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Think of the web series Take Me Back as the Canadian version of Saw. First, it’s created by two dudes from Montreal (Joseph Baron and Seth Mendelson). Second, instead of a puppet making a victim gouge their own eyes out, the mysterious kidnapper forces our abducted hero to eat… a bologna sandwich. Only Canadians could be this polite (eh).
What makes Take Me Back a refreshing oasis in a sea of web-series mediocrity is that it’s not a spoof of something else. It moves at its own leisurely pace, and it utterly draws you in. It shouldn’t. The first few minutes of episode one will have you reaching for for the URL address bar — but don’t. Watch through the end of one and you’ll be intrigued. By episode two, you’ll have to know what happens next.
So what does happen, anyway? That… is tougher to explain.
There have been five episodes released so far, and they don’t reveal much. New episodes come out every Monday, and from the looks of it, there will be 10 episodes total.
The story follows socially awkward, mop-haired Al. Al is bad with girls but great with machines. He can fix anything. Anything analog, anyway. The tech in Take Me Back is all lo-fi. Landline phones, old radios, vinyl records. It’s a device that’s a bit tired at this point, but it works for the series.
Al notices a guy wearing a creepy silver mask on the train one day. Said creepy guy shows up unexpectedly later on, tazers our bro Al and kidnaps him. Al wakes up to find himself in an abandoned (but well-lit) room with no clue as to why he’s there or what his kidnappers want. There’s a nice Twilight Zone element as we find out Al has been replaced by — well, I don’t want to spoil it for you.
The style and set design of Take Me Back is almost too cute by a half (another awkward hipster dude, the aforementioned reliance on analog technology), and as with most web shows, the acting leaves something to be desired. But the mystery of why Al has been kidnapped, who the silver masked guy is and what’s going to happen are enough to keep you coming back to Take Me Back.