I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Black Mirror’s San Junipero (alright, 5). From the compelling way language and wealthy visual cues are used to describe the concepts of space and time within episode’s context, to an amazing Mackenzie Davis and the philosophical / existential approach, San Junipero is a brilliant work of art.
All songs in San Junipero are tightly connected to the script, but “Heaven is a place on earth” by Belinda Carlisle really stands out for practically narrating the whole story.
Charlie Brooker, writer of San Junipero and creator of the Black Mirror anthology, created a Spotify playlist with all featured songs plus the ones that didn’t make it. Link.
Interestingly enough, the song begins and ends with the chorus and has a BAABAFBFB structure where B is chorus, A is verse and F is pre-chorus. Chorus describes the environment and their reality while pre-chorus describes Yorkie and Kelly’s feelings towards each other and their reality.
|Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth?||Indicates the love story between Yorkie and Kelly|
|Ooh heaven is a place on earth||Literally, a simulated environment on earth, produced by TCKR Systems|
|They say in heaven love comes first||San Junipero’s visitors focus on love / sex-related desires|
|We’ll make heaven a place on earth||Kelly is struggling to accept San Junipero as the next home after her death|
|Ooh heaven is a place on earth||Literally|
|When the night falls down||Yorkie’s and Kelly’s encounters happen before midnight and after sunset|
|I wait for you||Yorkie is actively searching and waiting for Kelly. At 44’+ Yorkie literally waits for Kelly to come around|
|And you come around||And she does, at 43:30|
|And the world’s alive, ςith the sound of kids, οn the street outside||Teens in the car, streets and the bars, enjoying themselves, feeling alive, as Yorkie does now|
|When you walk into the room, you pull me close and we start to move. And we’re spinning with the stars above, and you lift me up in a wave of love…||They walk into Kelly’s house, start kissing and have sex. Next scene shows the sea waves and the girls lying in bed next to the window|
|When I feel alone, I reach for you, and you bring me home. When I’m lost at sea, I hear your voice, and it carries me||Yorkie loses Kelly and looks for her. Yorkie is sitting by the sea at Kelly’s home, contemplating|
|In this world we’re just beginning
to understand the miracle of living
|Kelly and Yorkie are trying to understand and adapt to a literally different world which gets the concept of living to a whole new level|
|Baby I was afraid before, but I’m not afraid anymore||Both had different forms of fears and both conquered them.
Yorkie was struggling with separating her external life (sex life, fiancé, parents) to San Junipero’s while Kelly had an existential / religious crisis and struggled with guilt over her husband’s death and lack of desire to pass over to San Junipero