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Things I'm Obsessed With

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September 2015

This Week I’m Obsessed With: More ‘Black Mirror’!

Photo by Jenn Murphy
Photo by Jenn Murphy

Yesterday, Variety reported that Netflix, everyone’s favorite way to waste time, ordered 12 new episodes of the British series “Black Mirror.” This is EXCELLENT news, not just because it means that there will be something new to get overly invested in on Netflix (or “the ‘flix,” as I have decided I’m now going to call it) but also because “Black Mirror” is straight-up AMAZING.

 

The anthology series, created in 2011 by Charlie Brooker and executive produced by Annabel Jones (both of whom Variety reports will continue to lead the series on Netflix), plays like a “Twilight Zone” for our new, technology-reliant age. Each of the seven episodes that aired in its original run on the U.K. network Channel 4 (six of which are available to watch on Netflix now) focused on worlds not too separate from ours where people have taken the technologies that we all know and love and pushed them to the greatest extremes.

 

Each episode plays as a story and a world separate from the others, with an ever-changing cast of stars from both the big and small screens including “Agent Carter” star Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson of “Ex Machina” and the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Even everyone’s favorite recent Emmy-winner, Jon Hamm, pops up in last year’s “Black Mirror” Christmas special. Sadly, that particular episode isn’t up on Netflix to enjoy, but I heard from a friend (that friend being me) that it can be easily found on YouTube.

 

While the series only made its way to American soil last year, it had already developed a significant amount of buzz overseas, where it won an International Emmy in 2012 for Best TV Movie/Mini-Series. In 2015 the series also won a Peabody Award, cementing its status as a valid commentary on modern culture.  This view of the show was amplified even more after it was recently reported that a certain British Prime Minister may or may not have done some unsavory things with a pig, a detail that was eerily similar to the plot of one of the seemingly more outlandish “Black Mirror” episodes. Even Hollywood has come a-calling, with reports in 2013 that Robert Downey, Jr.’s production team had acquired the rights to a season one episode with the hopes of developing it into a feature film.

 

About a minute into my first viewing of “Black Mirror” late last year I knew I was hooked. It’s smart and biting and very, very dark. It’s also full of excellent, mind-boggling plot twists and moments that you couldn’t possibly have seen coming. I live for that kind of stuff.

 

The show certainly has its fair share of unsettling content (so much so that I would warn my more timid readers to stay away) but the uneasy feeling it will give you is important. The show speaks a lot to the way that we as a people have come to let technology play a way too significant role in our daily lives. “Black Mirror” addresses that and provides countless cautionary tales of where our world could end up if we go too far in the technology-reliant direction. It’s also just really really really good.

 

Netflix doesn’t have a premiere date for the new “Black Mirror” episodes yet, so that gives you plenty of time to dive into the original seven. Let me know what you think, and also let me know what your favorite episodes are. I’m partial to “Fifteen Million Merits,” “The Entire History of You” and “White Bear.”

 

Now, go on, and get OBSESSED.

 

Stay classy,

Jenn

 

 

 

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This Week (and every week) I’m Obsessed With: This Blog!

Hello, and welcome to Things I’m Obsessed With! A blog that will fulfill all of your pop culture needs, but only if you like things that are great.

 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with all things pop culture. I think it might have started because of my only child status. While other kids were arguing with their siblings about who their parents loved the most, I was most likely watching TV. (I knew who my parents loved the most. It was our pet fish, Lola.) From a young age, my parents encouraged my love of entertainment by taking me somewhat regularly to the movies and listening to me as I went on and on about how [insert random movie or TV show here] was the greatest thing that had ever been created in the history of the moving picture. After seeing my first Broadway show at the age of 11 (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee“, still a favorite), an obsession with theatre was added to the mix.

 

Websites like Vulture and PopCultureBrain only fueled my love more, giving me constant access and updates on all of the latest movies, TV series, and plays that I needed to get my grimy little paws on. Because of this, I became somewhat of a source for pop culture updates for friends and family (whether they wanted to hear them or not). I was known for regularly exclaiming something along the lines of, “Dude, you have to watch [insert movie, TV show or play here]. It will blow your MIND/rock your WORLD/change your LIFE, I promise.” This blog will be just like that, but instead of just yelling at my friends and family, I will be yelling at the world (!).

 

There’s so much out there in the entertainment industry, sometimes it can be difficult to find something special amongst the 16,000 different spinoffs of the Kardashians and the countless sequels, prequels and “based on a true story” horror films. That’s where I hope to help. Here at Things I’m Obsessed With, you will find a curated collection of whatever has currently caught my attention in the pop culture universe. Each week I will post about a specific movie, TV series, play, or even something like a podcast or webseries that I’m currently “obsessed with.” Sometimes it might even be something specific happening or being made in the city of Chicago, where I currently reside. Who knows? Well, actually,  I do. That’s kind of my job.

 

My goal with this blog is to introduce you to something exciting, something that perhaps you haven’t seen before and wouldn’t know about otherwise. Then you too can become obsessed.

 

Check back next week for for the first thing that I’m “obsessed with.”

 

And get excited! I know I am.

 

Stay classy,

Jenn

 

 

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