With everything that’s happened in 2020 and 2021 so far, audiences surely can’t get enough of shows that are filled with misery, death, and violence and that’s just – wait what do you mean that’s not right? What, so you’re saying a global pandemic, as well as the fears of climate change and societal unrest, would naturally mean people don’t want to be reminded about their own mortality? That’s absurd.
No of course I’ve read my notes right. I’m not that stupid, am I? Hang on, let me check my notes…
Well, this is embarrassing. Turns out everyone I asked and all the places I looked online told me they weren’t looking for shows like that but I’ve misread it. Of course, then the popularity of the tv show Love, Death & Robots seems puzzling on the surface. That’s certainly what I thought when I discovered the series on Netflix, even more so when I realised it had a second season that had just dropped.
Then I actually watched the show.
The series produced by Tim Miller, Joshua Donen, David Fincher, and Jennifer Miller has episodes under twenty minutes with a shifting group of cast and crew members. As interesting as that is, it’s the animation of the episodes that is the really interesting part. Each episode is animated by different animation studios from various countries bringing a new style with every single episode.
Now because there’s a whole lot of episodes, I’m just going to pick some of my favourites and give a quick rundown of why I love them so much.
Years after human society has died out and the machines have taken over, three robots go on a sightseeing tour through a post-apocalyptic city as they struggle to comprehend aspects of human society, including sport, shopping, and pets. During the episode, the three robots discover a cat that follows them for the rest of the episode.
After figuring out where they came from and how humans died out, they discover humans genetically modified cats. The cat following them starts talking to them, proving this correct and demanding to be petted as a gang of cats corner the robots.
What I liked:
The cast of voice actors that voiced both the cat and the trio of robots is perfect for the episode and the scenery throughout the episode is amazing – it takes the tired setting of a post-apocalyptic city and gives it enough of a twist to make it feel fresh again.
Sucker of Souls
An archaeologist and team of mercenaries exploring an unknown ancient tomb stumble upon a cave with inscriptions referring to an “eater of souls”. Without warning, a demon (that turns out to be Dracula) appears before the group and devours the archaeologist’s intern in gruesome fashion before turning its attention to the others.
The head mercenary grabs the archaeologist and they escape down the tunnel and regroup with the rest of the mercenaries and begin setting up defences. They successfully repel the attack thanks to a cat and find a secret tunnel and set explosives, killing Dracula. The group runs through the tunnels before ending up in a dark room as more and more demons appear.
What I liked:
The art style of the animation for this episode was so fucking awesome! It’s some sort of cell shading Borderlands style and I love it. Again, the voice acting is top-notch and the episode is packed full of action scenes and is paced perfectly.
A couple finds an antique refrigerator and opens it to discover a tiny civilisation observing time dilation. Ten minutes elapse and the civilisation has advanced from the Medieval to Industrial eras. Before the couple’s very eyes, the civilisation advances into the modern era and engages in global warfare. It all ends with Mutually Assured Destruction and the couple plan to get rid of the refrigerator.
After an hour, the couple decides to check one last time and discover the civilisation has rebuilt ad evolved at a faster rate into the future with technology evolving at an unprecedented level. The episode ends showing the civilisation evolving into a singularity and the cycle beginning again into a prehistoric era.
What I liked:
This story jumped out at me the first time I watched it was just how such a simple premise was so well done and really engaged me throughout the entire episode with minimal dialogue. The writers and producers have trusted that the visuals and animation are strong enough to carry the episode and it’s worked great.
Beyond The Aquila Rift
The crew of the spaceship Blue Goose is sent off course from their home due to a routing plot error and ends up thousands of light-years away from Earth around the Aquila Rift. The captain of the ship, Thom, is greeted by an old flame Greta with the two of them rekindling their relationship quickly and passionately.
However, Thom has his suspicions and insists Greta tells him. Eventually, she relents and awakens him from his slumber. It’s revealed that Thom is actually an undernourished old man, the rest of his crew dead and his ship part of a massive spider web filled with spaceship corpses. The episode ends with the true form of Greta being revealed as a giant spider and her returning Thom to his slumber, restarting the cycle again.
What I liked:
The story and its twist are the main drawcards for me. The episode sets up the mystery angle quite well and I was intrigued enough as I tried to figure out what was really going on. Again, the animation is good but the voice cast didn’t really grab me as much as the others on this list. Still, this would have to be my favourite episode.
Overall, if you’re looking for a new Netflix series to binge on, I’d recommend giving this one a go.
Got any other Netflix series I should binge? Let me know on my socials or in the comments down below.
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