Erodes any relationship over time

Love is not a fairy tale

With the growth that dating platforms have been recording for years, it is almost a wonder that this new cultural practice of finding a partner, which is particularly popular with medium-sized companies who are stressed by their job, has hardly found its way into the science fiction genre. The series »Soulmates« on Amazon Prime is now helping. In six independent, 40-minute episodes, this US-produced anthology series tells of a near future in the mid-2030s, in which, by test, based on a revolutionary scientific technology, the a The right person can be found for everyone, so that the title-giving »Soulmates« (in English »Soulmates«) can finally get to know each other and enter into a partnership. For one or the other, this type of science fiction set in the near future, in which the role of digital technologies for social change is played out, should not be reminiscent of the Netflix series "Black Mirror" by chance. William Bridges, one of the makers of "Soulmates" was the author of the award-winning "Black Mirror" episode "USS Callister". The series »Soulmates« skilfully shows with the help of very differently staged stories how this technological change fundamentally changes social interaction, but also the idea and practice of love and partnership.

This is how Nikki, in her mid-thirties, happily married to her college sweetheart Franklin, mother of two children with a chic suburban home, can no longer take it when she only sees romantic couples around her. Because the technology offered by a corporation, which assigns you a partner either immediately after the test or, under certain circumstances, only after years, seems to work perfectly. So everyone in the Freundeskreis has someone with whom this process led to a fabulous partnership. Nikki's married life in the suburbs is rather stale and without the romantic thrill that the test promises. But instead of breaking out of the cramped life and daring something, we will the Test done, the result of which slowly but surely erodes any relationship that is not based on scientific standards. Just taking the test is like starting a breakup. But did the couples in love Nikki sees all the time all come together through the test, or is that their projection? To fall in love and to lead a partnership like out of the advertising brochure speaks extremely successfully to an idea of ​​romance, love and relationship commodified in capitalism. Hardly anyone can escape the forces of this market with the introduction of Soulmates technology.

Private happiness is acquired through the test, there is no fighting for it. It goes without saying that there are also some who oppose it. Like Mateo and Jonah, who get to know each other on vacation on the beach in Mexico, end up in bed after a few beers - until everyone goes their own way. Only Jonah stole Mateo's passport and resold it. But Mateo wants to go back to his regular life in the USA in order to finally marry his dream partner there. While trying to get their passport back, the two stumble from one bizarre adventure to the next - including glamorous techno parties, necromancy and a break-in into the warehouse of a Mexican drug cartel. At the end of this almost absurd episode, the question arises: Does Mateo really want to leave behind the rough, crude, non-scientifically calculated life that first scares him off and then excites him like nothing else, in order to enter into the supposedly perfect partnership ? It is extremely difficult to escape this pressure. The test and its results are a scientific and thus social authority through which an irrefutable truth is generated about what love actually is and who belongs to someone. Relying on one's feelings suddenly no longer has any validity. Which is why the previous relationships that were not established by the test also break within a short period of time. Unless some people get involved in a polyamorous relationship, like a group in Los Angeles does in one episode.

The five episodes tell mainly of the dynamics that tear existing relationships apart as soon as one takes the test. Accordingly, the word »test« is often spoken quietly and ashamed, but also in a negative and snubbed way or full of longing and usually with plenty of hope. Because everyone longs for the perfect "match". This anthology series also tells of the fact that this longing can also be used to stage a deception or that people fit together because they actually have very dark, violent and often barely admitted longings. »Soulmates« unfolds a considerable range of successful and unsuccessful partnerships and stages different worlds from educated middle-class couples in New England to precarious people in New York, from fundamentalist Christians in Texas to hip artists in Los Angeles.

»Soulmates« on Amazon Prime.

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