Solos, an anthology sci-fi series, has finally hit the Amazon Prime Video today. Created and written by David Weil, the series has seven different episodes starring Anne Hathaway, Anthony Mackie, Helen Mirren, Uzo Aduba, Constance Wu, Nicole Behaire, Dan Stevens and Morgan Freeman.
Amazon Prime’s Solos episodes are titled as the name of the characters (in order) – Leah (Anne), Tom (Anthony), Peg (Helen), Sasha (Uzo), Jenny (Constance), Nera (Nicole) and Stuart (Morgan and Dan). The first episode is directed by Zach Braff; the second, fourth and fifth episodes are directed by David Weil. In addition, directors Sam Taylor-Johnson and Tiffany Johnson have directed episodes three, seven, and six. The duration of the episodes is 25-30 minutes.
In my Solos review, I will only give the gist of every episode as giving away much would be a spoiler. The makers have intended to show us human stories, connections and experiences through sci-fi stories set in future. As someone who has seen several shows based on this genre, I knew that it would not be an easy watch. Guess what? I was right!
In episode one, Anne Hathaway’s Leah spends more than a thousand days in a basement to contact her future self. After Modern Love, the actor again blows away our minds in another anthology series on Amazon Prime. BoJack Horseman director Zach Braff has done a great job by keeping the episode colourful in appearance yet filling it with deep distress.
In the second episode Tom, Anthony Mackie, orders a product that looks exactly like him. However, he is not happy, and the episode unfolds further, we get closer to the pain that lies beneath Tom and the purpose of the product. After Black Mirror, it looks like Mackie has grown fond of being a part of such types of shows. Well, no complaints there, as he does a phenomenal job again.
In Solos episode 3, Peg, Helen Mirren’s Peg is set for her mysterious trip to the universe. She’s 71, and it feels like she’s just ticking off one of her wishes from the bucket list. But we eventually find out how those 71 years have been for her and how she wishes to be more herself.
After Leah, my second favourite episode is Sasha, as it is set in the future post the pandemic. Uzo Aduba’s Sasha lives in a bright house and for 20 years hasn’t stepped out at all. Sasha’s robot Zen tries to convince her to step out and see the outside world after 20 years. He tries to convince her that the virus is gone and the world is better. It’s surreal, discomforting and scary. While watching the episode, I thought for a second that this might be us someday if we really don’t get control of the pandemic anytime soon.
What would you do if you are sitting in a room for hours and have no idea how you landed there? What would you do if you remember some parts of your life but can’t find some important pieces? In Amazon Prime’s Solos episode 5, Jenny (played by Constance Wu), the character, talks to us and shares some exciting and hilarious anecdotes of her life. It is only in the end, we realise the horror that’s engulfed her life. Constance Wu has done a commendable job, especially with how she switches her emotions from happy to sad to anger in splits seconds.
Science has been trying to find ways through which infertile men and women can have children. In future, it’s possible, as shown in episode six Nera, starring Nicole Beharie. But the treatment has a grave side-effect, and Nera realises that only after her first child. Writer David Weil’s genius writing concludes with episode seven Stuart starring Morgan Freeman and Dan Stevens. I won’t say much about it, but just be ready to be astonished and see how connections happen even in stories.
David Weil has presented us with some arresting stories that are charming yet unsettling. Along with the brilliant writing, it’s the performances that keep you glued to the screen. It’s clever of the makers to keep the duration short, but sometimes, 30 minutes also seem a lot. As it’s just one actor appearing in every story, it gets tedious to wait till the end to know where it takes you. I felt that while watching Tom and Peg.
Solos: It is worth watching?
Solos is something different that’s released on Amazon Prime. The makers have shown us that you don’t always need ten people to send across a hard-hitting message or strike a chord with the audience. Instead, a good script with superb dialogues, the right talent and excellent execution gets the job done.
Solos is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.