Christmas is apparently lasting through the weekend because Netflix delivered the gift of more Black Mirror on Friday with the semi-surprise drop of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. While every season of Black Mirror is full of surprises, the first full-length movie from Charlie Brooker and his creative team is once again breaking the mold. It's a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story.
The story follows a young programmer, Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), in 1984 as he adapts a fantasy novel into a video game, but the process has him questioning reality. Your job as a viewer is to help Stefan navigate the landscape by making choices for him at key points, hopefully to an ending where you survive the ordeal. According to Netflix, there are five potential endings depending on your choices, but there are several variants in each one depending on the route you took to get there, which means there's over a trillion different small permutations you could experience while watching the movie.
The streaming giant approached Brooker with the idea of choose your own adventure over two years ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Since then, Netflix has tried out its interactive programming with children's shows like Puss in Boots and Minecraft: Story Mode. Black Mirror is the first Netflix show to try it out for adults though, and the Twitterverse is already freaking out.
Some found the element of choosing to be a freeing new exercise in television viewing.
Just finished #Bandersnatch or at least I think so.....absolute game changer! Takes entertainment to a whole new level! Never want to watch another TV show I can't control! #amazing pic.twitter.com/7kTArdlVgl— Mike (@mikemogridge) December 28, 2018
Others felt like the pressure to choose was too much:
okay I had to interrupt #Bandersnatch when stefan called me out for controlling his decisions. BLACKMIRROR WHY DO YOU FUXK UP MY MIND SO MUCH. STTOOOP.— Lara (@LaraTonitini) December 28, 2018
The astute users have already built out maps of the possible endings, which we'll only link to if you're interested instead of straight up spoiling because we're not monsters.
The ability to choose your own adventure is available on most devices with the most updated version of Netflix on it. However, it's not yet supported on Chromecast, Apple TV or some other legacy devices. Netflix has added instructions for users using those platforms to find functional devices that will allow them to play along.
Discovering all the endings and their permutations will clearly take all weekend, so we'll let you get to it. Let's report back in a few days with the inevitable brain damage this groundbreaking show has caused us.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is now streaming on Netflix.