Re-animation, taking photos with your mind, ransom threats that deal with a pig and viral videos. With those themes, Black Mirror has been one of this winter’s most talked-about, hit Netflix binge-watching shows.

The first season aired on the British Channel 4 in 2011. With the special release this winter, featuring Jon Hamm, the show is increasing in cult status–and it is inspiring talking points about technology and society itself.

Stories Not Far From The Truth

Part of the appeal of the show is that, aside from being an anthology series (which keeps each episode unpredictable and different), many of the stories are set within our society, or in a society that doesn’t seem far from headlines that we read today.

For example, the huge leak that Sony suffered this winter is eerily similar to the episode, “The National Anthem.”

In this episode, the Prime Minister is demanded to perform a crude act on television. With the Sony hack, the Guardians Of Peace were outraged at how the movie, The Interview, was being released, and made various demands about taking down the film. The outrage over media in the episode is mirrored in current life, to an extent.

Technology and Our Capabilities

Part of the strength of the show is the technology that is displayed. Some of it seems like it could be feasible in the near future.

In the Christmas special, people can “block” each other in real life (meaning that they become unable to see and hear one another, via the muffling of the sound of their voices and their bodies turning gray).

An element of technology representing that emerging trend in our society now is the episode, “The Entire History Of You.” In it, users can bring up screens featuring their vision. While this is based off a chip inside the brain, the concept is not that different from what Microsoft’s Project HoloLens can do. Users will be able to interact with sites, stats, images and even play with games.

So What Does This All Mean?

These stories are leaving viewers with a variety of emotions, including being unsettled by what technology is doing to our world. The show, according to the creator Charlie Brooker, is not meant to demonize technology. “We’re not saying all technology is bad…we’re just going, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be creepy if this happened,” Brooker told the Huffington Post.

The effect of the show on the population is apparent by its buzz. There are even talks about a US version of the show. The show is drawing more and more people in because of its storylines, and by illustrating ways we are being changed by the things we create.

Have you watched this show? Do you have any comments about the storylines or the technologies it depicts? Let us know in your comments below.