Critic Consensus: This inaugural tale of political machinations and elite perversions works as a scalding satire and a nightmare of burgeoning technology gone awry, making it a perfect sampler for viewers seeking to step through the looking glass.
The National Anthem Photos
Critic reviews for The National Anthem
There is no better introduction to the show's cold-realist aesthetic.
[It's] a perfect amuse-bouche for the more elaborate, stranger courses to come. Like those early episodes of Breaking Bad, The National Anthem clearly states this is a show that will have an airtight internal logic.
This [episode] was a dementedly brilliant idea. The satire was so audacious, it left me open-mouthed and squealing.
If you believe Black Mirror takes place in a shared world and that each episode occurs at a different point on the same timeline, "The National Anthem" is the insane event that made everything else possible. It's a warning.
That last shot shows that finding, keeping and losing love - Black Mirror's most consistent theme - has been quietly woven throughout this first episode.
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