The Ultimate Melding of Creative Minds
Love, Death, & Robots is an anthology of life as unusual short stories that blends the genres of horror, syfy, dystopia, and dark comedy to create a truly bizarre and beautiful series. Each episode has a different focus, from tourist robots sight seeing the destitute planet of the long extinct human race to the reason nature abhors a vacuum. It is difficult to give an overall premise for the show as it has such a diverse range of topics and tones. Deep, dark themes that speak to the common human experience intertwine with well timed comedy and stunningly horrific visual effects.
Whether it be an episode about hunting vampires with cats or yogurt that gains not only consciousness but a desire to explore the cosmos, this seemingly simple series takes on twists that are quite spectacular, especially given the brevity of each story. Each self-contained episode of Love, Death, & Robots varies from 6 to 18 minutes long. I was impressed with how involved the plots get throughout this series within their minuscule time frames. Some episodes have some backstory while others begin in the midst of a story, focused on the lead up to the climax before ending just as quickly as it began.
With short episodes comes the risk of plot holes or underdeveloped characters, as the audience doesn’t have much time to form any emotional attachments. This is not the case with Love, Death, & Robots. Each episode has the feel of a full length feature film, both in quality of plot and aesthetic. It manages to promptly flesh out the specific plot points of the episode so fully that the viewer is immediately immersed in the reality of the story, carried briskly through strange realms, and then abruptly dropped into a satisfying conclusion.
That’s not to say every episode concludes at the end of a character’s story. There are a lot of unanswered questions through the series, but the main focus isn’t the full story. The main focus is what is currently happening to the characters in the moments we see them. What comes before and after isn’t important, otherwise this carefully crafted show would include such details. The show is appealing because of how the characters react to their circumstances. For instance, “The Witness” follows a woman running for her life after witnessing a murder. Very little details are shared as the why and how of this story, so it will leave you with unanswerable questions. But this style of storytelling has its own appeal as the possibility for endless speculation abounds after the shocking conclusion, which ends on a strong “… wait, what?… HOW?” note.
This popular Netflix series differs as drastically in stories as it does with it’s animation styles, featuring different animation studios to create a unique look for each episode. The varying animation techniques are utilized so creatively this series spawns new styles specifically for the purpose of Love, Death, & Robots. Each episode accomplishes its own style authentically as a self contained story, from dark dystopia to adorably light, to horrific nightmarish monsters. Some episodes use a cross between live action with animated overlays so effectively it is difficult to tell what exactly is real, which plays into the overall themes of the series perfectly.
Seasons one and two of Love, Death, and Robots are currently available to stream on Netflix, with Season 3 expected to be released sometime in 2022.
Love, Death, and Robots Official Trailer