Netflix’s Orange is the New Black Mirror gag requires dozens of hours of binging for a two-minute payoff
Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black returns June 9th, and the company’s latest teaser is banking on viewers being diehard fans of its other shows. Of course, that can backfire — if you’ve never seen Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode, this touching moment between Taystee (Danielle Brooks) and Poussey (Samira Wiley) is likely to cruise right over your head.
The “Orange is the New Black Mirror” gag riffs on an oddly bright episode in an otherwise heavy run of Black Mirror’s third season. For one brief and shining hour, the show trades in its satire and cynicism for a hopeful, uplifting story about two women who fall in love in a digital world. In addition to being the only time I’ve ever described Black Mirror as “hopeful” and “uplifting,” “San Junipero” is also unapologetically soaked in neon and 1980s musical hits.
The teaser doesn’t have much to say about Orange is the New Black’s latest season. Neither do I, aside from some relatable feelings about missing Poussey. It’s doubtful this scene will even appear in the show. (Though it’s openly a fantasy sequence, so it could!) It seems more like a one-off on Netflix’s part. Like the Mystery Science Theater 3000 trailer that featured the first few minutes of Stranger Things, this teaser is smart cross-promotional branding that uses an already-popular property to boost a new release. And it has the insular value of an in-joke. When you have two popular shows at your fingertips, why not smash them together in a goof only your real fans will get? Personally, I think “Unbreakable House of Cards” has a nice ring to it.