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Black Mirror - Season 1 Episode 01: The National Anthem
Three stand-alone dramas: sharp, suspenseful, satirical tales with a techno-paranoia bent that show the dark side of life and technology. 'Each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now, and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy.'
The National Anthem may have been funny, full of razor-sharp satire and with one of TV's silliest, basest stunts at its centre, but it was also one of the scariest things you're likely to have seen this year.
[It's] a perfect amuse-bouche for the more elaborate, stranger courses to come. Like those early episodes of Breaking Bad, The National Anthem clearly states this is a show that will have an airtight internal logic.
"The National Anthem" remains the story that should be used to indoctrinate viewers into Brooker's universe. The political satire is polarizing, and if it's viewed as a turnoff? A reminder that this series isn't for the faint-hearted.
Brooker turns what would otherwise be a dark comedy sketch into an astute depiction of public opinion's changing tides, and the uncanny speed with which the unthinkable enters the realm of the acceptable.
The ingenuity of "The National Anthem," besides its wrenching final twist, is in its ability to make it clear to the audience that they're just as culpable as the characters in the series, forcing the entire sickening ordeal to unfold.