Tales from the Loop
Television has evolved beyond the scope of a team of writers sitting in a studio wondering “What should we do next?”, and Tales from the Loop is the epitome of this transcendence. An intermingling of narrative art and futuristic sci-fi elements, Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming series is based on Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag’s digital illustrations turned tabletop role-playing game. Images of a countryside juxtaposed against friendly robots and rusted machinery gives viewers a look into a divergent reality that may very well be soon to come. It’s a slow burn – similar to the feeling of reading a novel – but the cinematography and composition of certain scenes makes for a visually stunning rendition that truly lives up to the original artwork.
The series follows a small town set atop what locals call the Loop – a mysterious machine that provokes supernatural, inexplicable anomalies. In something like an imaginative take on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, scientists are continuously running experiments to attempt to discover the secrets of the universe. The first episode introduces us to the inventor of the machine, and we are taken through the unexpected journey of one of the main characters and her experience with the Loop. Each subsequent episode tells a standalone story of another one of the handful of characters, showing how the Loop has affected their lives.
At first glance, Tales from the Loop conjures strong memories of The Leftovers, HBO’s now-concluded supernatural drama, in two particular ways: the heart-wrenching piano-heavy score by Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan that sets the tone for the series, and the way that viewers are often left wondering what is going on. What is the purpose of the Loop? Does the rest of the world know what is happening in this small town? Will we find the answers to these questions throughout the eight-part series, or will there be more?
Whilst Amazon has yet to order a second season, the longevity of the series may lie within Stålenhag’s other collections, such as Things from the Flood. Whether this is a standalone drama or not, it is certainly a binge-worthy show that comes at a time where creative, exploratory content is desired.
Tales from the Loop is released digitally on demand on 3rd April 2020.
Watch the trailer for Tales from the Loop here: