Soulmates

TV review by
Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media
Soulmates TV Poster Image
Relationship anthology with sci-fi twist has language, sex.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Features some general themes on the strength of love and the importance of honesty and faithfulness. 

Positive Role Models

Characters are diverse in both gender and race. They often try to do the right thing in the face of temptation. Some positive representations of parenthood and family bonds. 

Violence

Multiple verbal arguments, which sometimes include foul language. A woman is pushed by her husband during a domestic dispute. 

Sex

Lots of intimacy (touching and kissing,) pre- and post-implied intercourse, but no nudity. 

Language

Some inappropriate language, including "s--t," "sucks," "goddamn," and characters "flipping the bird."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent social drinking and references to getting drunk and "wrecked." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Soulmates is a sci-fi drama anthology that takes place in a future where science can perfectly match life partners via a simple test. While there's no excessive or graphic sex or violence, each episode explores complex adult relationships and related subjects, such as one-night stands, intimacy, marital infidelity, and more. The show stars a gender- and racially-diverse cast of characters that, while flawed, often do their best to grapple with the many personal problems that arise with this scientific discovery. Characters are intimate, sometimes sexually, but there's no nudity. Language includes "s--t," "sucks," "goddamn," and characters "flipping the bird." Characters frequently drink alcohol and references are made to getting drunk and "wasted." Characters argue, and a man pushes his wife during a domestic dispute.

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What's the story?

SOULMATES is a sci-fi drama series that takes place in a near-future, where a simple scientific test can match anyone with their perfect life partner. While this core concept carries through the entire season, each episode is its own, individual story with a unique cast of characters. A number of familiar faces, including Charlie Heaton, Malin Akerman, and Betsy Brandt, pop up in this anthology format, which tackles this idea of connecting with your soulmate in a variety of ways. In exploring these complex relationships, and the potential consequences of taking the test, the series also borrows from a number of genres, from dark comedy to horror. 

Is it any good?

Soulmate's intriguing conceit, the availability of a scientific test capable of connecting you with your one true love, feels a lot like the jumping off point for one of Black Mirror's twisty tales. And much like many of that anthology series' future-tech-focused stories, this sci-fi drama introduces the good that can come from such a discovery, before taking some very sharp, very dark turns. The big difference is Soulmates sticks with the same driving idea over the course of its entire run, but pokes and prods it from a variety of angles. The result is a crop of compelling, standalone stories that explore the effects of this perfect partner-matching experiement on those who reap its benefits, but also suffer its consequences. 

A revolving cast of characters, as well as some smart mining of different storytelling styles and genres, lends each episode a unique feel, despite the familiar core at each chapter's center. And while "the test" and other cool, not-so-distant-future trappings provide some fun, sci-fi flavor, the series is far more focused on the characters -- and their increasingly complex relationships -- than flying cars or robot butlers. In fact, its most notable strength is its ability to toss this massively life-altering wrinkle into otherwise relatable scenarios. Like any anthology series, Soulmates self-contained stories don't all hit the mark, but its lesser offerings are outshined by those that'll continue creeping through your mind long after the credits have rolled. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the series' scientific discovery. What is a soulmate? What are the pros and cons of the techonology? How does taking the test affect the show's characters? 

  • How does the show present the future? How are things different in the series' world? How are they the same?

  • What is an anthology series? What other shows adopt an anthology format? How does a series benefit from this storytelling style?

TV details

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