Drop What You’re Doing And Watch BLACK MIRROR On Netflix Instant Right Now

One of the best television shows of the past decade is now streaming. Get on it.

Chances are, you know someone who's talked your ear off about Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, a limited series that's been airing (sporadically) in the UK since 2011. Further chances are, you've liked what you've heard: that Black Mirror is a darkly funny, frequently disturbing anthology series, that it features performances by some of your favorite character actors (Domhnall Gleeson, Hayley Atwell, the brilliant Michael Smiley), that the show's premiere episode ("The National Anthem") was infamously controversial, and revolved around the Prime Minister being blackmailed into...well, let's not spoil anything.

You've heard all of this, and you've been keen to give Black Mirror a shot. All of that sounded right up your alley! The bad news was, you either needed to live in the UK or have a region-free DVD player in order to catch up with the damn thing. Until now, that is: this week, both seasons of Black Mirror (each with three one-hour episodes) popped up on Netflix Instant. If you're not already familiar with the show, trust me when I say this is the best news you're gonna get all week.

I'm loathe to discuss Black Mirror too much at length, as discovering the twists and turns of each episode is absolutely part of the fun. Basically speaking, it's a classic anthology series in the vein of The Twilight Zone (some of the darker episodes call to mind HBO's dearly departed Tales From The Crypt), with a bit of a tech-y bent: storylines often revolve around current-day or near-future tech, feature some sort of moral conundrum, and generally climax with a twist. As is the case with any anthology show, some episodes are stronger than others, but every one of them is worth watching.

I'm strongly recommending this series, but there are two episodes in particular you should seek out first (again, this being an anthology series, it doesn't really matter what order you watch them in). The first is the aforementioned pilot/premiere, "The National Anthem"; the other is "White Bear," the second episode of the second season. For my money, these are Black Mirror's high-water marks, and both are guaranteed to stick with you long after you've finished them ("White Bear," in particular, is one of the most harrowing hours of television I think I've ever seen). I'd love to say more about each of these, but again: the less you know going in, the better.

Now that American audiences can catch up with Black Mirror en masse, I expect we'll see the show become a bit of a hot topic over the next month or so. Be smart, and catch up with this series now before some dickhead on Twitter spoils something for you. Speaking of which: anyone who caught the show during its original run (or who's already plowed through it via Netflix Instant) is free to agree or disagree with me in the comments below, but don't be a dickhead - tread lightly with the potential spoiler talk.

PS: Here's a solid, relatively spoiler-free (and, for the record, unofficial) trailer for the show, just to give you an idea what you're getting into.