Tales from the Loop Review

9.4
Expert Rating

The series, on Amazon Prime Video, is a collection of eight stand-alone short stories where day by day rural life is imbued with the supernatural. The series stars Jonathan Pryce and Rebecca Hall, among many others, and each episode contains a different director. The series debuted at the beginning of April and is currently one season composed of eight episodes and is one of the best shows on Amazon.

Why We Like It – Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop is great at following in the foot-steps of small-town weirdness ala Twin Peaks and Stranger Things, but this time around it’s about the apprehension we feel when technology moves too far into our homes, our society, and into our lives in general.

Pros
  • Interesting Premise
  • Unique takes from 8 different directors
  • Fantastic performances by every actor involved
Cons
  • Possible to love with characters who will disappear
  • Spoiler by pausing the first episode

Performance

Set in small-town Mercer, Ohio, the “Loop” has a firm grip on the town and is reshaping life, gradually building a portrait of the town and those who live in it. Because each episode stands alone it’s possible to fall in love with a character and then not see them until many episodes later, or at all. If one long plot is what you’re interested in, The Americans is another show on Prime Video that may be for you.

Design

The series is based on the work of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, famous for his scenes of rustic serenity juxtaposed around uncanny science fiction. Created by Nathaniel Halpern, who also scripted the entire series, Simon Stålenhag is also co-executive producer of the show. New directors helm each episode, and while each brings a unique visual experience, they all try to imbue the narrative with Stålenhag’s imagery. Be warned, if you pause or hover your mouse over a scene in the first episode you will get the actors name, but this unintentionally also reveals a spoiler. Not a particularly funny show, we would recommend The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel if you’re looking for a laugh instead of a thought-provoking series.

Value

Nobody will be able to say this program doesn’t have its share of fine actors giving fantastic performances. In-depth character work by Jonathan Pryce and Rebecca Hall helps build emotional ties to the characters, and Jonathan Pryce specifically gives an absolutely outstanding performance that is quiet and wonderfully weary. Another shout-out to twelve-year-old Abby Ryder Fortson, best known for her work in Ant-Man, for a likewise wonderfully intense performance. Mr. Robot, now in its final season and also on Prime Video, stars Academy Award winner Rami Malek in a similar, outstanding role.

Tales from the Loop Wrap Up

With an interesting premise, a fresh look every episode thanks to the eight directors, and great performances by everybody in the cast, it’s easy to recommend Combined Final as a weekend binge show. Some technical, spoiler-inducing worries aside, Tales from the Loop should do well in scratching the science fiction fan’s itch.

Performance9.2
Design9.2
Value9.7
Reader Rating0 Votes0
9.4
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

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Michael Iaboni

Michael Iaboni is a Canadian Freelance Writer and Editor. He graduated from York University with a Degree in English and Creative Writing and then attended Queen's University where he obtained a Professional Editing Standards Certificate. He is a member of Editor's Canada and, in his spare time, enjoys reading, writing, soccer, and gaming.

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