In “San Junipero,” the technological twist comes when it is revealed that the episode’s Nineteen Eighties interval setting exists inside a simulated actuality that uploads folks’s consciousness right into a form of digital afterlife in a glittering server room. Even earlier than they die, the aged go there to expertise nostalgia remedy. As the elder Kelly (Denise Burse) explains in the actual world, the thought is to “plunge you into a world of memories” in a manner that “helps with Alzheimer’s” illness.
As it seems, nostalgia remedy is an actual factor. Whereas “Black Mirror” tales normally proceed from “a human dilemma or a ‘what if,'” in line with Charlie Brooker, “San Junipero” mixed his need to do a interval piece along with his curiosity in a real type of remedy that may put folks in a situation just like the time-displaced Steve Rogers on the finish of “Captain America: The First Avenger:”
“I think we’d seen a documentary about it — it’s a thing that has been done where they’ll take old people and put them in a room decorated like the 1940s or something, and they’re almost physically rejuvenated by the experience. So it came about by talking about both those things, and then a sort of story emerged from it.”
Months earlier than “San Junipero” hit Netflix, “Stranger Things” premiered on the identical streamer, bringing a heavy dose of ’80s nostalgia to viewers. Since then, popular culture has been overrun all of the extra by nostalgia, with the legacy-sequel phenomenon gaining popularity and movie franchises mining the previous for outdated glories amid a future that appears bleaker and extra “Black Mirror”-like by the day. As one such legacy sequel, “The Matrix Resurrections,” put it: “Nothing comforts anxiety like a little nostalgia.”
“Black Mirror” is streaming on Netflix.