Quick Take: "Tales From The Loop"
Dona and I are midway through Amazon's "Tales From The Loop," and it is really something special. Apparently, it isn't based on a novel or story but instead seems to be based on a book of paintings by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag.
It has been set in Ohio, in what appears to be an alternative history version of the 1970s. The episodes are nonlinear, and intricately interlocked with minor characters in one episode turning out to be central characters in another episode, with sort of a Winesburg, Ohio effect. The art direction is subdued and gentle, with everything taking on sort of storybook feel or perhaps a nostalgia for a past that never happened. All of this is unified by a gorgeous score by Phillip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan, with themes that are often pretty and even sentimental.
This makes sense, because so far the show doesn't really dwell on the spectacle of the astonishing story that is being told. Even though immense things happen, we are not buried in wild CGI scenes or elaborate set pieces. Instead, the show focuses on what happens to the ordinary people in this little town when extraordinary things occur. There is a strong focus on the children of the town, who seem to understand the world in which they live better than the adults. The result is moving, and often poignant.
(For example, the little robot hiding behind a tree in this image has a storyline that would normally be presented in the horror genre, but it isn't told that way at all — instead it gets told as a heartbreaking family drama.)
I have no idea where this is going to end up, but my hopes keep getting higher. For now, I'm just delighted to be watching something I haven't seen a hundred times before.