Last night Republican candidate and former host of The Apprentice Donald Trump won the US Presidential Election, and many online were stunned. Bleary-eyed, disappointed and left reeling from Hillary Clinton’s defeat, they turned to popular culture to try and make sense of their anguish – and found the perfect analogy to express their surprise.
Yes, that’s right – something about Charlie Brooker’s dystopic anthology series and its famously grim tone struck a chord with disappointed commentators around the world, and soon it was a comparison everyone was making.
And I mean everyone.
In fact, so many people were making the joke (many, many more than I could include) that the official Black Mirror account felt the need to step in, assuring fans that this wasn’t an elaborate marketing stunt (which you can’t rule out these days).
But elsewhere on the internet, dissent was brewing.
No oft-repeated gag or observation can escape scorn online for very long, and soon there were plenty of people happy to point out that comparing the result to Black Mirror was obvious, overdone and even a little insensitive to those whose lives would actually be affected by the result.
And here I thought we could all come together after this election was over. Sad!
Anyway, for what it’s worth I’d point out that while Trump’s election does bear comparison with series two episode The Waldo Moment (where an extreme cartoon character becomes a political figure), it’s not really connected to the insidious hold technology has on us all, so it’s a little thematically incoherent for Black Mirror. A B+ episode at best.
With that said, if people trying to process something difficult need to analogise using a zeitgeisty TV show, who are any of us to judge? At least people have temporarily stopped comparing elections to Game of Thrones.