8 November 2013 7:30 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

DirecTV continues to impress with its savvy original-programming acquisitions, the latest being a pair of U.K. imports: “Black Mirror,” a creepy and clever anthology series, informed by a slightly cracked view of technology; and “Secret State,” a familiar template for a political thriller imbued with star wattage thanks to a cast headed by Gabriel Byrne. If there’s one to watch it’s the former, which captures some of the unsettling aspects of modern life considered through a near-future prism. Comparisons to “The Twilight Zone” shouldn’t be tossed about lightly, but this falls within those heady dimensions based on a sampling of the six episodes produced for Channel 4.

The “Black Mirror” premiere, written by exec producer Charlie Brooker, might be the most bracing, if only because it covers so much ground in such a provocative way: The British prime minister (Rory Kinnear) is roused from sleep and »


- Brian Lowry

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