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These TV shows and movies obsess over tech's dark side

From "Westworld" to "Black Mirror", 2016 has seen a wave of TV shows and movies confronting the fantasies and anxieties of technology.

Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
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1 of 25 HBO

'Westworld'

"Westworld" was one of the TV shows debuting in 2016 that tackles our fantasies and anxieties around technology.

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2 of 25 HBO

'Silicon Valley'

"Silicon Valley" satirises the absurd world of the US technology heartland.

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3 of 25 David Dettmann/Netflix

'Black Mirror'

"Black Mirror" presents a bleak view of the way technology can bring out the worst in us.

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4 of 25 Peter Kramer/USA Network

'Mr Robot'

The award-winning "Mr. Robot" asks questions about surveillance and hacking.

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5 of 25 Crackle

'StartUp'

"StartUp" blurs the line between disruption and crime in a steamy story of Miami criminals backing a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency.

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6 of 25 CBS/Getty Images

'Star Trek'

The original "Star Trek" series addressed the 1960s zeitgeist as the space race influenced politics and science, as well as popular culture.

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7 of 25 Turner Network Television

'Pirates of Silicon Valley'

"Pirates of Silicon Valley" was a rare example of a fictional take on tech, recounting the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

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8 of 25 Merrick Morton

'The Social Network'

Today's wave of tech TV and movies began in 2010 with the Oscar-winning film "The Social Network".

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9 of 25 Fox

'The Internship'

In 2013, Google was heavily involved in the terrible comedy "The Internship".

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10 of 25 Universal

'Steve Jobs'

Michael Fassbender played the Apple founder in one of several films to dramatise his story.

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11 of 25 Tina Rowden/AMC

'Halt and Catch Fire'

"Halt and Catch Fire" dramatises the history of the nascent 1980s computer industry.

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12 of 25 Silicon Cowboys

'Silicon Cowboys'

"Halt and Catch Fire" was partially inspired by the true story of Compaq, told in the 2016 documentary "Silicon Cowboys".

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13 of 25 Monty Brinton/CBS

'Scorpion'

Hacking drama "Scorpion" tackled cyberthreats.

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14 of 25 Sonja Flemming, CBS

'Pure Genius'

"Pure Genius" suggests a Silicon Valley billionaire could use disruptive tactics and vast wealth to literally save lives.

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15 of 25 Fox

'APB'

Like "Pure Genius", Fox's forthcoming show "APB" sees a wealthy and disruptive tech genius take over a public system, in this case the police.

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16 of 25 Kane2026

'Person of Interest'

For five seasons, "Person of Interest" featured an artificial intelligence that could predict crime.

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17 of 25 CBS

'CSI: Cyber'

The famous CSI franchise tackled cybercrime in the (short-lived) 2016 series "CSI: Cyber".

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18 of 25 Warner Home Video

'Blade Runner'

Was he a replicant? And does it matter? "Blade Runner" was a seminal look at artificial intelligence, and it's as relevant as ever...

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19 of 25 Warner Bros

'Blade Runner 2049'

...which is probably why 2016 saw a sequel finally going into production.

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20 of 25 Channel 4

'Humans'

UK show "Humans" also tackled the morality of humans and almost-humans.

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21 of 25 Jonathan Olley

'Spectre'

"Spectre" saw James Bond taking on mass surveillance, a topic tackled by several recent big-screen blockbusters.

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22 of 25 Scott Garfield

'Why Him?'

Once, James Franco's obnoxious celebrity character might have been a rock star or movie star, but in the 2016 movie "Why Him?" he's a tech millionaire.

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23 of 25 Disney

'Bizaardvark'

Disney's "Bizaardvark" follows the stars of a fictional YouTube-style service called Vuuugle, reflecting the way online video sensations like PewDiePie and Smosh have become the pop stars of the digital generation.

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24 of 25 FX

'Atlanta'

"Atlanta" isn't a show about technology, but the characters can often be found with their heads in their phones. A whole episode revolves around a Twitter spat.

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25 of 25 EuropaCorp

'The Circle'

Technology will continue to loom large on our screens in 2017 with movies and TV shows including "The Circle", a chilling warning about the dark side of tech.

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