Hey guys! As of writing, it’s been a while since I did a Black Mirror review, for various reasons. But we’re back with an episode that was impactful in many ways – San Junipero.
The episode follows Kelly and Yorkie, two girls who go to Tucker’s, this nightclub. They both have contrasting personalities – Yorkie is painfully shy and Kelly is upbeat and outgoing. I immediately warmed to Kelly’s personality, she’d be someone I’d want to party with if given the chance.
For me, despite being born in the 90’s, this episode gives me a huge nostalgia trip. My mum was an 80’s teen, and I was brought up on a lot of 80’s culture and music. So listening to music like Heaven is a Place on Earth was something that was very prevalent in our house. The Smiths (whose song Girlfriend in a Coma is fittingly played in this episode) was one of my mum’s favourite bands, and still is to this day. I’ve seen Morrissey perform live – questionable personality, but amazing performer. But we’re getting side-tracked now! The point I was trying to make was the fact that I felt so much nostalgia for a decade that I wasn’t even a thought at that time.
Even later, the 90’s and 00’s nostalgia hit so hard, with the music and especially the fashion of the latter decade. And it’s really amazing that both made such an impact on each other that Kelly decided to marry Yorkie in the real world, as well as giving up her issues relating to her family grief so that they could be together in San Junipero full-time.
This is definitely one of the Black Mirror episodes that tugged at my heartstrings and actually saw the return of the onion-cutting ninjas. I swear to God next time I see them…
I want to give a shout-out to Greg, who is just a sweetheart in all of this, because he wanted to marry Yorkie so that he could allow her to pass on. Kelly in the real world was an elderly cancer patient, who wanted to be reunited with her husband and daughter, who refused to pass over to San Junipero.
Now that I’m watching this for the second time, it’s the little things that make a lot of sense to me. Right at the beginning, when she watches a demo of a game where the car suddenly crashes, and she recoils before rejecting the offer of a guy, with the shift in tone and music – this was relating to the car accident she suffered in the real world. But then the fact that she went into Kelly’s car meant that she felt safe with her.
Also little hints relating to the time left until Kelly had to go back to the real world was a nice touch from the start, and Yorkie’s family issues and sexuality. And this interesting exchange between Kelly and Wes:
Wes: “The locals? They’re like dead people.”
Kelly: “They’re lively for dead people.”
The technology used is like a cookie, and this sort of thing will be used in later episodes, which is a good call-back, and is basically the same technology. I’ll refer to that when that episode comes (which shouldn’t be too long now!).
I feel like this episode touches well on the topic of grief and being able to take something for yourself and know that you can have some kind of afterlife, even if it is artificial. The ending isn’t full of despair, like in other Black Mirror episodes, but it’s bittersweet.
I see so many posters on Etsy with this episode inspiration, and they’re amazing. I’m planning on buying a couple of them. The aesthetic of San Junipero was lovely, and it was such a joy to watch this again.
The next episode is Men Against Fire, which is very interesting, and I don’t think a lot of people talk about that one.