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Which Black Mirror Episode Is This Year's "San Junipero"?

Not everything has to be dark

Tim Surette

Black Mirror will help you ring in the New Year now that Netflix announced the fourth season of the anthology will premiere on Friday, Dec. 29, but just as 2018 holds so much mysterious potential, each season of Black Mirror is a mixed bag of bleak fortune-telling and hopeful optimism. And that's by design.

While it's true that each season of Charlie Brooker's twisted look at the relationship between technology and society leans heavily toward the dark, some episodes have been downright upbeat. In fact, some can be so full of joyous emotion that it cancels out other nightmarish tales of brain-frying virtual reality or criminal punishment via repeated reenactments of the terror committed.

Take last season's excellent "San Junipero," for example. It's an episode that snuck up on even the most die-hard Black Mirror fans with its story of everlasting love that lived beyond our mortal realm thanks to advanced computer simulations. But will Season 4 continue the series' trend of dropping in some happier moments?

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"I think what's cool about [Black Mirror] is there are so many genres within the genre, and Charlie's not afraid to [go] down the rabbit hole and say, 'Here, take the blue pill, take the whatever," Rosemarie DeWitt, the star of Season 4's "Arkangel" tells TV Guide. "So I wouldn't be surprised if we saw something satirical or funny or uplifting."

OK, but which of the new episodes can fans expect to bring them tears of joy instead of tears or terror?

"I think 'The USS Callister' definitely has some satire and some craziness to it," Jodie Foster, who directed "Arkangel," tells us. "I think it's wilder than maybe any of the other episodes."

While it's hard to live up to the lofty standards of "San Junipero," we can say there is an episode this season that come close to reaching its heartfelt message. And it's not "The USS Callister," even though there's some sharp parody in there. You'll have to wait until Season 4 drops to find out which one.

Black Mirror Season 4 premieres Friday, Dec. 29 on Netflix.