San Junipero is the fourth new Black Mirror episode from series 3, and for me, the first disappointment.
Such a shame, since it began in 1987 with nerdy Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) being entranced by hip Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), meeting in a nightclub called Tucker’s, and taking me back to the era of The Lost Boys, Max Headroom & The Art of Noise‘s Paranoimia, The Bangles‘ Walk Like An Egyptian, and as Yorkie walks in, a song I’ve not heard in many a year – one hit wonder Robbie Neville‘s C’est La Vie.
However, they only have until midnight to live the nightlife? What is this – Cinderella??!
As an aside, there’s a lot of people buying drinks at a bar and not drinking them, and just leaving them on the bar barely touched (why not just drink them down?), but seriously, there’s a point to be made with this story, and like with the others I’ve reviewed, I don’t want to give away what makes it tick, but I will say that this one waits until it’s 2/3 over before it makes its point.
On the one hand, it’s a basic episode about relationships, and on the other, it just reminds you of a ton of other films and TV series you’ve seen before, and the way it tries to do something with those just doesn’t work. And in making another point about Charlie Brooker‘s lack of originality in this series, while I won’t detail the reasons, I’ll mention the names of the films and TV shows that sprang to mind while watching this, but I’ll put those behind a spoiler heading, even though you may think otherwise.
That said, there’s a lot of great stuff ’80s nostalgia before the problems begin, with the music including a great track which plays throughout the end credits, and as this is Netflix, there’s no continuity announcer to waffle over the end of it! Hurrah!
Black Mirror: San Junipero is available on Netflix from tomorrow. Also, click on the top image for the full-size version. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can buy a DVD boxset of Series 1 & 2 and the 2014 Special.
Widescreen ratio: 2.00:1
Director: Owen Harris
Producer: Laurie Borg
Writer: Charlie Brooker
Music: Clint Mansell
Kelly: Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Yorkie: Mackenzie Davis
Greg: Raymond McAnally
Wes: Gavin Stenhouse
Laura: Cheryl Anderson
Harvey: Jackson Bews
Elder Kelly: Denise Burse
Elder Yorkie: Annabel Davis
Davis: Billy Griffin Jr
Barman: Paul Lawrence Kitson
Doctor: Jeff Mash
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.