Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Take Three: Solos

Solos: Season 1, Episode 3 “Peg” (B)

This was another interesting episode that gave its primary performer the chance to spout off a lengthy and impressive monologue, though the content wasn’t quite as engaging to me as the delivery. As I hypothesized when I ranked Meryl Streep’s Emmy-nominated performance in “Big Little Lies” last in her category, there’s probably a law somewhere about criticizing the likes of Streep and Helen Mirren, and I won’t do that here. Mirren absolutely becomes this character, drawing on her neuroses and life experiences to make it feel like she must just be playing herself, even though the Oscar-winning actress is surely in real life nothing like this. What I did find intriguing was that she wasn’t actually alone talking to a version of herself, but instead to a computer voiced by Dan Stevens. The notion of someone being by themselves in a spaceship and dialoguing only with artificial intelligence is as old as the science fiction genre, and there’s a reason for that: it’s a great way to reflect reality back by having a non-corporeal being reveal its vision of humanity through its digital perspective. That aspect to me was more meaningful and poignant than the entirety of Peg’s speech, the computer’s unnecessary and unexpected affirmation of Peg’s value throughout time and her relevance to others, contradicting the anonymity she felt from the universe. I still don’t think this should count as a solo since it was a two-sided conversation, but, like the first two episodes, it offers plenty of food for thought.

No comments: