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Unreal City: Nostalgia, Authenticity, and Posthumanity in “San Junipero”

  • Isra Daraiseh
  • M. Keith Booker
Chapter

Abstract

Daraiseh and Booker present a critical overview of the key issues that drive the Emmy-winning “San Junipero,” the fourth episode of the third series of Black Mirror (2011–). Widely regarded as the most optimistic and utopian episode in all of Black Mirror, “San Junipero” deals with a future in which the infirm and dying can have their consciousnesses uploaded to computer-simulated worlds, where they can happily live on in virtual reality, free of the maladies that had struck them down in the physical world. The episode focuses on a simulated California seaside town in 1987, though it implies that other times and places are also available within this system, which is operated by a large corporate entity known as TIKR systems. This chapter focuses particularly on the way popular culture from 1987 is used to enrich the virtual-reality environment of San Junipero, noting the way in which this aspect of the episode participates in a recent wave of nostalgic representations of 1980s popular culture. In addition, it discusses the way this episode participates in the phenomenon of postmodernism, especially as theorized by Fredric Jameson. Finally, it addresses the utopian orientation of this episode’s treatment of technology, but notes that it contains important dystopian aspects as well.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isra Daraiseh
    • 1
  • M. Keith Booker
    • 2
  1. 1.Arab Open UniversityAl-ArdiyaKuwait
  2. 2.University of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

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