If you’re looking for a light and mindless series to relax and binge watch, Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots is not the series for you. The eighteen part sci-fi anthology is a collection of short story episodes that tell a myriad of stories. The episodes are centered around the stupidity and demise of the human race, intense alien gladiator battles, and of course, all kinds of robots. Each episode acts as an independent work of art, using what seems to be every style of animation, from extremely life-like 3D figures to goofy hand-drawn cartoons.
Although no two episodes follow the same theme or story, they all seem to fit together perfectly, each one filling its place and playing a role in the series as a whole. The format of this series is similar to that of The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror.
Even with the majority of episodes taking on a darker tone, many were able to weave in enjoyable comedy, which is a task that many shows struggle to achieve today. The series reaches a perfect equilibrium of tones and topics. With a genre as open-ended and tricky as science fiction, mainstream appeal is often not an option, but the wide variety of the collection has hopefully brought it to the attention of a larger demographic.
No science fiction film or show seems to take advantage of animation in the way that Love, Death & Robots does. Not only does each episode use a different style, but each story draws the viewer into an immersive eye-popping world. The various monsters and aliens feel natural and essential to their tales. Animation is one of this series’ strongest attributes, avoiding the many forced figures that still fill today’s entertainment. The high-quality production also enables the story to truly translate onto the screen. Even the most outlandish ideas and movements are beautifully fed to viewers in a one of a kind visual spectacle.
The series’ second short titled “Three Robots,” is no doubt the most light-hearted short of the collection, while still being based on slightly more sinister ideas. The viewer is taken along on the journey of the three robo-friends as they explore the remnants of humanity on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The banter between the advanced robots as they explore and analyze the wreckage of our planet is incredibly entertaining and enjoyable for anyone, providing a fresh and original comedic tone that creates a stark contrast between shorts.
Once you look past the initial comfort of the short, more serious topics come forward. As the expedition goes on, the cause of humanity’s demise reveals itself, the robots then go on to further mock the selfish and ignorant nature of the human race. This seamless use of two completely opposite tones allowed one of the funniest episodes to become a multi-layered story that was able to go beyond a simple tale of three robots.
The six to 17 minute shorts pair an eyebrow raising and captivating story with stunning visuals, packed with details on both sides that reward rewatching and further analyzation of the narratives. Love, Death & Robots is a much needed breath of fresh air in the world of television, and even more so for Netflix’s hit or miss original series. The shorts delve into heavy existential topics, and have fun with the wild nature of the limitless possibilities. This multi-layered adventure will no doubt leave your head spinning, and although it may not be appealing to mainstream Netflix viewers, Love, Death & Robots is a wild ride.