REVIEW – ‘Tales From The Loop’ Episode 1

How do you explain the mysteries of the universe?  I think that's something that you either wonder about or are trying to figure out.  What if there was a place that devoted it's operation to that very thing?  Enter Tales From The Loop, a new sci-fi series coming this week from Amazon Prime Video.  I got a chance to see some of the series a bit early, but to be fair, I am going to focus on the first episode and keep things spoiler free?

The series, written by Nathaniel Halpern, is based on the paintings of Simon Stålenhag. Right there, that should tell you that this is a very different kind of show.  One change is that we're not in Sweden, we're in the small down of Mercer, Ohio.  There you will find the Mercer Center For Experimental Physics.  This is where you will find The Loop, which is said to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe.  If that seems a bit vague, get used to that.  This first episode gives little in the way of answers about The Loop itself, but why should it?  How interesting would it be if they gave that away after one episode?

Instead, a lot of the focus is on a young girl played by Abby Ryder Fortson.  Her story brought me in pretty quickly, especially as a parent.  You see how adventurous this young girl is, how incredibly smart she is and a determination that really makes you want to cheer her on.  Her mother just happens to work in The Loop, but she doesn't know what it is that she does.  Something happens that will make her want to find that out and much more.

We also cross paths with someone else that works at The Loop, played by Rebecca Hall.  Her husband, who is played by Paul Schneider, are the parents of a boy who has started to help Fortson's character search for those answers.  There is a very good reason why I can't give you much more information than that.  There is a major spoiler involving these character that will be the jaw dropping  moment that you are waiting for in this episode.

This show has a very human element to it, but the stunning visuals throughout were the thing that I couldn't keep my eyes off of.  Not only the rural, small town feel glistening with snow, but also the random robot shells that just happen to pop up in the landscape from time to time.  The way they are placed really makes them stand out, and certainly makes your mind wander.  The fact that we're given no real explanation for their presence will also leave you with a whole new set of questions.

Much like the paintings that inspired this series, Tales From The Loop seems to find beauty in the most simple of moments.  There are certainly sci-fi elements at play here, both literally and in the promise of what's to come.  That gives you the mystery, but it's the people, their stories and their circumstances that will make you want to continue watching and drop that Prime Video remote.  If you get frustrated by the lack of answer early on, I urge you to push forward and allow this story to play out at it's own pace.  I think you'll find that hook that you're looking for.

Want to know more about Tales From The LoopSeries creator and writer Nathaniel Halpern will be my guest on Episode 310 of this week's podcast!  Be sure to check back for when the interview goes live on April 3rd, the same day that Tales From The Loop premieres on Prime Video.

Photo Credit: Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios