Every so often, a TV show comes around with a premise so meta, it leaves you uneasy and unsettled long after Netflix asks if you’re still watching. (Yes, Netflix, I am always still watching!) What if there was a show in which nothing was as it seems, but everything is exactly as it is, and characters wink at reality while disregarding it entirely. Such is the premise for Black Mirror, but it is also the driving force behind Hannah Montana, the Disney Channel vehicle that transformed one Destiny Hope Cyrus into Miley Cyrus, Miley Stewart, and Hannah Montana simultaneously.
Now Miley, Cyrus edition, is making the leap to the actual Black Mirror, although her reticence in explicitly confirming the news could serve as a plotline to the Charlie Brooker–helmed show itself. Per Billboard, she appeared on a recent episode of Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show and said she could only shake her her head “yes” if he guessed her new acting role correctly. “I hate everything, but it was the first time I’ve left somewhere feeling really proud of my work … but you know if I like it that might mean it’s horrible,” she said about the guest-starring role. This statement has also given me reason to reflect on why, exactly, I like The Last Song so much.
She also hinted that there are “a lot of different sides” to her character, adding a very Hannah Montana element to this whole business. And despite the fact that she could not discuss Black Mirror: Non-Disclosure Agreement by name, Miley said that she is “really actually excited for everyone to watch” the project she would only shake her head about, adding that “the minute I say I never want to do something again, all of a sudden, there I am.”
That paradox lends itself to another possible Black Mirror premise, in which uttering superlatives means you are doomed to complete the opposite of that thing for the rest of your life. Or perhaps there is a Black Mirror episode at the ready about how celebrities reinvent themselves over, and over, and over again. A Black Mirror episode about the supreme eeriness of filming a Black Mirror episode and never knowing if the cameras have truly stopped rolling. Do they ever? Are we all living inside an episode of Black Mirror? Has the singularity finally come for us all?
If Miley Cyrus is living inside an episode of Black Mirror, truly, who among us is not?