By Grayson Lord
With nearly 100 new releases in December alone, Netflix has been rapidly gaining popularity. Viewers across the world are flocking to their devices to check out the brand new content. Among the recently-added titles were many newer films, such as Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Bird Box, and the notable Netflix original, Bandersnatch. This special is an exclusive episode of the popular series Black Mirror, which has been producing episodes since 2011. But what distinguishes this episode from others?
Similar to the “butterfly effect” phenomenon, Bandersnatch stresses that every decision you make will ultimately help or harm you. The viewer is able to choose from a variety of pathways throughout the special and is responsible for the fate of the protagonist, a nameless game-designer in the 1980s. Some of the questions seem important, while others seem pointless or arbitrary. Specifically, the first decision the viewer makes is which cereal to eat for breakfast. Later on, however, the viewer is tasked with making life-or-death decisions, which could potentially hurt the character or other characters around them.
Bandersnatch is catching the attention of millions across the world because of this new-age concept which is paving the way for television’s future. One of its most outstanding victories is its ability to engage the viewer. The show is designed to entrance the player, making them unable to concentrate on anything other than the screen. The viewer is also given the power to rewind or change their answers. Perhaps the actors, who were a mixture of both familiar and new faces, were the reason the experience is so addictive. Each individual cast in the production shared the common ability to captivate the audience while simultaneously acting naturally in front of the camera.
The main character was played by Fionn Whitehead, an actor best known for his role in the 2017 film, Dunkirk. Also featured in the episode was the Maze Runner actor, Will Poulter. Poulter’s Bandersnatch character bore some striking similarities to his character in Maze Runner. In Bandersnatch, he played the role of Colin, a cocky and complex game designer who worked with the main character.
Even if the viewer has never seen an episode of Black Mirror before, this episode is enchanting enough to make anyone a fan of the show. The episode is more than just a “choose your own adventure” story, but also a fantastic display of well-developed characters and stunning cinematography. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is one of Netflix’s first interactive experiences, and after its smashing success, the future of television has been changed forever.