CALLS is a new Apple TV+ series with just 9 short episodes in season 1. All of them directed by Fede Alvarez. Based on the French series by Timothée Hochet, this audio experience with visuals to evoke emotion is perfect for me. Read our full Calls season 1 review here!
CALLS is a new Apple TV+ series that has episodes with a runtime between just 13 minutes and up to 21 minutes. In other words, all of them short and a very binge-worthy season 1. This is essentially a sci-fi, horror, mystery anthology and several episodes are ultimately connected.
You won’t see any actors, but you will hear their voices and feel their pain, joy, fear, anger, love, and every other intense feeling that comes to mind. This is an audio experience in terms of storytelling, but with visuals that evoke emotion and keeps you completely emerged in this universe. I loved it!
Continue reading our Calls season 1 series review below and find it on Apple TV+ from March 19, 2021.
Not your typical TV series!
If you think a series with mostly audio and just a few mood-setting visuals sounds boring, then you should be pleasantly surprised. I was quite literally sitting on the edge of my seat during several episodes! Having watched all nine episodes in one sitting, I felt like I needed to both hydrate and shower to get back to normal.
I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d feel about this kind of TV series. Even though I do enjoy podcasts, I often fall asleep when trying out audiobooks. Not because I’m bored, but simply because I find it very relaxing. With Calls, I found myself completely engaged and I have to give credit to both the story, actors, and those visuals that draw you in and set the tone. And pace!
Dear Lord, I could feel my heart pounding in beat with the pulsating imagery sometimes. Whether everyone will have this same experience, I don’t know. However, I do know that you have to put your phone down and allow yourself to become totally immersed. Also, the visuals are important to help you keep track of who is talking and where (or when?!) they are!
The episodes in Calls season 1
The nine episodes in season 1 of Calls are individual stories, but they are ultimately connected. Some of them by events and others by characters. For me, watching them all in one sitting was definitely ideal, so I can highly recommend doing that.
The episode titles are:
- “The End” is episode 1 (runtime of 14 minutes)
- “The Beginning” is episode 2 (runtime of 19 minutes)
- “Pedro Across The Street” is episode 3 (runtime of 19 minutes)
- “It’s All in Your Head” is episode 4 (runtime of 13 minutes)
- “Me, Myself and Darlene” is episode 5 (runtime of 15 minutes)
- “The Universe Did It” is episode 6 (runtime of 17 minutes)
- “Is There a Scientist on the Plane?” is episode 6 (runtime of 17 minutes)
- “Mom” is episode 7 (runtime of 20 minutes)
- “Leap Year Girl” is episode 9 (runtime of 21 minutes)
And yes, it is brilliant to open the story with “The End” since episode 9 will tie into episode 1, to complete the circle.
Great casting and amazing performances
I have to mention that I loved the fact that Pedro in “Pedro Across The Street” is indeed played by Pedro Pascal. Fans of The Mandalorian will already be very used to having him act with “just” his voice. Also, that particular episode is probably the lightest and most humorous one. Most of them are dark and scary in a myriad of different ways. All of them terrifying!
Other actors in the Apple TV+ version of Calls include Clancy Brown (The Mortuary Collection), Jaeden Martell (Defending Jacob), Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian), Mark Duplass (Creep), and Judy Greer (Into the Dark: Good Boy). Also, there’s Jennifer Tilly (Bride of Chucky), Danny Huston (IO), Nick Jonas, Riley Keough (The Lodge), and Joey King (The Lie).
And I still haven’t named nearly all the familiar names of this series. Some of the voices are quite recognizable, others not so much so, but they are all brilliant!
Watch Calls on Apple TV+ and just surrender to it!
All nine episodes in season 1 of Calls are directed by Fede Alvarez, who should be a well-known name to horror fans. Fede Alvarez directed the Evil Dead reboot from 2013, the immensely popular Don’t Breathe in 2016, The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018), and is writing the upcoming sequel Don’t Breathe 2. With Calls, he’s jumping directly into the sci-fi horror hybrid genre and does an excellent job.
This is based on the French series by Timothée Hochet, which already has three seasons. Hopefully, we’ll be getting a lot more seasons of the Apple TV+ US version of Calls as well. There is a definite Black Mirror vibe to the storytelling (and plots) which is always a good thing when done right. With this series, it is definitely done right!
With just 9 short episodes in season 1, you will probably find yourself wanting more. Also, make sure you allow the episodes to continue running – especially the last one since there is an end credit scene!
Calls season 1 is out on Apple TV+ from March 19, 2021.
Director: Fede Álvarez
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Aubrey Plaza, Ben Schwartz, Clancy Brown, Danny Huston, Danny Pudi, Edi Patterson, Jaeden Martell, Jennifer Tilly, Joey King, Judy Greer, Karen Gillan, Laura Harrier, Lily Collins, Mark Duplass, Nick Jonas, Paola Nuñez, Paul Walter Hauser, Pedro Pascal, Riley Keough, Rosario Dawson, Stephen Lang
Calls is a groundbreaking, immersive television experience based on the French series of the same name. It masterfully uses audio and minimal abstract visuals to tell nine bone-chilling, short-form stories.
Directed by Fede Álvarez (Don’t Breathe), each episode follows a darkly dramatic mystery that unfolds through a series of seemingly average, unconnected phone conversations that quickly become surreal as the characters lives are thrown into growing disarray.