While it’s been a popular show since its very inception, Black Mirror was always regarded as more of an underground cult favorite that wasn’t really all that well known outside of its native United Kingdom, at least until Netflix stepped in and turned it into a global smash hit.

Now firmly entrenched as one of the biggest originals at the streaming service’s disposal, Charlie Brooker’s mind-melting brainchild has been consistently racking up massive viewing numbers ever since it migrated to its new home beginning with season 3, which inevitably gave rise to criticisms that becoming the property of a multi-billion dollar on-demand conglomerate had sanded down some of its harder edges.

Black Mirror: The Entire History of You
Image via Netflix

Taking it in his stride, Brooker confronted the accusations head-on during an appearance at SXSW Syndey (per The Guardian), explaining that Black Mirror had to evolve into becoming something bigger than a grimy British genre-bender.

“One of the criticisms we sometimes get is, ‘I prefer the show when it was British and everyone in it was miserable and everything smelled a little bit of sh*t and all the stories were horrible.’ And then it’s gone to Netflix and suddenly everything’s sunny and happy and everyone has wonderful teeth, and it’s full of Hollywood stars and it’s lost that edge. I was aware we’re going on a global platform now, so we’ve got to make these stories a bit more international. And I wanted to mix it up a bit, as in not just keep doing bleak-a-thons.”

Black Mirror is hardly what you’d call sunshine and roses in its current iteration, but it makes sense that the concept would need to adapt, evolve, and grow after being picked up by a company the size of Netflix and transformed into a worldwide sensation.

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