Tales from the Loop — Review — Episodes 1 and 2 — Beautiful but Boring

image from bloody disgusting

Science fiction is hard. I can think of very few movies that do this very well. Blade Runner 1 and 2 comes to my mind. Total Recall to some extent. Almost every classic literature of this genre is from the 20th century. That is why, when I heard about Tales from the loop, I got excited. I searched online for this author guy, Simon Stålenhag, and it looked cool.

It reminded me of one of my favourite board games, Scythe.

I decided to watch the entire series on Amazon Prime. I started watching. Five minutes into the first episode, and then, Ten minutes passed. Not much happened. I decided to have patience. Twenty minutes later, it was still boring. A full episode later, I was bored. I decided to not come to conclusions. Watched the 2nd episode. Took a lot of effort on my part. Finished it.

It’s still very boring. I stopped watching. This show, is, boring. Sadface.

Story

At first, I got the impression that perhaps this was one of those, individual episode kind of setup. In the first episode, we find ourselves following around an young girl who has an absent mother. The mother is too focused on her work, working at the Loop, the nick name for the local science institute aka research centre.

One day, the mother goes missing. The little girl teams up with this kid who is throwing rocks at an apparently dead robot. Things happen. She runs into an older woman who reminds her of herself. Time Travel. Not much else happens.

Second episode, two teenagers run into a freaky Friday (body swapping) boondoggle. They decide to live each other’s life for a day. Then, one of them decides, he does not want to switch back, because he wants a job at the Loop, which the other guy already has.

That’s pretty much it!

Everything Looks Beautiful

The thing about these new breed of movie makers that seem to find their homes on streaming platforms, is that they almost always get the aesthetics just right. The visuals in the series look clean. Every now and then, (I assume) visuals inspired by the artist Simon Stålenhag, keep showing up. I suppose, for the fans of Simon Stålenhag, it’s great to see the art come to life. The music has that indie quality that you find in a lot of relaxing games or ‘sleep therapy’ music albums on iTunes.

The acting is adequate, and everybody does what they are supposed to do. The camera work is slow, and the editing is measured. Everything is fantastic. The packaging is fantastic. The production qualities are good, and show puts a nice 80s/90s world on the screen convincingly.

Stories are Boring and Sloooowwwwwww

I like good visuals. I like soothing music and slow pace of story. However, there must be something to root for. The characters could be something I could align with. Or, they should have some depth with what they are doing. The situations could be funny or dramatic or action heavy. Randomly showing a robot move its head or walk away is not enough to keep me engaged.

Perhaps if I managed to finish the full season, I might understand this show better. However, I wanted to stop watching after the first 30 minutes. Yet, for the sake of the review, I pushed myself to watch 2 episodes. Just to see if anything remotely engaging happens. Nothing happens. Everything happens so slow. In the first episode, you already know it’s about time travel (the title is called loop, as in time loop), but there is no twist or fun or adventure to be had.

If anything, both episodes are shot in an odd grey filter, with the characters being continuously depressed. Even after the science fiction elements are introduced the pace does not quicken nor are there any cool twists or wonder to savour. For instance, the first episode ends with the reveal of this magical, floating eclipse. Then, they show it and Its a giant grey ball. That’s the wonder, but how!

It’s just a bad and boring show with a lot of money put into it, and an occasional bizarre science fiction building, object and robot thrown in. I invite anybody who wants to self-test their patience to watch it. Everybody else can just save their time for something better.

I also have a podcast. You can listen to it at this link — Jay’s Podcast. I also stream my gaming on Twitch. You can watch me play at this link — Jay’s Twitch Stream. further, if you are looking to hire a software developer, trainer, please get in touch with me. Questions and comments? Contact me here.

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