AMC anthology series ‘Soulmates’ blends strong cast with major ‘storytelling possibilities’

Soulmates” continues the trend of anthology series in today’s TV landscape, but this one has a particularly unique premise. Taking place 15 years in the future, human beings are now able to identify their soulmate after taking a scientifically-devised test. The AMC series comes from Brett Goldstein, actor and writer on “Ted Lasso,” and William Bridges, who won an Emmy in 2018 for co-writing the “Black Mirror” episode “U.S.S. Callister.”

Much like “Black Mirror” on Netflix and the Amazon series “Modern Love,” each episode tells a new story with fresh cast members, with the first season of “Soulmates” set to feature numerous actors from beloved TV shows.

The first episode centers recent Emmy nominee Sarah Snook from “Succession” and Kingsley Ben-Adir (“Peaky Blinders,” “The OA”). Other episodes showcase Betsy Brandt (“Breaking Bad”), Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”), David Costabile (“Suits”), Malin Akerman (“Billions”), Sonya Cassidy (“Lodge 49”) and Bill Skarsgard (“It”).

Reviews for the first season of “Soulmates” have been been strong overall as critics observe that the show offers “a vast array of storytelling possibilities” and praise “the strength of the cast and the engaging storytelling.” (Read some excerpts from these reviews below).

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With significant praise for the show’s cast, “Soulmates” could reap Emmy bids in the guest acting categories next year.  At the 2020 Emmys, two anthology series performances were nominated: Andrew Scott for “Black Mirror” and Dev Patel for “Modern Love.” Assuming the trend continues and Emmy voters give “Soulmates” a shot it’s easy to imagine Snook showing up in Best Drama Guest Actress.

Allison Keane (Paste): “The strength of the cast and the engaging storytelling help mitigate the fact that we spend very little time with these people. Any one of these stories could sustain an entire series, and in some ways the show might have been better for it.”

Brian Lowry (CNN): “The six-episode run makes clear that the format offers a vast array of storytelling possibilities, built around the tantalizing promise of better dating through science, with all the cautionary warnings that entails.”

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Caroline Framke (Variety): “The ensuing [first] hour, anchored by a terrific Snook performance, is painful and revealing, finding pockets of devastating insight tucked away in the dark corners. … From there, ‘Soulmates’ gets more lost in the weeds of its ambition.”

Allison Shoemaker (RogerEbert.com): “There are … times when being able to sum up the whole idea in a neat package can get you into hot water. Any guesses this writer might make as to what befell ‘Soulmates,’ AMC’s new, frustratingly repetitive series, would be just that: guesses.”

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