Few shows can boast being a cultural phenomenon quite like Black Mirror. The British anthology series masterfully combined human nature and technology and served viewers unusual plot twists and dystopian scenes, with each episode different from the last. Credited for aiding the revival of the anthology series, the show has enjoyed much success throughout its five seasons.
While the show’s creator has cast doubts on a sixth season, there are currently 22 episodes and an interactive film still available to stream on Netflix. After watching all these, one may be wondering what other shows offer the technology, twists and uniqueness of Black Mirror. Here are ten thrilling television shows to keep you on the edge of your seat, or simply take you into the world of machinery, science, and the future.
This HBO anthology series is an interesting watch. It centers around the titular room in a roadside motel and each episode explores the different sets of characters that pass through. From horror, to drama and comedy, Room 104 has a plethora of unique stories all set in the same location, which makes for a fun, unexpected, and thrilling ride. Throughout its four season run, several famous actors have been guest stars on the show, and no two stories are either the same, or normal. The Duplass brothers definitely struck gold with this series, and Black Mirror fans can enjoy the eccentric and sometimes supernatural storylines that last half an hour.
This cyberpunk series is set in a world where consciousness can be stored and later transferred (or downloaded) into different bodies. It addresses the human desire for eternal life and offers a unique take on the mind-transfer plot. Joel Kinnaman leads the series in the first, while Anthony Mackie — a Black Mirror alum — takes on the second season. Netflix abruptly canceled the series after two seasons, so it makes for a quick binge.
Love, Death & Robots
Think Black Mirror, but animated. This series also follows an anthology sequence, which means the episodes can be watched in any order, as it features a different storyline and cast. Noted for its varying themes, Love, Death & Robots similarly connects human nature with technology, and has enough thought-provoking twists and turns to satisfy viewers. The first two seasons are available to stream on Netflix, and the streaming platform has already issued a third season scheduled for release sometime in 2022.
This British conspiracy thriller gained a cult following after its end in 2014. With just 12 episodes across two seasons, Utopia is a fast-paced quick binge with memorable characters and an interesting plot. The series follows a group of comic book fans who discover Utopia, a comic book that is believed to predict future world events. However, this discovery leads them on the run from The Network, a powerful organization hell-bent on procuring the manuscript, killing anyone in their way. The show has been well received both home and abroad, and an American adaptation featuring John Cusack was released on Amazon Prime Video in 2020, but was ultimately canceled after one season.
This German thriller is not for the faint hearted. The musical score alone is enough to have you looking over your shoulder. Dark follows the disappearance of two children, and the search for them exposes the town’s sinful and twisted past, as well as the fractured relationship among four families. The show has received unanimous praise for its storytelling, acting, and haunting tone. All three seasons are streaming on Netflix.
Inside No. 9
Another anthology series on the list, Inside No. 9 is a black comedy show that stars Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton as different characters in each episode, surrounded by a brand new cast, setting and tone, linked only by the number nine in some way. The show mixes dark humor with several sub genres, including: horror, crime, and drama, and has been praised throughout its six-season run, winning several awards. Each episode is completely different from the last and offers a new absurdity and a unique twist, and is a more lighthearted and fun way to catch your dose of thrills. A seventh season is currently being filmed, which means viewers can look forward to more insane storytelling.
If one scours Twitter hard enough, there will always be someone complaining about the cancelation of this Netflix sci-fi series, even now. Sense8 has received a large cult following since it ended in 2018 after two seasons, and fans still go back to watch the unique drama. Featuring a multinational cast, the series follows eight strangers scattered across the globe who discover they are mentally and emotionally connected to one another. The first season shows the characters’ struggles of coming to terms with having mental partners in different countries, as their bodies are sometimes inhabited by other hosts and can share knowledge and skills. The series later morphs into a survival race as the characters discover they are being hunted by those who consider them a threat.
Fans of the highly-acclaimed Black Mirror episode, “San Junipero” will be treated to a similar world and premise in Amazon Prime Video’s heartfelt series, Upload, which takes place in 2033 where humans are now able to upload their consciousness into an afterlife. Stephen Amell stars as Nathan, who is uploaded to a very expensive digital afterlife and attempts to navigate his new life and existence. There’s a lot of technology, humor and virtual reality that make it a great watch for fans of the lighter Black Mirror episodes.
Jonah Hill and Emma Stone get dark and gritty in this mind-bending psychological drama about two strangers who connect during a high-risk pharmaceutical trial in attempt to fix their mental illnesses. While they’re assured that things will go smoothly, the characters are in for an unexpected turn, as their memories are becoming interconnected. What’s worse is that the computer that runs the tests is threatening to shut down the program. Hill and Stone deliver brilliant performances in this Black Mirror-esque type series about dreamscapes and mental connectedness.
Years & Years
This limited series was the love child of the BBC and HBO and was a critical darling. Created and written by Russel T. Davies, the show follows the Manchester-based Lyons extended family and the various ways their lives change over the next 15 years in the wake of political changes, technological advancements, and tensions between countries. The series is similar to Black Mirror as viewers get a glimpse of a dystopian future where things become absolutely bizarre. It’s got highs and lows, and a couple of tearjerking scenes, all amidst a brilliant and unique plot and excellent writing. It also features Black Mirror alum, Rory Kinnear, and a stellar performance by Emma Thompson.
Any of these shows can help quench your palate for horror TV anthology with their pace and ensemble casts. If you’ve already binged Black Mirror and are in need of a new series to fill that gap, try one of these mind-bending programs.