Tales from the Loop is a few good episodes away from being a fantastic Amazon series, suffering from a heavily weighted vision.
This review of Amazon Original series Tales from the Loop does not contain any spoilers.
Amazon’s Tales from the Loop is frustrating. Some episodes are well written and directed to a tee, giving sci-fi themes with an emotional angle. Other episodes suffer from its directed format, instilling a snooze fest. It’s difficult to understand where you stand with the original series — some chapters deliver while others betray the audience with their self-indulgent vision.
You don’t have to watch the episodes in order but some chapters tie together with an intention so naturally, it makes sense to do so.
Based on the artbook, Amazon Original series Tales from the Loop is about a group of townspeople who live above a facility called “The Loop” — a machine that unlocks and explores the mystery of the Universe. It’s all about making the impossible possible, with an elusive leader.
Each chapter works on a single character who is impacted by some science due to “The Loop”. Tales from the Loop eschews scientific intricacies by refusing to interlink various scientific phenomena, and instead choosing to live with one theory, one chapter at a time.
The concepts are interesting and seen before; freezing time, moving through time, alternative Universes and simply robots are the many themes that are explored in the chapters. Tales from the Loop does not rely on the visual effects to tell the story. Each scene follows a character who has their own issue and the Amazon series is designed to ask for emotional investment from the audience.
But while with one hand it tries to impress with the concept with the other attempts to be visionary, some episodes do fall short by over-directing the problem. Too many chapters had answers, but felt unanswered, landing the ending like a damp squib. Some chapters try hard to deliver the result, but it overplays a scene to a degree that it becomes, frankly, boring. Tales from the Loop is convoluted in quality.
Do not mistake this review as a warning of “stay away”. Tales from the Loop is recommended based on the few episodes that do have an emotional impact because the vision just works. Also, the characters’ intentions and some endings are intentionally left slightly open to give an interpretative experience.
In terms of the acting, Tales from the Loop can do no wrong. The cast, even the younger members, are directed to a tee, with every action bringing a thousand words. The Amazon series is also well shot, with the creators doing a marvelous job with the camera, ensuring that the scene speaks for itself.
But it is a massive shame. Tales from the Loop is a few good episodes away from being a fantastic Amazon series.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.