Black Mirror — which initially premiered on Channel 4 in 2011 — has provided audiences with a variety of bleak, ironic stories. But since the show moved to Netflix back in 2014, some fans claim the show “lost its edge,” with some episodes suddenly becoming all “sunny and happy.” Responding to criticisms, series creator Charlie Brooker revealed he just didn’t want to “keep doing bleak-a-thons.”
During his keynote session at the International Convention Centre SXSW (via The Guardian), Brooker debunked the idea that Netflix caused the show to lose its so-called “edge.” Instead, the series creator admitted that he “wanted to mix it up a bit” for international audiences.
“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 shit 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,” said Brooker.
According to Brooker, the happiest episode in Black Mirror was San Junipero, and he claimed that Netflix had nothing to do with it. “I just did that off my own back.”
“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.”
The release of Season 6, however, seemingly proved the point that Black Mirror has somehow lost some of the elements that viewers have grown to love over the past years. But for Brooker, the Loch Henry episode was “f-cking nasty — nasty as anything [they’ve] ever done.”
Black Mirror’s Move to Netflix Was Not as Bad as Some Fans Claim
The first episode of Black Mirror, titled The National Anthem, paved the way for more tragic tales, including The Entire History of You, Be Right Back, and White Bear. But the move to Netflix was not bad at all, with Nosedive, Shut Up and Dance, USS Callister, Crocodile, and Black Museum being some of the best episodes the show has ever released.
By all means, San Junipero — despite having a more upbeat energy, complete with neon and retro aesthetics — still had the Black Mirror flare in it.
All seasons of Black Mirror are available to stream on Netflix.