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.
That last shot shows that finding, keeping and losing love - Black Mirror's most consistent theme - has been quietly woven throughout this first episode.
The ingenuity of "The National Anthem," besides its wrenching final twist, is in its ability to make it clear to the audience that they're just as culpable as the characters in the series, forcing the entire sickening ordeal to unfold.
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