There’s a new season of the technology-themed Twilight Zone-like Netflix show, Black Mirror, and the premiere episode, called Striking Vipers, has a passing cameo from a very interesting car that reveals where the episode was actually shot, despite attempts to obfuscate this fact. I’m not going to spoil the episode for you or anything; let’s just look at this car.
The episode is set in a big city, but it feels like the city has been deliberately anonymized; its cast as a general American big city, with as few distinguishing characteristics revealed as possible. They generally did a good job of that, except for the fact that a few seconds into the episode, that sleek yellow car with one burned-out taillight comes rolling up to that nightclub.
At that moment, for certain kinds of car geeks, the attempt to mask where this has been shot has just failed.
Why? Because that pretty little car there is a Puma GT, a sports car built on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis. Well, I really should say a Volkswagen Fusca chassis, the Portuguese word for Beetle, because this is a Brazilian car, the very presence of which can only mean that this episode was shot in São Paulo.
Sure, some have made it to America, especially California, but it would be insane to source one just for some blurry background scene like that; this had to be a locally-sourced car.
I did a bit of research and found that, yep, this episode was shot in São Paulo.
The takeaway here? Cars are a fantastic way of telling where you are in the world. They’re a great way to tell where an old picture was taken, too, if there’s no clear other indicators, too.
If you ever wake up, confused and disoriented, with no idea where you are or how you got there, check out the cars around you. They’ll give you the quickest idea of where you are on the globe, more than almost anything else I can think of. Except maybe a sign that tells you where you are.