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Netflix’s Black Mirror takes on lesbian relationships

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Black Mirror - San Junipero

Netflix’s Black Mirror takes on lesbian relationships

Black Mirror - San JuniperoLesbian fans of the TV show Black Mirror were in for a nice surprise with the fourth episode of the show’s latest season.

This was because the Netflix TV show had a positive view of lesbian relationships, from coming out to same-sex marriage.

Used to the dark, dystopian subjects that Black Mirror episodes usually portray, fans were surprised to see this episode about a heartwarming love story of two girls falling in love.


The normal town of San Junipero

The Black Mirror episode of ‘San Junipero’ opens during the colorful year of 1987, with Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a place on Earth” as the number song in America.

The setting of the show is the seaside locale of San Junipero, a party town where people go to have fun.

The beautiful, free-spirited Kelly meets the conservative, shy Yorkie, who is new in town. Their worlds connect inside a bar when, trying to brush off a guy, Kelly sits at Yorkie’s table.

Kelly caresses Yorkie’s thigh, then asks if she wants to sleep with her. A week after, at the same bar, Yorkie agrees to Kelly’s proposal.

It’s a simple story of a beautiful connection, right? But it’s not that simple: this is Black Mirror, after all.

Black Mirror talks virtual reality

San Junipero is actually a virtual reality sort of place that elderly people, most of whom are dying, go to once a week to experience being young again.

Likewise, both Kelly and Yorkie– portrayed by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis respectively– have signed on for the “nostalgia therapy” as they wait to die.

Yorkie– who came out to her parents years ago and was rejected– is a quadriplegic after getting into a car accident.

After deciding to live “eternally” in this virtual reality after her death, Yorkie instead finds love with Kelly in San Junipero. Both then have a wedding ceremony at Yorkie’s hospital.

After a lot of complications, Kelly eventually joins Yorkie in San Junipero and they live on forever in a (server) machine.

Black Mirror: Breaking expectations

Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror first came out in the British public-service television Channel 4 in 2011. With stories similar to The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror ran for two seasons.

But in 2015, Netflix commissioned 12 more episodes for season three with a worldwide release last October 21. For this episode, Brooker originally intended to have male and female characters.

“It was another decision where I just thought, Well, OK, let’s question that. Is that the best version of this we could do?” Brooker told Vanity Fair.

“I wasn’t consciously reacting to other things in the culture, so much as thinking, This makes it a more interesting story,” Brooker said

Certainly with this latest episode’s positive reflection of lesbians, Black Mirror is breaking its dark and satirical view of modern society– even as it takes TV’s view of the LGBT head-on.

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