Thoughts from the Loop

6th August 2023

An underground tunnel with a section of a particle accelerator

I just finished watching Tales from the Loop. As you would expect from a series based on a collection of paintings, the aesthetics are a key factor, but the beauty of the series is far from skin-deep. Although many of the stories are familiar tropes, they are all given a tender, human touch. Considering there are only eight episodes they cover an impressive range of human emotions and experiences; love, loss, jealousy and everything in-between. You wouldn’t think it possible with the slow pace, but sometimes all it takes is a simple phrase or a single shot to convey so much.

Without a copy of the art book, which includes accompanying text, I don’t know how much of the story has been lifted from there, but it seems they’ve done well to handle the material with care. Nothing feels over-done. Extra emotion is brought to every scene by the beautifully sparse music from Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan.

The main story arc of each episode is relatively self-contained. However; there is an over-arching thread that results in a soft intertwining of stories that brings a satisfying sense of closure while still leaving many questions unanswered. With some series, these unanswered questions are a frustration, but here they only add to the appeal and I’m glad they didn’t feel the need for them to be answered.

Although it’s undoubtedly science fiction, the science is only there to help bring the human stories to life. With the robots, laboratories and futuristic technology playing a supporting role, the humans give it a heart. In the words of the final episode; it was sad, but beautiful.

Can you recommend any books or series like Tales from the Loop? Let me know!