‘Tales From the Loop’ is a Moody Sci-Fi Dreamscape


Ro Thinks: Tales From the Loop Aims For the Feels

Amazon's new sci-fi show Tales from the Loop is an anthology based on the work of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag. His work blends the futuristic, long forgotten, into suburban/rural 1980s settings. It is evocative yet creepily nostalgic. If you've never seen his pair of art books, Tales From the Loop and Things from the Flood now's a perfect time because the images and moments selected to create the world of "the Loop" in this sci-fi series are visually stunning, unsettling, and eerily comforting. This show is not your ordinary dystopian fare. 

Behind the Scenes: Tales from the Loop | From Paintings to Screen

Inspired by the wondrous paintings of Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the mind-bending adventures of the people who live above the Loop, a mach...

Executive produce by Matt Reeves, Tales from the Loop enters a dystopian world via a town and various people who live and work above a powerful machine, known as "The Loop", that's as mysterious as the parts of the universe it seeks to explore. Unlike most stories of its ilk, Tales focuses on the human actors and the emotional aspects of life in the future. Amidst the fallen machinery and abandon tech lies despair, confusion, turmoil but ultimately hope. 

Slow and Steady Cinematic Experience 

Don't expect flash and fireworks in this future-world. Tales from the Loop is a universe of stories connected less by the tech than the people but that's a good thing. There are sweeping vistas of farmland and sleepy suburbs fanning out from the town built around "The Loop." Random machines and interesting devices anchor the plot but don't directly drive the stories. It's all beautifully immersive, weirdly compelling and yet deliberately incomplete. 

A haunting score aids the plot is provoking as many questions about this world as the story answers about the people living in it. There's deliberate drag built into the second act of each short story intended to draw out and linger in the moments of these lives. Ultimately it (pacing) is the one element that's truly inconsistently successful in the series. 

Big Talent for Big Themes 

The visuals infuse Stålenhag's color palette with life and a slightly off-kilter sense of normalcy. As this world weaves in and out of the lives of it's inhabitants, each turn of events is riddled with emotional land mines. Every cinematographer, set and production designer attached to this project brought their a game. His artwork lives and breathes from frame to frame. 

Written by Nathaniel Halpern Tales features top-tier talent like, Jodie Foster, Charlie McDowell, Tim Mielants and Mark Romanek in the director's chair. Series opener, Loop, marks Romanek's (long awaited) return to sci-fi storytelling and sets a somber yet inquisitive tone. Each story revolves around a simple theme, love, truth, fear, protecting one's family etc. As a result, each successive story adds clarity to how this world works.

With each story coming in just under an hour, Tales from the Loop isn't designed for a binge-watch. That doesn't mean wandering through these living paintings and exploring this world isn't worth the time. 

Listen in as Ro and Kriss discuss Tales from the Loop and what they thought after finishing the series. Then tune in to their spoiler chat for Premium members. 

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Charles (Kriss)

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