Certainty is a precious commodity right now, so maybe the time is perfect for a show set in a future where everyone has one very definitive thing to count on in their life. The upcoming AMC anthology show “Soulmates” is set in a world 15 years from now, where a technological advancement produces a test that can tell people who they’ll fall in love with.
Speaking at the virtual edition of the CTAM Press Tour on Friday, series co-creator Brett Goldstein explained that the origins of the show came from conversations with fellow co-creator and co-writer Will Bridges.
“We wanted to write about relationships and modern relationships,” Goldstein said. “We came up with this concept of the soulmate test. And it felt like the more we talked about it, that there’s an infinite number of stories because every single person has their own view of what love is and what love means. And just following one couple over the course of a season just felt like a waste when you could tell so many different viewpoints in different places in the world and different experiences.”
As cast member Sarah Snook said, that foundation ended up raising a tricky central question that produced some different responses among the people making it.
“I thought it was interesting that while shooting the episode, just taking a kind of anecdotal tally of cast and crew, it was pretty divided of who would take the test and who wouldn’t take the chance, who believed in soulmates and who didn’t believe in soulmates. Because for me, approaching the project, I was pretty confirmed that ‘Yeah, of course I’d take the test.’ I’m pretty amazed that people would think twice about taking it,” Snook said.
Kingsley Ben-Adir, Snook’s co-star in the series’ first episode, said that he fell on opposite sides throughout his time on the production.
“This is the conversation that kept coming up when we were shooting because I say like, ‘No, I don’t believe in it. I wouldn’t want to know.’ And then I’d think about I again and be like, ‘No, but if we were actually in a world where there actually was a soulmate, it’d be really hard not to do.’ It’s hard coming out of our world into that. I think there’d be times where you would and I think there’d be times where you wouldn’t,” Ben-Adir said.
Having a show with the title “Soulmates” made establishing the definition of that word all the more important. Bridges said that they tried to keep purpose of the test the same across these episodes, but then explore what people would do with that information.
“The show explores that idea, the idea of true love. So we don’t want to say your soulmate is the person that’s gonna fix you or make you better in any way. It’s just that feeling you have when you fall in love with someone, you’re going to feel that the strongest with this person that you meet. It’s going to be undeniable. But what that means beyond that, does that mean true happiness? Does that mean that you’re going to the person you love the most? Is the person that’s best for you right for you right now? We wanted to open up all those questions,” Bridges said.
Of course, this idea also brings up the way that online dating has changed, particularly over the last decade.
“Whilst technology helps, it also hinders it in a way and forces it into this world of box-ticking. So I can appreciate that if I had been lonely and alone for a long time, I maybe would,” cast member Sonya Cassidy said. “It’s a very, very rare and beautiful special thing. And I think it’s important to earn that from another person. I would like to know that someone has chosen to cherish me rather than them being like, ‘Oh, you know, you’re the one. So let’s get on with it!'”
It’s an intriguing enough premise that AMC has already renewed the show for a Season 2. Friday’s announcement did not come with extra casting information, but AMC President of Original Programming Dan McDermott said in his opening remarks that the network is making every effort it can to produce the next season in a timely manner.
“In getting a greenlight for the show, we presented four seasons’ worth of ideas. Some of that changes as you make the show. But ultimately, we’re so pleased with the world we’ve created with this idea. Now we just want to do more of it and get more writers in and get more diverse voices and hear their take on relationships and love. It feels infinite,” Goldstein said.
“Soulmates” is set to premiere October 5 on AMC.