Silo Season 1 (2023)
I watched Silo back when it started airing in May 2023. I had never read the book and avoided starting the book while it was airing to get the most spoiler free experience. I’m looking forward to season 2 which was announced before the show concluded airing. I suspect I will have read at least the entire first book (Wool) by that point. Like other shows that I have seen while having previously read the book it will still be enjoyable to experience the fictional world in visual format even if there is no longer a mystery. I found all of the acting to be well done and immersive, but one random thing kept poking at the back of my mind. I kept imagining the character Allison who primarily appears in episode 1 was the character Ann Perkins from Parks and Recreation. It’s kind of silly considering any actor is going to play a number of roles, but in my mind this person is definitively Ann Perkins. Thankfully she is really only in the first episode so it didn’t cause a distraction the entire season.
The show reminds me of the situation from the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane. There are people trapped in a kind of bunker and the authority or authority figure is telling you that you absolutely can’t go outside because you will die. The premise of Silo is simple, but where I find it the most interesting is the world building and mysteries. Unlike 10 Cloverfield Lane the bunker in Silo is enormous enough to have an entire self sustaining city. Due to its size and number of people there are naturally a lot of places to explore and a lot of people who could be hiding things. The most obvious mysteries that are presented at the very beginning are whether the outside is actually poisonous, who built the silo, why they built the silo and when they built the silo. They mention these unknowns frequently, but they bring it up most notably in the first episode during a speech on “Freedom Day”. Which is a rather ironic name for a independence day type holiday while being trapped underground.
We do not know why we are here. We do not know who built the Silo. We do not know why everything outside the Silo is as it is. We do not know when it will be safe to go outside. We only know that day is not this day.
I believe the show does a great job at the beginning with hooking you with a compelling narrative and exciting mystery. However, after the first few episode it felt like it dragged on for quite awhile before anything of significant consequence started happening again. The slow middle had plenty of intriguing world building, but it didn’t seem to be bringing the audience any closer to solving the mysteries they so explicitly brought up at the beginning. Thankfully the ending felt satisfying and in some ways even conclusive despite there being another half of the story based on the source material.
The mix of CGI and real sets meshed well in my opinion as it was not obvious what was real and what was CGI without thinking more critically about it. It’s not something I often think about or take note of in shows. Something about the apparent impossibility of the environment on some of the scenes despite looking seamless. For example the scene of one of the larger sections of the Silo showing thousands of people despite only a small section of it being a real. Other notable locations being very bottom of the basement with the extraordinarily large chamber as well as the engine room felt impressive.
I am looking forward to season 2 of Silo despite the high likelihood of having read the first book by then. Despite being satisfied with the conclusion to season 1 I find there are still a lot of unanswered questions. I am fairly confident the story will progress in a way that will address them.