For those of us who've so far failed to find our permanent partner in life, the idea of a scientifically proven test, that matches you with the one human on the planet who was created just for you... sounds fantastic! At least it did, until I started watching the new AMC limited series, Soulmates. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]
The show is fantastically original. I binged it as quickly as I could. It hooked me and had me engaged (no pun intended) from the first seconds of the first episode. It's one of the best ideas I've seen on tv in years.
But it left me wondering; would I take the test?
First, let's start with the cast. There's Shiv from Succession (Sarah Snook), Lara and Wags from Billions (Malin Akerman and David Costabile). Plus Stranger Things' Charlie Heaton and Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt, just to name a few. They're all great. Snook is just brilliant in everything she does. The episode with Malin and Charlie will leave you speechless and Betsy Brandt's character arc is truly unlike anything I've ever seen.
The show is co-created by Emmy winner William Bridges (Black Mirror) and Brett Goldstein (an actor currently appearing in Ted Lasso).
The premise seems simple enough, you go to a company called Soul Connex, for an appointment. They put you in a device that looks like that thing the optometrist uses to see if you have glaucoma…and a short time later, they tell you who your one and only soulmate is. It could be a person on the other side of the world, or just down the street.
Sounds great, right? Well…there's a catch. Actually, many many catches.
First of all, you will only find your match…IF…your soulmate has also taken the test. Meaning, you could be waiting years to figure out who your person is. [Side Rant: wouldn't you think with technology this advanced, it could bypass that step? Shouldn't this magical testing machine be able to figure our your soulmate, whether they walked into a testing facility or not? Just a thought.]
But we're just scratching the surface. Here's where the real spoilers come in.
I kept watching each episode hoping for a happy ending. Each of the six shows in the series, is completely standalone, and examines a different person or couple, going through the Soul Connex test.
But…this show is not about happy endings. It is about showing us the perils of injecting technology and Silicon Valley promises, into our love lives.
Because (as the series explores), what if you're already happily married? But, FOMO of everyone else taking the test, just nags at you. "Should I take the test? But, I already love my husband or wife. But, what if there is someone else out there for me, who's even better?!?!"
Or…what if my soulmate took the test years ago, and ended up dying, before I took mine?! Then you get your results and find out your one and only true love is deceased. What's the point of you going on with your life, knowing you'll never be in a truly, happy relationship?
Or…what if your soulmate is a (pardon the term) not all there?! What if the person you get matched up with has serious mental health challenges or is prone to actual, criminal behavior?
Those are just some of the roadblocks to bliss, that these characters encounter.
When the series started, I was so instantly fascinated and intrigued by this idea of a soulmate test. I started telling all my friends about it. It was awesome!
But, as the series went on, it became more and more depressing. No one was happy! Everyone was running into seriously messed up situations.
I think the writers could have found more balance. Their idea is so genius, but they never really let it play out in a meaningful way. They kept injecting gimmicks and far fetched storylines into the episodes.
But, even with that said…I can not recommend this series enough. It will make you think. If you're like me, it will invade your dreams and your conversations.
It does what all great art is supposed to do…it lingers in your brain and challenges the way you see the world.
In our Celebrity Page TV interview with co-creators Bridges and Goldstein…they said more episodes may be coming in the future. I hope that's true and I hope they allow Cupid into the writer's room next time, for just a little more romance and a little less science fiction nightmare.
[SOULMATES IS STREAMING ON AMC+ AND DEBUTS OCTOBER 8TH ON AMC]