The latest Black Mirror installment, Bandersnatch, leads viewers through a web of choose-your-own-adventure decisions that dramatically impact the outcome. Now some light is being shed on how the adventures of lowly game programmer Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) have been chosen around the world.
Even though Netflix is notoriously secretive about actual viewership data, several of the streaming giant's Twitter accounts, along with Black Mirror's, began posting facts about the decisions that viewers were making while watching Bandersnatch. Which, honestly, sounds a lot like the plot of a Black Mirror episode.
Anyway, it all started earlier this afternoon, when the official Black Mirror Twitter account posted that Stefan was fed Frosties cereal by "60% of his friends from the future."
It's a rather innocuous fact from a very low-stakes choice that comes along early in the episode, but it is interesting that Sugar Puffs were such an unpopular choice. According to Deadline, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a fourth-quarter earnings video today that Frosties were chosen over Sugar Puffs a whopping 73% of the time.
Not longer after Black Mirror's tweet, the Netflix UK & Ireland account responded with a regional fact: 52.9% of British viewers chose to throw the tea, compared to 55.9% of the rest of the world. It is interesting that having Stefan destroy weeks' worth of programming work wasn't as big a factor as the tea itself, but to each their own.
Almost immediately after this, the Netflix US account chimed in, stating that 74% chose to have Stefan accept the job at Tuckersoft. It was a decision that, in their words, was informed by those who "wanted Stefan to live his best life," adding, "how were we supposed to know?"
Then, Netflix NX, which focuses on the platform's sci-fi content, replied that it's hard to predict the future. They added that "it's even more difficult to change the past" before dropping the bomb that Stefan going on the train with his mother was the ending least chosen out of the main five that were possible. It was an emotional revelation, even for the Twitter account.
As of right now, the banter between the verified accounts has quieted down. Obviously, some of the more macabre facts about Bandersnatch were ignored, like how many went the dismembering-a-corpse route, but it is interesting to see how aspects of Stefan's life were played out with a global audience.
There's still no official word on when Black Mirror Season 5 will premiere, but the debate over whether Bandersnatch is a film or a video game should keep us occupied until then.