Apple TV+’s Roar charges look like something an AI regurgitates after spending too much time on Twitter
The feminist anthology series, based on Cecelia Ahern’s 2019 short story book, “puts all the right chess pieces in place with Roar: The star-studded cast includes Nicole Kidman, Alison Brie, Cynthia Erivo, Daniel Dae Kim, Merritt Weaver, Ego Nwodim and many more who will send you down an IMDb rabbit hole,” says Karisa Langlo. is just as genealogical, with GLOWCarly Mensch and Liz Flahive are directing the series, and Kidman is also serving as an executive producer. The dollhouse-like set design is as aesthetic as it is symbolic, and a few of the titular women are wearing some pretty fabulous shoes. But the conceit of the cliché made literal never quite takes off, largely because the show doesn’t seem at all interested in any of its own investigations. Or maybe it’s because an extended metaphor isn’t the same as a fully realized story, or that peddling cliches is a risky business that raises the bar for original storytelling even higher. Perhaps the source material is the problem, as Ahern’s stories also seem to confuse awareness with gender equity and personal empowerment with systemic reform. Perhaps all of the above. Or maybe the show was actually written by a bot that was exclusively trained on Twitter talk and workplace sexual harassment training videos.”
- Roar is satisfying, pleasantly bizarre: “The new anthology series Roar on Apple TV+ tells eight stories of women in different emotional states. Some of the stories are more comedic, some are more dramatic,” says Linda Holmes. “The series doesn’t have one obvious thematic line like, say, Black Mirror that dreads technology. What unifies the chapters, other than dealing with women in varying circumstances, is that they’re pleasantly quirky.” What co-creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch “did was take these quirky core ideas and turn them into stories that dig something into the lives of these women,” says Holmes. “It’s a strength of this format that most of these episodes are around half an hour long; this allows for a structure where the translation from hook to emotional idea need not be gradual, as there is just enough time to present the idea, explore it vividly, and then end the story.”
- Roar don’t really know what i mean“All the star-studded turns and strong performances can’t make this anthology series a show that has anything to say about contemporary femininity,” says Gabrielle Bruney, adding, “If RoarFairy tales are the bedtime stories of a collective consciousness, the collective is probably one that is upwardly mobile and disproportionately white. Oh, and probably well-versed in Twitter talking points. Her ideas and intentions seem well placed, but anyone who has had the slightest curiosity about the state of women in the world will find little insight here. That’s the problem with bedtime stories: they’re supposed to put you to sleep.”
- Roar finds a unifying, even driving force: “Rather than relying on heavy drama or being happy to experiment for the sake of experience, Roar is lucid in its message and enthusiastic in its approach,” says Ben Travers. “Each tale carries an admirable purpose and evokes genuine curiosity, both as each episode unfolds and in anticipation of what the next entry might bring. As a portrait of women, Roar recognizes the specificity of individual identities while casting relevant perspectives on motherhood, relationships, career building, etc. It’s as easy to love as it is to admire – and none of those feelings fade in the rewarding first season.”
- Roar is an example of more being less“Apparently, what lies at the heart of Apple TV+’s Roar is a series of essential truths about womanhood today – or, at least, the essential truths about womanhood as understood by a certain type (mostly straight, mostly middle-class, mostly American) women today,” says Angie Han. “The anthology’s eight half-hour episodes are created by women and center on female characters dealing with of issues such as maternal guilt, misogyny or abusive relationships, with a touch of magical realism to elevate these everyday concerns to fables. Yet in its attempts to universalize these intensely personal experiences, Roar loses much of the heart that makes them newsworthy to begin with. It’s not that the series is lazy; every installment seems carefully planned and polished, and even the worst ones have an exceptional moment of wit or beauty. It’s that by trying to speak for so many people, Roar ends up saying very little.
