In the modern world, there’s really no way around it: Technology is necessary, but technology can get pretty screwy. Usually it’s just a glitch in your phone or—God forbid—a computer virus. Those consequences can be disastrous, but at the end of the day, malware won’t actually kill you.
There’s a big but somewhere in there.
At least, that’s what Netflix has been telling us since 2011, when its sci-fi thriller series Black Mirror first aired. In the past eight years, we’ve gotten 18 different 45-to-90 minute stories about the horrors of tech gone rogue or tech taking over people’s lives. Either way, the consequences are way more severe than accidentally getting phished by an email from your boss.
Today, season 5 officially drops. As usual with shows we both love, my best friend and I made a pact to binge all three new episodes together. That means I’m going to spend the next 12 hours till we can get together staring longingly at my Netflix home screen and trying not to run into too many Twitter spoilers. Oh, and giving my future self (and Soph—you’re welcome) a little help calming the techno-paranoia that’s sure to ensue.
If you find yourself also in need of some liquid courage to binge, here’s a sip, shot, and finish list for your drinking pleasure. Because all the episodes are so different (and because I’m trying my best to avoid season 5 spoilers), these points are all if, not when. If you find yourself drinking significantly less than desired, no one’s saying you can’t steal some sips (or shots) outside the game.
Take a sip if…
you hear a notification alert
someone inserts or removes an implant
there’s a heavily-veiled critique to the current US or European political climate
Take a shot if…
someone’s being monitored without their consent
there’s a callback to a previous episode
the Netflix logo appears anywhere in the episode
Finish your drink if…
you’re ready to give up technology entirely and move to a sheep farm in Ireland