Love, Death & Robots. The Epitome of Short & Sweet
Love, Death & Robots brings a brief but awesome and desperately needed 1-2 punch of sci-fi power to Netflix's roster.
It wouldn't even take a whole lot of time to run through the first season of Netflix's Love, Death & Robots. The adult-oriented animated anthology's season one consists of 18 episodes, all of which have a run-time of under 20 minutes.
After having several friends and colleagues recommend it to me, I decided to give Love, Death & Robots a go, and I certainly don't regret it either.
A few things that stood out to me, aside from the healthy amount of nudity and violence that's present in the series, is just how diverse the show is.
And when I say diverse, I don't mean fairness in casting or representation. I'm talking about how much variety and multi-facetness (is that a real word?) Love, Death & Robots is able to bring to the table. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.
I got the impression that each episode was created by a different set of writers, illustrators, producers, and directors, spanning every corner of the Earth. There really was that much flavor and variety, and it was especially noticeable because I watched the entire first season over the span of just two days.
On one hand, Love, Death & Robots felt like a forward-thinking and creative series of sci-fi short stories in which some of the episodes focused more on action and intensity, while others had emotion and relationships at their core. This was just one of many ways in which Love, Death & Robots felt layered or deep.
In the series, you'll find more traditional styles of animation, anime-style illustration, and even a few episodes so intensely rooted in computer generated graphics, they could easily be mistaken for cut-scenes from a blockbusting video game franchise. (Being the life-long gamer that I am, I felt these episodes were especially tasty, and I truly hope there'll be a second season of Love, Death & Robots with more episodes like these.)
All Images: Netflix
But with all of the tastefully executed sex and death came some instances of dialogue and scenery that bordered along the lines of cheese and misogyny. And not the kind that goes well with wine either. I'll admit, portraying sexuality and masculinity in 2019 can be a difficult task. Quite simply, some of the things we used to consider normal or socially acceptable just a decade or two ago simply don't jive anymore, and for good reason.
So if you're particularly sensitive to social justice issues like feminism and racial equality, there may be a few instances during Love, Death & Robots where you find yourself shaking your head. But personally, I felt as though the pros of the series far outweighed the cons. Some episodes were better than others, as is to be expected, and some of that conclusion is undeniably subjective in nature. But what I found the most wonderful about Love, Death & Robots was its ceiling-shattering range of storytelling. Much like the people, plant life, and colors that cover the world as we know it, this series of animated sci-fi shorts delivers a plethora of animated science fiction in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The stories are unique, their goals are unique, their delivery is unique, and so is their appearance. And since I've never seen quite this much variety in a single show before, I was quite pleased with it. It was so cool to see so many other people's visions of the future, in such a short span of time, and to be able to quickly appreciate their outlooks, while simultaneously comparing them to my own.
In Love, Death & Robots you'll find episodes full of cuteness and humor, blood and gore, loss as well as hope, and everything in between.
The short runtimes are nice too. Until, of course, you've blown through the entire season and find yourself saying, "Damn it...I want moar!".
If you don't wanna take my word for it, check out Love, Death & Robots' IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes scores, as they're quite respectable.
And without getting into a lengthy rant about Netflix's oomph in the science fiction department (or lack thereof), I will say that as far as Netflix and sci-fi are concerned, Love, Death & Robots was desperately needed.
As fans, we've been hit with a string of sub-par sci-fi on Netflix lately. Netflix originals that felt like they were cheap acquisitions as a result of finding no better home, or just content that hasn't measured up to the significantly superior sci-fi Netflix has delivered in the past.
Ultimately, I'm just glad Netflix has another sci-fi winner in their stable. And here's to hoping their team is getting a better idea of what works, what doesn't, and continues to strive to bring fandom more science fiction and fantasy stories worth our time, attention, and love.