Netflix anthology series Black Mirror imagines some of the bleakest versions of the world, making for occasionally uncomfortable viewing. The one bright spot to watching Black Mirror was that, no matter how dark each episode got, the real world was decidedly better off than the Netflix show’s imagined reality. With the spread of the coronavirus, however, things have gotten pretty damn dark — which is one reason why season 6 of Black Mirror likely won’t happen for quite a long time.
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker admitted in an interview with The Radio Times that he’s not sure when he’ll start work on the new season.
“At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those,” Brooker told the outlet. “I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh.”
Fans saw the move as a sign that things really have gotten “that bad.”
The three-episode fifth season of Black Mirror, which boasted high-profile stars like Miley Cyrus, Anthony Mackie, and Hot Priest, aka Andrew Scott, dropped in June of 2019. Ironically, it was perhaps the least depressing of all its seasons, focusing on smaller stories, such as Cyrus’ pop star Ashley O. acquiring freedom after her music was stolen from her unconscious body. There are no killer robot bees who hunt people based on their social media hashtags, a la Black Mirror’s “Hated In the Nation.” No one is tortured for eternity as a hologram, as they are in “Black Museum.” No one blackmails the Prime Minister into having sex with a pig, as they do in the first episode of the series, “The National Anthem.”
Season 5, however, was a reprieve in the wake of some of the show's most disturbing content ever. In 2018, the series released a choose-your-own-adventure movie called Bandersnatch, which, while innovative, was also depressing as hell. For example, viewers had the opportunity to make choices like whether to bury your dad, or chop up his body. Bleak.
Right now, it seems like most people want content that's a little less devastating...and Black Mirror, when it is at its best, is pretty damn upsetting. Maybe it's best we put pause on this show for now, and hope that Brooker has a lighthearted family comedy in him somewhere that he can put out over Zoom instead.