One of the hallmarks of Black Mirror, the British anthology series created by Charlie Brooker, is the way it takes common topics and takes them to dark, futuristic extremes. The show is returning for its much-anticipated fourth season soon, and trailers for the individual episodes have been slowly trickling out.
The most recent one, "Black Museum," tackled the horrors of the world in museum form. The latest installment, "Hang the DJ," tackles something a little more down-to-earth: dating.
In "Hang the DJ," those in the dating scene are each given a personalized device that promises to give them the perfect match. It's like a virtual assistant that you take with you when you're about to meet someone at a restaurant. It can tell you what you're supposed to do next on the date, give you advice, and so on. More importantly, though: It can actually tell you how long your relationship is supposed to last. That sounds like it could be helpful, but this is Black Mirror we're talking about it, so there's bound to be a catch.
Another intriguing aspect is it's actually hard to tell if this episode will skew darker or funnier. There's always been a satirical bent to the series, but even the satire can get very, very grim if the right topic comes along. The idea of a service that's going to guide your entire dating life isn't new, thanks to apps like Tinder, but this particular device might have something sinister under the surface.
Black Mirror returns soon on Netflix.