value as a result of the way streaming services profit from them, particularly through the use of negative narratives in content produced for reality television.
The fact that Netflix authorized such an episode appeared to be something that fans found interesting. In a thread on Reddit devoted to discussing the episode titled “Joan Is Awful,” one user stated that “Netflix releasing an episode now about a stand-in for their streaming service not paying talent what they should as well as issues related to actors and AI feels like extremely perfect timing.” The following was written in another post within the thread: “Is this Netflix’s way of telling us to read the terms and conditions before getting mad at them for all their changes.”
Another fan wrote a review of the episode, in which they stated, “The optimistic ending is an ironic rug pull for anyone rooting for a bleak ending, considering the message of the episode was that shows get the highest engagement by reflecting the most misery.”
‘Loch Henry’ slammed Netflix’s for true crime ‘obsession’
In the second episode, titled “Loch Henry,” we follow the story of a couple named Davis and Pia who make the decision to make a documentary film about a disturbing event that had place in a Scottish town. The program discussed the recent uptick in the number of true crime documentaries and mysteries available on the app as well as the rising popularity of these shows among audiences. The documentary format has recently failed in many ethical ways, which is the primary focus of this episode. Despite the fact that documentaries share true events with their audiences.
The recently published real crime anthology titled “Dahmer” garnered criticism for the same reasons, as it was criticized for further glamorizing the serial killer. In a similar vein, the show discusses how the notoriety of a terrible crime might bring tourists to an otherwise dormant community that normally does not receive any. The style of documentaries tends to romanticize some parts of actual crimes committed against actual people, which has the effect of dehumanizing the victims. The plot of this episode takes a surprising turn at the end, when it is revealed that the couple’s documentary is responsible for ‘Loch Henry’s’ rising popularity, but that Pia’s passing and Davis’s distress caused by learning the truth about his family are ignored.
In a different discussion thread on Reddit pertaining to Episode 2, fans of the show expressed similar thoughts. The following comment was made by a viewer: “Interesting perspective on true crime. We take in all of these gruesome tales, but we don’t give a damn about the people whose lives have been irrevocably altered or lost in order for the tale to be told. In fact, the scene at the end of the movie where people are drinking in the pub while wearing red masks is the best illustration of this. Another user commented on the first two episodes, saying, “I think it’s more about social commentary: We know Netflix does bad things (such as ban password sharing and make horrible live-action adaptations of shows that no one asked for, etc.), yet here we are, discussing a Netflix show because we all still use it.”
The new season of ‘Black Mirror’ will be streaming on Netflix from June 15, 2023.