San Junipero.


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There’s this show call Black Mirror which I’ve been harping about since its inception, because aside from being a well-written and well-acted show, with top notch direction; it reminds me of the old Twilight Zone. I’ve seen the third season already and it’s fantastic, except for the ‘Nosedive’ episode, (Bryce Dallas-Howard is a great actress but for some reason, I didn’t like that episode, maybe a little too predictable?). The other standout episodes of this season for me were: ‘Hated in the Nation’ and ‘Shut up and Dance’ (Shut up and Dance being the bleakest one) ‘San Junipero’ seems to be the true stand out episode of the season, let me whet your appetite on it…

A girl named Yorkie (like the dog) is a new comer to the fictionalize 80’s California surf- town of San Junipero, we first see her climbing out of a car playing Belinda Carlisle’s ’87 hit ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ A giant poster of 80’s vampire flick The Lost Boys greets her. Bespectacled, mousy and shy Yorkie spots Kelly; the quintessential 80’s cool chick and follows her into a club named Tucker’s where the DJ spins nothing but 80s tunes. Yorkie seems /feels out of place, she heads to the arcade machines and plays Bubble Bobble a fellow player entices her to play Top Speed—at first we don’t get why Yorkie doesn’t want to play a game about car crashes, we’ll soon learn why.

Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) meets Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) while trying to ditch her new boy toy, a guy name Wes, who warns her “Two hours thirty five. Not much time left.”  Kelly rejects Wes by saying she wants to spend time with her ‘friend,’ who only has six months to live, her ‘friend’ Yorkie replies “Five.”  Kelly invites Yorkie to dance, Yorkie replies, “Dance floors aren’t my thing. I can’t.”  We, the audience don’t know yet, that the real Yorkie is telling the truth when she says, “I’ve never been on a dance floor.” She then runs outside, it’s raining while the song ‘You’re a Fake, baby’ plays, she holds her foot out in front of herself, as if admiring her ability to do so.

And so begins San Junipero, my favorite episode of Black Mirror Season Three, where things are not always what they seem and danger, death and dread are just around the corner. With this episode, the show seems to stray away (albeit momentarily) from the usual Black Mirror canon of having us see technology as warping humanity. This episode offers hope in the face of mortality, where two people use technology to connect with each other and find true love.

Go stream it.

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