Fifteen Million Merits

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Fifteen Million Merits
Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq

This Black Mirror episode deals with the ethics of talent shows, consumerism, surveillance, and sensationalism.
It features a system making people ride stationary bikes in order to earn “Merits”, a digital currency. Living in a room plastered with monitors they are forced to watch commercials or pay Merits if they want to skip them. When main character Bing overhears Abi’s singing in the bathroom, he buys her a ticket worth 15 Million Merits so she may participate in a talent show. Unfortunately, the jury is not impressed by her singing but she is offered a spot on one judge’s pornography channel. Thereupon, Bing is so upset that he obsesses over earning 15 Million Merits again to get into the talent show as well where he threatens to kill himself and delivers a heartfelt rant about the system the effect of which is unexpected and yet to be anticipated.

· · 2011

Critical edition

"15 Million Merits." Black Mirror, directed by Euros Lyn, season 1, episode 2, Endemol, 2011. 62 min., FSK 16, Website

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  • Addresses current affairs
  • Award-winning
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-curricular teaching
  • Students can identify with the text