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  1. This just jumped to the very top of my to see list. The problem is, ironically, it doesn't seem to be watchable just yet anywhere online. Christianity Magazine: ‘A Future you Deserve’: one of the promotional taglines for the second series of highly acclaimed TV three-parter Black Mirror, which ran on Channel 4 in February. The alternative slogan was less opaque, more directly indicative of the writer’s withering hope. It read, simply: ‘The Future’s Broken’. That belief belongs to Charlie Brooker, increasingly regarded – by myself and many others – as one of Britain’s most talented writers. Having made his name as an acid-tongued Guardian TV columnist, he now enjoys a threepronged career: fronting satirical TV comedy shows including his Newswipe series, continuing an occasional newspaper career, and perhaps most interestingly, writing dark comedy drama for the small screen. ... 'White Bear’ appears to be about one thing – paranoia around technology – but is eventually revealed to be about something else entirely; something much more primal and important. This is the genius of Black Mirror as a whole – like the great satirists, Brooker isn’t just poking fun at culture but making a deadly serious point about, and for the benefit of, his fellow humans. By the end of the episode, the viewer is left with a profound image. Whether this is what the writer intended or not, that image is a vision of hell itself; of the opposite of what Christianity preaches about God’s best future for humankind. Joining the dots, then, Brooker becomes the modern-day Dante, illustrating the Inferno that awaits people if they continue on their path of self-destruction. Charlie Brooker at The Guardian: The series was inspired, indirectly, by The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling's hugely entertaining TV series of the late 50s and early 60s, sometimes incorrectly dismissed as a camp exercise in twist-in-the-tale sci-fi. It was far more than that. Serling, a brilliant writer, created The Twilight Zone because he was tired of having his provocative teleplays about contemporary issues routinely censored in order to appease corporate sponsors. If he wrote about racism in a southern town, he had to fight the network over every line. But if he wrote about racism in a metaphorical, quasi-fictional world – suddenly he could say everything he wanted. ... In Serling's day, the atom bomb, civil rights, McCarthyism, psychiatry and the space race were of primary concern. Today he'd be writing about terrorism, the economy, the media, privacy and our relationship with technology. Or trying to, because while present-day TV drama may be subject to less censorship, it also has fewer avenues for exploring ideas. The majority of dramas are long-running returning series or genre pieces – detective stories, period dramas and the like. It's as if there's a constant pressure to reassure a nervous viewer: to say look, it's episode 89, it's got the same faces as last week, in the same precinct, with the same woes. You know you'll like this – because you've already seen it.
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