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Dark wit, intrigue and sexual diversity

Black Mirror and Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City return with vital stories but make less of a bang

Anthony Mackie (far left) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Black Mirror 5 episode Striking Vipers. May Hong and Garcia play a lesbian couple adjusting to the fact that one of them is transgender in Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City.
Anthony Mackie (left) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Black Mirror 5 episode Striking Vipers. May Hong and Garcia play a lesbian couple adjusting to the fact that one of them is transgender in Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City.PHOTO: PEDRO SAAD PHOTO: ALISON COHN ROSA/NETFLIX
Anthony Mackie (far left) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Black Mirror 5 episode Striking Vipers. May Hong and Garcia play a lesbian couple adjusting to the fact that one of them is transgender in Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City.
Anthony Mackie (far left) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Black Mirror 5 episode Striking Vipers. May Hong and Garcia play a lesbian couple adjusting to the fact that one of them is transgender in Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City.PHOTO: PEDRO SAAD PHOTO: ALISON COHN ROSA/NETFLIX

Since it migrated to Netflix in 2016, the British science-fiction anthology series Black Mirror has directed much of its techno-paranoia at the online and virtual worlds.

Episodes such as San Junipero in Season 3 (2016) and USS Callister in Season 4 (2017) beautifully illustrated how those worlds can both liberate and alienate, posing unsettling questions about the gap between our real and digital selves and what it means for our humanity.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2019, with the headline 'Dark wit, intrigue and sexual diversity'. Subscribe