Black Mirror Season 1 Episode 1; shocked.
When I first watched Black Mirror episode 1 of season 1 titled “The National Anthem” my honest first response was shock. In this episode, a member of the British prime minister’s family is kidnapped and held for ransom. The ransom that the kidnapper asks for is for the prime minister to have sex with a pig. The video of the request of the ransom was posted online and spread/ downloaded by a ton of people. United Kingdom media outlets originally agree to not run stories about the kidnapping but then later breaks this promise and runs the story anyway just keeping the details vague. After trying to figure out ways to fake the footage of the prime minister having sex with the pig, the kidnapper sends a severed finger to a UK news station which is assumed to be the kidnapped girls finger. This then incites rage from the public who change from not thinking that the prime minister is going to go through with the video, to thinking he has to go through with it. 1.3 billion people tun in and the prime minister then has intercourse with the pig and we, the audience, find out that the member of the royal family who had been kidnapped was released a half hour before the prime minister had sex with the pig.
This episode like many other in black mirror really shocked me and i do think it is necessary. This episode shocked me so much because it is a true testament to the fact that we are all consumed in technology. Near the end of this episode a point is made that the member of the royal family who had been kidnapped was released 30 minutes before the video had gone live and that the kidnapper did this because he assumed no one would be out to find her and this is something I think is possible. Realistically if this happened now I do not know for sure if I would tune in. Would I be disgusted by the fact that someone has to have intercourse with a pig in order for them to get a loved one back? absolutely. Would I tune in to watch this act happened? Honestly, probably would tune in because it would be must see television and I would not want to be the only person who did not watch while other people are talking about it. In this episode, the kidnapper knew that literally everyone would be tuning in to watch the prime minister have sex with a pig because of the entertainment value. If people had not been so consumed with the event happening, the kidnapped woman could have been found and the prime minister would never have had to have intercourse with the pig.
The shock value of this episode was absolutely necessary as is the shock value with the rest of the episodes of black mirror. Without the shock value of how technology already takes over our lives and how new technologies could take over them in the future, this series would not be as memorable/amazing. This series truly made me think about how technology affects my life and this would not have happened without the shock value associated with the plots.