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Fridge / Black Mirror: San Junipero

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Black Mirror Fridge
Series Three
NosedivePlaytestShut Up and DanceSan JuniperoMen Against FireHated in the Nation

  • Even the most optimistic episode, San Junipero is not immune from Fridge Horror: What if one of the residents — who is a deceased person whose brain has been uploaded — wants to leave San Junipero?
    • It's actually answered in the episode. You can just choose to leave. It's still a bit weird to think about, though, but basically in the same way as regular mortal existence is weird. But, you know, imagine if you were planning on having eternity together with the love of your life, and then they were like, "Eh, I'm sick of this," and disappeared forever. Would you leave too?
    • One would think that San Junipero is not the only possible virtual reality. I mean, who wouldn't wanna visit Middle-Earth, Hyrule, Azeroth, or perhaps a galaxy far, far away?
    • Who's to say that won't be patched in? Or, is planned for the next version.
    • It's implied that San Junipero is not the only virtual reality (Yorkie and Kelly are uploaded into a vast mainframe under a section labeled "San Junipero." If it was the only one available, why bother labeling it?), but one of many offering its own unique flavor of virtual afterlife (as Kelly often emphasizes, it's a "party town") that the heroines both choose for their own reasons: Kelly to have one last hurrah before passing on with her husband and daughter in death, Yorkie to live out the fun party life in the era of her youth that she was denied from being rendered a quadriplegic just after she came out to her uptight family at 21.
  • There is a bit of fridge horror in thinking that, while the premise of uploading oneself into San Junipero is that of an eternal happy afterlife, the system itself is anything but eternal and one day may well malfunction, break down, or simply be decommissioned (we know TCKR is, after all, a private company like any other, and a somewhat shady one at that). For all the people in it know, it may cease to exist at any given moment.
  • While it's debatable whether one's consciousness is either transferred or copied, as well as what that actually means for the "real" personality, fridge heartwarming sets in when you realize the possibility that it's just a copy means that Kelly is not really breaking her promise to her husband, just dying with him as she had planned, while still leaving part of herself in the simulation to be with Yorkie (who still gets a relief from her And I Must Scream existence).
  • A detail-related Fridge Brilliance from the same episode: Two of the games in the arcade section of Tucker's includes Time Crisis and House of the Dead 2, which are very apt considering what kind of situation Yorkie is in for the former. As for the latter, since San Junipero are filled with digital consciousness of deceased individuals, it is literally a 'house of the dead''.
  • Fridge humour in that for a lot of viewers in the UK, they recognise the name Yorkie as a chocolate that recently had to change up its marketing, the former slogan being "It's not for girls". Who knew they could get an actually funny gay joke into Black Mirror.
  • The Nothing but Hits trope is played so straight in this episode because it's also being used in-universe for the benefit of the characters: It doesn't actually take place in 1987, just an idealized simulation thereof, so whoever programmed the simulation made sure all the year's best-remembered songs would be present whenever someone flipped on a radio, went out to a club, or found themselves in any other situation where there would be recorded music.
    • This also applies to the "Mister Sandman" Sequence when Yorkie visits each time period. They're all filled with references to what year it is, covered with the most ostentatious examples of that era's fashion, and full of people using Totally Radical slang of the era. This is almost certainly deliberate in-universe, to make it clear to everyone what time period they're in, and to give them the experience that they're expecting.
  • Can Fridge Heartwarming be possible? It's clear that the bodies people inhabit in San Junipero are their preferred images of themselves, so it will be an even nicer place for trans people to end up, as they can fully live in a body they prefer without any stigmas, it seems (especially since though Kelly says society has marched on, Yorkie's parents clearly haven't), and no worries about looking the best with what they have (gender assignment surgery in the setting may have advanced a lot, too, but who knows if it's easily affordable).
  • Fridge Brilliance, combined with a stealthy reference: We know that this future is at very least after 2002, and from the fact that this is a party town with a Nothing but Hits radio station and period-accurate arcade machines, we can assume that the creators are pop culture geeks; therefore, of course the place where people meet up to find sex partners is called the Quagmire.
  • Fridge Brilliance: When she arrives at the nightclub, and after walking around nervously, Yorkie decides to play the arcade games in there and actually starts having some fun. At first, it could be interpreted as her being a nerdy girl and just doing nerdy stuff she likes in an uncomfortable situation. But later on we realize, she went into a coma as teenager running away from an uptight family. Feeling extremely uncomfortable in an "adult" nightclub (having zero experience socializing and drinking) and just playing video games is not just about being mousy, but about her being a frightened teenager.