- Roar is haphazard, as any anthology tends to be, but the overall effect is charming and incisive: “Don’t expect Roar dig too deeply into the complexity of the issues it raises; the episodes, fast-paced, funny and entertaining, simply remind those who understand that issues of sexism, ageism, patriarchy and systemic violence are still rampant,” says Clint Worthington. “But whether you fancy the catharsis of an abusive boyfriend being swept away by Animal Control, or the rush to solve your own murder (as Alison Brie does in a cute twist on police procedural), Roar has enough dark, comedic delights to make you scream.
- When Roar it works, it really works: “When this series is at its weakest, concepts struggle to become more than that,” says Rebecca Nicholson. “These episodes are based on clever ideas, ‘what if? in their own way, even if they tend to leave little room for interpretation by the public, because the subject is explained with heaviness. of a curiosity than of a fully realized vision. But when it works, it really works, and even when it doesn’t quite work, it’s different enough to demand your attention. That is, after all, what these women are trying to do.”
- Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch manage to infuse a dark, comedic sensibility into Roar“Flahive and Mensch have recruited an all-star ensemble in front of and behind the camera for their twisted stories,” says Chelsea Steiner. “But the episodes are mixed: some knock you over the head with their metaphors, while others take too long to hit the mark. Some feel like they go on too long, while others end abruptly. But just as there are some stumbles, there are some terrific episodes.”
- Roar is bold, funny and sometimes uncomfortable – just like being a woman: “Roar is an anthology series filled with charming and unique stories about womanhood,” says Samantha Coley. “Ahern’s novel is a strong feminist collection of hugely varied and imaginative stories about what it is like to experience the pressures and struggles – as well as the overwhelming expectations – of being a woman. Series creators and showrunners Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive have adapted Ahern’s work into a collection of whimsical, emotional and relatable episodes with an all-star cast and crew.”
- RoarEpisodes of often feel like a feminist version of The twilight zone where there is no twist and the arc is evident in the first few minutes“The predictability is heightened by the fact that they all end on a mostly optimistic note, with the titular woman finding a combination of internal strength and external support that sees her through the struggle she faced, no matter how terrible or strange as it was,” says Samantha Nelson. “Yet surreal and sometimes horrifying journeys can still be captivating.”
- The worst part of Roar is also its most consistent“While each episode of Apple’s new anthology show tackles an entirely different story with a different cast, they each open with a neon graphic of a woman’s mouth screaming from a blooming flower” , explains Caroline Framke. “With this picture, Roar highlights her line as the feminist cry of a series that, based on Ceceila Ahern’s short story book, explores “what it means to be a woman today.” Watching her trailer, which leans heavily on wackier moments like Nicole Kidman shoving photos down her throat, you’d be excused for assuming it’s an overdone girlboss comedy of errors. . Watching the show itself, however, offers a slightly more dispersed experience.”
- Roar co-creator Liz Flahive on how the show came together“We had these heavy, smart women writers, and we didn’t want to just impose the episodes on them,” she says. “So we sent them the book and said, ‘Listen, tell us which episodes (you like). Pick a handful that you respond to. We wanted them to come with their own point of view, with their own thing to say. So it was a different way of working. Typically, we have a writers room, and for that, we did one-on-one (work) with a writer, so it was a three-time writers room. The collaboration was quite deep with the directors because there was such a singularity.
- Flahive breaks down every Roar episode
- Co-creators Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive on the difficulty of making magic realism on television“It was something really different and new for us,” Mensch says. “We are grounded and naturalistic writers. But we wanted to push ourselves. We were writing this at the same time as GLOW, and it felt like such a different brain space. I’m sure that’s a very complicated answer, as to why you don’t see more of it, but it may have to do with how difficult it is to achieve. You need the resources and scale of film production. Flahive adds, “It’s hard to do a TV show no matter what. But here we add the technical dance of what we can do practically and marry that with visual effects. We were really keen to do as much as we could, practically, but that puts the responsibility on the production in a very intense way. And we did eight stories. So while we were trying to figure out how the bite marks were going to work, we were also diving into a western production and training seven ducks to interact with Merritt Wever.”