The Manager-| Review Score – 3.5/5
The Jaguar-| Review Score – 4/5
The Cowboy -| Review Score – 3/5
The Silence -| Review Score – 4.5/5
The Baker -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Grand Expo Winners -| Review Score – 3.5/5
The Rock -| Review Score – 3/5
The Son -| Review Score – 4/5
In a world obsessed with Black Mirror, Inside Number 9 and The Twilight Zone, it’s refreshing to see a series like Little America combine topical issues with an uplifting tone. Although a few of the episodes are a little heavy-handed and a couple feel a bit formulaic, there’s enough here to make for a really solid 8 episodes of drama. Inspired by true stories featured in Epic Magazine, Little America takes these ideas and fleshes them out into 30 minute bite-size episodes. With a common theme of finding purpose and experiencing joy in America, this anthology series does well to keep things entertaining and unique across its 8 episodes.
Most of the episodes follow the same story arc, with the exception of “The Silence” and “The Son” which are easily the stand-outs of the season. The rest see us introduced to our core character who then fights against adversity to succeed in their chosen professions. From squash matches and baking cookies through to finding love at a silent retreat, there’s a whole host of inspirational ideas explored here and the episodes do well to bring these to life. While the characterisation is a little basic, the post-episode expository text does a wonderful job adding some depth and weight to their journeys, giving new meaning to what each of these characters have experienced.
The anthology isn’t perfect, and much like others of its kind if you intend to binge through this one then there are a couple of episodes that feel a bit mundane and formulaic. “The Rock” and “The Cowboy” were two that really didn’t do very much and the post-episode text didn’t inspire that much enthusiasm given what happened during these episodes. Still, this is a minor gripe in what’s otherwise an enjoyable series.
Aesthetically, a lot of the series uses the same flair and cinematography seen in other Apple TV shows but this time there’s a conscious effort not to distract from the tales with famous faces. It’s a wise move too and something that allows each of the stories to feel unique and original in their own right. In that way, the same can be said for the different Directors that worked on this and this influence absolutely shines through, with some of the aforementioned favourites of the pack given the chance to show off some good humour or montage elements.
It won’t be for everyone and at times the series does feel a little basic in its ideas, formulating the same concepts multiple times despite being based on real stories. Some of the episode choices could do with a re-jig too, with a couple of early episodes overshadowed by a couple of excellent gems late on. Still, if you can take to the style and don’t mind sitting through a couple of the slower episodes, there’s a lot to like here.
Overall though, Little America is a decent enough anthology series and while it’s unlikely to ascend the heights and be remembered as the best show this year, it’s a solid entry nonetheless and a decent intention from Apple TV to start the year off on a strong note. Out of all the offerings on the platform, this is definitely one of the better ones and a promising sign of things to come in the future.
|Little America is available to watch on Apple TV+. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|