Black Mirror has often (and rightly) been praised for the dystopian terror it instills in its viewers. Sure, the "San Junipero" episode was lovely and optimistic, but the rest of the show pretty much explores how technology is going to destroy us someday if we're not careful. And for such an ominous show, Black Mirror is the perfect title. It's dark and scary and reflective, much like the show itself. But what does it actually mean? Does it refer to something specific? Well, turns out it totally does! Many people are just learning about why Black Mirror is called Black Mirror, and it's messing with their minds. Big time.
If you're anything like me, you've gleefully marathoned Black Mirror without ever really stopping to think about what the title could actually mean.
It seemed appropriately foreboding and induced enough tension that you just sort of accepted it.
Sure, it made sense that since the series explored how technology transforms our lives in a theoretically near-future, it could be seen as holding up a mirror to society. And what reflects back is often pessimistic, threatening, black, if you will.
So there you go, BOOM! Black Mirror.
But that's not the whole story. There's something very specific that the term "black mirror" references, and the show's creator Charlie Brooker explained it in this video (which, to be fair, was released in 2014):
“What I took it to mean was, when a screen is off. When a screen is off it looks like a black mirror,” Brooker said. “Because any TV, any LCD, any iPhone, any iPad, something like that, if you just stare at it it looks like a black mirror and there’s something cold and horrifying about that and it was such a fitting title for the show.”
Think about it... Think about it...
Aaaand there it is. Yeah. Wow, right? Black Mirror refers to the literal black mirror that is your darkened phone or computer or tablet screen.
A reasonable reaction to learning this information might look something like this:
The explanation makes sense. It might not have been obvious to you at the start. In fact, you might feel a little bit dumb for not realizing it.
It’s nothing worth losing your head over, though.
But what is the Internet if not a place for people to lose their heads?
As you might have been able to predict, when word of the real story behind the title of Black Mirror got out (albeit four years late), the Internet went bonkers…