Have you even read or seen something that has made you go, “Ok, I need to catch my breath, and understand what the heck just happened?” If the answer is yes, and if you like getting your mind blown, then Netflix’s Love, Death and Robots is the show you’ve been waiting for. Now, as some of you may have guessed from the title itself, this is a science fiction/fantasy series, since it obviously deals with robots. But, where do love and death come in? Well, let’s break it down, shall we?
Love is an idea that runs through most of these episodes. Not just romantic love, but love for one’s country, friends, siblings, or their homes. Love makes you do strange things, and this show explores that concept. You’ll come across an old man who lives in a stinking garbage dump, but he won’t trade it for the world. Then, you’ll travel across space to come face to face with someone who wants to save, and love, all those who have lost their way in the cosmos, no matter what the cost. And, on another occasion, you’ll witness the brotherhood of a band of soldiers who fight shoulder to shoulder against eldritch horrors. Love is not only what drives the action in many of these stories, but also what gives them their own unique twists.
To be honest, you can’t talk about death in Love, Death & Robots, without talking about the way death is depicted. There is a lot of gore in this show, and I mean a lot. Some of the adorable animations will actually give you a false sense of security, right before you witness a cutely drawn character being ripped into pieces. But apart from the trauma-inducing visuals, death has a special place in the stories. It is the fear of death that forces an astronaut, stranded in space, to make some really tough decisions. A death is what opens the eyes of a young spirit hunter to the truth of his changing world. And a cycle of death is what holds two people hostage in a world they cannot seem to escape. If love is the ink that is used to write these stories, then death is the highlighter that points out the really important parts.
Of course, there are plenty of robots. But the best part is, they are all different and unique. Some robots try to figure out what was so great about human civilization, while another forms a lifelong partnership with a rookie pilot. Then there are those who seek to become robots or more than human, for knowledge, power or survival. Robots, in this series, aren’t soulless and cold forms of artificial intelligence. They are a new breed of consciousness that we have yet to fully understand.
And last, but certainly not least, the animation
Love, Death and Robots just has one live-action episode, called “The Ice Age”, and even there most of the important sequences are animated. There are various animation styles that have been used, from the hyper-realistic in “Beyond the Aquila Rift” to the artistic approach in “Zima Blue”. These unique styles give each story a signature visual identity, which firmly sets it apart from the others. Not to mention every single frame of these animations is a beauty to behold, even if they contain abominations with thousands of teeth and limbs.
Love, Death & Robots, is not just visually imaginative, but it asks us questions that we usually don’t think about. If we are ever conquered by a more intelligent race, will we fight them, or live comfortably under their rule? Is death really the end, or only a reset button on our lives? If we do find intelligent and peaceful alien life, how will we react if it looks monstrous to us? Makes you think, doesn’t it? This is exactly what this series wants to do. It wants to make you think, it wants to make you feel confused so that you begin to question many things that you take for granted. Because, if we don’t ask questions, how can we fall in love with new things, how can we go beyond death, and how will we be able to create robots?