Charlie Brooker is indeed a clever man. I was waiting with baited breath for this feature length edition of his technology-criticising work, and I was not disappointed. You would be forgiven for not enjoying Black Mirror: White Christmas, as the aftertaste is very much bitter, but you can still appreciate it. You are left feeling overwhelmingly uncomfortable, with the knowledge that this feeling stems from the familiarity you sense with what’s happening on screen.
The story starts with a mismatched pair: a glum Englishman and a cheery American who are having their first conversation in five years living together over a Christmas dinner. They swap stories about their lives before they came to this place. The American is the first to speak and alludes to a Google glass-like technology that is implanted in your eye, allowing others to see what you see, whilst also creating the ability to block people. This power stops you from being able to see or interact with the person who blocked you, or even see their image in pictures. You are immediately uneasy of this Facebook power turned real, and you see its dangers as the story progresses.
I shall avoid ruining the twists and turns of this dark story, because I recommend that anyone who has not yet seen it makes use of the non-evil technology that is 4oD. Charlie Brooker cleverly identifies things that our society has accepted as normal and harmless, which could end up going spectacularly wrong. He raises the questions of how morals work in such a technically advanced world, and how lonely and isolated seemingly social technology can make us. I am truly hesitant to give anything 5 stars, as nothing is perfect, but I feel that something this clever and simultaneously disturbing should be recognised as brilliant.