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Why Black Mirror Is This Generation’s The Twilight Zone


Black Mirror often draws comparisons to The Twilight Zone. We look at their similarities and how Black Mirror takes the concept one step further.

Netflix’s dystopian thriller Black Mirror constantly draws comparisons to the classic sci-fi television show The Twilight Zone with good reason—it’s essentially the same show, but geared toward this generation. When it first came out in 1959, The Twilight Zone rocked audiences with its bleak take on society. Black Mirror has borrowed from the foundation of its predecessor with its own dark commentary on society.

Both The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror provide something of an uncomfortable experience for their viewers. Each show is an anthology series that places everyday, normal people in out of the ordinary situations. But the twist is that, in both shows, these situations are eerily similar to ones that the viewer could relate to. An impact like that lasts. It’s why The Twilight Zone still resonates today and Black Mirror rose to fame so quickly.

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Related: Why The Twilight Zone’s 1980s Revival Is Seriously Underrated

Despite their many similarities, Black Mirror is not just a carbon copy remake of The Twilight Zone. Black Mirror solely focuses on technology destroying humanity. As many people today are technology-obsessed, it hits home harder than The Twilight Zone, and impacts modern audiences much in the same way that The Twilight Zone did during its tenure.

Black Mirror Has A Stronger Impact Than The Twilight Zone

Black Mirror_The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone made members of its audience question everything they know. Each episode of The Twilight Zone inserted themes that encouraged viewers to push back on various thoughts, ideologies, and rules they had always lived with previously. The show introduced people to a new way of thinking — the idea that there’s more than the life they know. There were not a lot of shows of the same mindset and ideology on at the time, as the first series ran from 1959-1964. There were later installments of The Twilight Zone, and even a modern reboot of the show helmed by the modern master of socially-driven horror, Jordan Peele. The Twilight Zone left such an impact on society that people commonly refer to unbelievable current events stories as “like being an episode of The Twilight Zone.”

Ultimately, the setting of Black Mirror is what sets it apart most from its predecessor. The Twilight Zone takes place in another dimension. So while the stories are frightening and thought-provoking, they still feel rooted in fantasy. Black Mirror, on the other hand, takes place in the not-too-distant future of this world. Because of this element, many stories told on Black Mirror feel like they could happen, and some seem like they have already come to fruition due to ever-advancing technology.

By borrowing on its general theme and format, but bringing its own twist to the table, Black Mirror has become this generation’s The Twilight Zone. The Netflix show focuses on something many people are reliant on — technology. Showing the ways something so important to society could ruin it is downright terrifying. Black Mirror has already predicted some trends in technology that have come to fruition, prompting many people to compare these instances back to the show. It harkens back to The Twilight Zone‘s impact on society, proving that the lasting-effect of Black Mirror will be felt for years to come.

More: Black Mirror: What The Show’s Ominous Title Really Means

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