It is completely impossible to sit and contemplate the six episodes of which it is composed the first season of Soulmates (since 2020), the British television series William Bridges (Stranger Things) and Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso) for the AMC recently released on Movistar Plus, and not immediately remembering Black Mirror (Charlie Brooker, since 2011), for which Bridges wrote “Shut Up and Dance” (3×03) and “USS Callister” (4×01). The approach to how a futuristic technology affects people in a devastating way is very recognizable; and it constitutes the underlying idea that, originally, was the backbone of Netflix’s fiction.
Soulmates’ approach is that of Black Mirror: How a futuristic technology affects people in a devastating way
Anyway, the chapter “Watershed” (1×01) could well be integrated into any of the Black Mirror seasons without squeaking in the slightest, and the rest of Soulmates, introduce themselves like a spin-off which, in short, combines concepts from “The Entire History of You” (1×03), the best and most painful of the twenty-two episodes of the English series, “Hang the DJ” (4×04) and “Striking Vipers” (5×01). Like the chapter “Matchmaker” (1×01) of the failed Dimension 404 (Will Campos, Desmond Dolly, Daniel Johnson and David Welch, 2017), which could also be said to be taken from it without its openly grotesque elements.
It’s more, Soulmates share three actors with Black Mirror: Sarah Snook (Steve Jobs), who plays Nikki in “Watershed” and Medina in the episode “Men Against Fire” (3×05) of the second, Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch), who gets into Miranda’s skin in the chapter “Little Adventures” (1×03) of the first and in Amy’s in “Hang the DJ”, and Tom Goodman-Hill (The Imitation Game), who plays Doug in the episode “The (Power) Ballad of Caitlin Jones ”(1×06) from Soulmates and Tom Bilce in“ The National Anthem ”(1×01), one of the most remembered of Black Mirror.
The narrative and emotional impact of the Soulmates episodes is nowhere near that of the best of Black Mirror, but maintains its overall level
But the William Bridges and Brett Goldstein series she can only be considered her little sister at most, since the narrative and emotional impact achieved by its first six chapters is not even close to that of “The National Anthem”, “Nosedive” (3×01), “San Junipero” (3×04) or, far from it, “The Entire History of You “. Only for them, however, since the level of Soulmates is revealed for now similar to that of the other episodes of Black Mirror or even that of the movie Bandersnatch (David Slade, 2018), which is between seasons four and five, if its originality is obviated.
For the concept of the new series, “Watershed” it would be the most canonical story of the six released to date. In “The Lovers” (1×02), on the other hand, the premise serves only as an excuse to tell its story, since it could well have been told the same without it, changing it for other narrative ingredients, and being perfectly plausible. TO “Little Adventures” it can be seen as the other side of the first Soulmates coin in several ways. And in “Layover” (1×04), the weakest of the episodic sextet, we can find some different planning and assembly details.
They should not stretch the concept of Soulmates in too many seasons, but they should take advantage of it from different perspectives
“Break on Through” (1×05) is the second chapter in which they use the premise of the series as a pretext to build a dark intrigue, and in it there is something of the spirit of the unforgettable The Leftovers (Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, 2014-2017). And, the gloomy finale of this inaugural season, “The (Power) Ballad of Caitlin Jones”, proves that, although they should not stretch the concept of Soulmates as if it were a bubble gum in too many seasons, they can extract the juice from different perspectives and succeed with this search for soulmates in the reflection of Black Mirror.
The article Criticism of ‘Soulmates’, first season: looking for soul mates in the reflection of ‘Black Mirror’ was published in Explica.co.