Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Solos is a fascinating but ultimately polarizing anthology series. It’s the sort of driven, thought provoking morality play that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. At first glance, you could easily write this off as an artsy one-room set-up with actors using this as a platform to showcase their talents.
That would be a shame to go into this with that perception though. In essence, Solos delivers an intriguing alt-future world by drip-feeding world-building within its dialogue. Nothing is spelled out, there’s no big, elaborate production, it’s just seven chapters of dialogue that paints a larger picture about the world itself.
Much like Calls on AppleTV+, this show needs to be seen in its entirety to gain the benefit of hindsight. Each of the seven chapters center on a different character, brought to life by a handful of talented actors. From Anthony Mackie and Morgan Freeman through to Helen Mirren herself, this sci-fi anthology is certainly not short of star power. That’s just as well too, especially with a series like this that hangs so delicately on the dialogue to flesh out its world.
Based on the first few chapters you could easily write this off as another Black Mirror wannabe and a lukewarm anthological effort like Room 104. The reality is, this series marches to the beat of its own drum, but it’s a rhythm often obsfucated by a cacophony of noise around it. Because of this, it does make it rather difficult to figure out what the show is trying to say. The trouble is, many people will stop listening before they find out.
For those after a more spoiler-free write-up, each of these chapters are connected together through an extended family of sorts, and exist within the same world. The first episode (as far as we can tell) is the catalyst for the events that follow across a wide-spanning timeline. Future tech is explored too while motifs of time and human connection keep everything tied together with a neat little bow.
The final episode attempts to bring everything together in a cohesive way – and it’s pretty successful in doing so too. This chapter seems to take place a fair amount of time in the future compared to the others. Again, a lot of this is not clear at first glance and intentionally leaves things open to interpretation.
That’s ultimately the best and worst part of Solos. It’s perhaps too niche to really hit the same crowd as Black Mirror, while too clever for shows like Room 104 that stick to a more simple and straightforward message.
Instead, Solos exists somewhere in the anthological grey space between; a series that isn’t quite sure who its target market actually is. If you enjoy diving into ambiguous morality plays and picking apart and analyzing clues, you’ll be absolutely in your element. Solos is a show that certainly challenges you to think – but doing so across one-room plays and 4 hours of dialogue can be exhausting.
If you can stick it out and go in with an open mind, Solos is a fascinating, cerebrally charged series that presents shades of grey on the surface but kaleidoscopic beauty under the hood.
Verdict - 7.5/10