As the space of subscription-based streaming platforms starts to fill up by different and powerful competitors, such as Disney and DC Comics, Netflix stands in a very interesting position. On the one hand, Netflix remains the king on top of the proverbial hill, but on the other, it has an urgent need to find a way to stand on its own original and exclusive content. With Love, Death and Robots, Netflix partners up with producers David Fincher and Deadpool director, Tim Miller to bring to audiences an animated anthology series, comprised of 18 short, sexy, vulgar and bloody episodes.
With 18 episodes, all animated by different animation houses and in different animation styles, the show offers a wide spectrum of stories, all dealing with Love, Death & Robots or maybe just one or two of the three. The show opens with “Sonnie’s Edge” (at least in my case because it has come out that Netflix may present users with different viewing orders) an intense short about futuristic “beastie” fights that will have your blood pumping. From there, we’re taken to a post-apocalyptic tour of earth with “Three Robots” as our guides. Followed by “The Witness” a tripy cat-amd-mouse chase, and while I could go on and gush over my personal favourites, it would be a de-service to you, because you should watch all of the episodes without knowing what to expect!
So let’s get started by pointing out some of the shortcomings (ha! short, get it?) of the series. For one, not all of the shorts mange to land as well as others, this is mostly because of their run time. All of the episodes are between 6 and 17minutes, which means that there is really no room for wasted time nor character development, and that makes the series perfect for binging, but it also means that Love, Death & Robots will never come close to Black Mirror in its commentary or thoughtfulness. Furthermore, some people will be turned off at the very gratuitous amounts of sex and nudity (full frontal male, female and… otherworldly?) that all of the episodes come with.
With all of that out of the way, let’s talk about what makes LD+R stand out as a great creative exercise by Netflix. As I mentioned before all shorts are animated by a different crew, this allows the teams to really explore the limits (or lack thereof) of animation, and explore they do. The animation styles vary from classic 2D animation, to bad-ass photorealistic, that would make some of the greatest video game franchises cry in shame, to the awesome new style introduced in Sony’s Into the Spiderverse movie. That is the highlight of the series, the creativeness that oozes out of every single one of these shorts.
The flip side of the previously stated “con” about the episodes’ run-time is also something that works for the show’s advantage. The short run-time allows for audiences to be drawn in and left wanting more, and while some of the concepts might be able to sustain a feature-length film, they don’t need to. The small dosage allows for our own imagination to become infatuated by the concept and our ever decaying attention span to be maintained throughout.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi and/or animation, Love, Death and Robots is a must watch, and if you’re not and you don’t mind the R-rated aspect of it, this might just be the sci-fi show to dip your toes into. Love, Death and Robots gets 4 stars out of 5.