“A Thought-provoking anthology that might be set in a near-future, but it holds an uncomfortable mirror up to the present day.”
While plenty of real-world dating apps and services might promise you that their algorithm will find you ‘the one’, love isn’t an exact science, but what if it could be? That’s the jumping-off point for co-creators Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso’s Roy Kent”) and Will Bridges (writer of “Black Mirror” episode “U.S.S. Callister”) with the six standalone stories taking us on an unexpected trip into some borderline existential questions.
The first episode kicks things off strongly with Watershed, Succession’s Sarah Snook stars as Nikki, who, after 15 years of marriage to her husband Franklin (Kingsley Ben-Adir), is starting to feel bored in the mundanity of their relationship. They regularly attended weddings for their friends who recently took the Soul Connex test, all of whom are blissfully happy with their new 100% matched partners, regardless of what they gave up. Curious to see how accurate the Soul Connex test is, Nikki takes it, which opens a pandora’s box of emotions and past pain from their relationship. Can they find a way to stay together in a world where your soulmate is just a click away?
Naturally, comparisons will be made to the on-hiatus Black Mirror, even more so the season 4 episode Hang The DJ, which delved into the world of future dating in a very different way. Across these six episodes, the creative team does a solid job of highlighting the various ways Soul Connex can be used as a dramatic starting point for wildly different stories. Some episodes are stronger than others; episode 4 (Layover) is an excellent example of what Soulmates can do. It gives us the winning chemistry of Bill Skarsgård and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett for an occasionally far-fetched story, one that is full of heart and humanity. That said, a Hollywood producer needs to immediately cast these two together in a movie, now.
Overall, Soulmates is asking a simple question, is it better to learn from your mistakes and take chances with who you love, or is it better/more convenient to be told, “this is the person you will experience love with the best”? Sadly, there are cases to be made for both sides of the argument, and Soulmates seems less concerned with answering such lofty questions definitively, likely because, in the real world, there is no definitive answer, just endless shades of grey. A second season is currently in development, and it should arrive on Amazon late this year.