Secret Invasion and Black Mirror both saw an increase of over 400% in mention volume in June compared to the previous month. Fans have been hyping these upcoming seasons up for months – with over 10k mentions occurring for each show in May before they were even released. This makes the jump in mention numbers even more impressive.
So, what’s contributed to these mentions, and what can we learn?
Both shows had new seasons released mid-June, which can be one explanation for the high mention volume last month. Fans were excited about each release and keen to chat about their favorite – and least favorite – moments. Yet many of the other top ten also had new releases last month, including the remaining top five: Never Have I Ever, Deadloch, and The Righteous Gemstones.
So, there’s something about the top two trending shows which is causing fans to get chatting on social media. Let’s get to know these shows a bit better.
AI’s influence on television
The new season of Black Mirror was released on 15 June. The anthology series explores a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide. Four years since the previous season’s release, fans were eager to see what new, distorted storylines would haunt us this time.
Miniseries Secret Invasion was released on 21 June, and exists within the ever-popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the show, characters Nick Fury and Talos try to stop a group of shapeshifting aliens who have infiltrated space.
Both shows come with a heavily involved fanbase who are quick to jump online and chat about the new episodes. And last month they both had something in common: heavy chatter about AI’s influence on our favorite shows.
Let’s start by diving into the online conversation around Black Mirror.
When (not) to use AI
Black Mirror’s dystopian storylines favor an AI-related angle. “Joan is Awful” – the first episode from the new season – does just that. The episode follows a woman whose mundane life is turned into a hit, AI-generated TV show.
The reality of the episode hit home with viewers, and almost 10% of Black Mirror’s mentions in June were about AI. The implications of how it can take over our lives were a key talking point.
Writer Charlie Brooker attempted to use AI in Black Mirror’s creation. Specifically, he used ChatGPT to write an episode. Yet he never ran with it – saying the plot wasn’t up to standards.
Black Mirror’s use of AI – or lack thereof – is something we can learn from. The writers have taken note of how referencing AI can be beneficial for sparking conversations among fans, and – more importantly – they’ve identified where it wouldn’t.
Brands looking to use AI in their work need to be aware of how it can add value and where it can cause controversy. Following online conversations about AI can help build a picture of where consumers are onboard – and where they’re against it.
Now, let’s look at how Secret Invasion caused a stir.
Is AI replacing artists?
Despite the impressive coverage of Secret Invasion across social media, fans weren’t all happy. But why?
The season’s opening credits were entirely AI-generated. Many took to social media to discuss the implications this might have on artists – and the potential fear of AI taking over people’s jobs in the creative industry.