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Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch

“Bandersnatch” is an interactive episode of the TV show “Black Mirror.” The viewer is posed with decisions that will alter Stefan’s future. They have 10 seconds to make the choice given at the bottom of their screen. (Photo from DigitalSpy.com.)

“Bandersnatch” is an interactive episode of the TV show “Black Mirror.” The viewer is posed with decisions that will alter Stefan’s future. They have 10 seconds to make the choice given at the bottom of their screen. (Photo from DigitalSpy.com.)

Abby Marks, Features Editor

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“Black Mirror,” a Netflix original series, has been a thought-provoking favorite for all TV lovers across the nation. Unlike most shows, “Black Mirror” does not have a cohesive storyline–instead, each episode is a completely new story with new characters and a new dilemma to overcome. The show focuses on a version of the world in the near-future with innovative technology, and describes how these advancements run society. It provides insight on what a technology-dependent world could turn to if we continue the way we are going.

Recently, Black Mirror has set itself even further apart from every other series by putting out their latest addition: “Bandersnatch.” The idea of the episode is to allow the viewer to make decisions for the main character, Stefan, that will drive the plot. Netflix allows 10 seconds to make a decision based off the question posed at the bottom of the screen. If the viewer doesn’t answer, the show will continue on like any other normal episode. Essentially, no one will experience the show in the same exact way, and there are several different endings to the story (yet somehow hardly any of them allow Stefan to live happily ever after).

The story revolves around Stefan, a teen who lives alone with his father. His mother died when he was young, and he has carried the guilt and sadness with him every day since her passing. Stefan is in the midst of coding a video game called Bandersnatch. The idea of Stefan’s game parallels the idea of the episode: the player gets to choose how the characters in the game react to different situations. He meets with a company that will allow him to code with them and have the help of the staff, and that is where the real decision-making first comes into play for the viewer. They can either choose to accept or decline the offer, which in turn leads to different scenarios and more decisions to come.

North students like Gabby Kulway, junior, enjoyed this new type of entertainment because “it was the first movie where [she] was in control of what happened next” and “the thrilling choices had [her] on the edge of [her] seat.” Netflix certainly does force the viewers to make tough and gruesome decisions, but I’ll save you the gory details and let you figure them out for yourself.

Though it could be quite confusing at times due to it being a completely new format of entertainment, I would say this is a successful Black Mirror episode and is definitely worth the time.

Did you enjoy choosing Stefan’s fate?

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Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch