Love, Death & Robots

I think sci-fi is my favorite genre.  My favorite stories come from the golden age, when people were chasing stories rather than paychecks (the 80s… ugh).  There’s a child-like vision in those older stories, where the science projections were more magical and focused on the psychology, rather than the technology itself.  Or from another lens, great sci-fi is about people, not technology.

Netflix has an anthology series Love, Death & Robots that tells multiple story lines, with a sci-fi backdrop.  They are between 5-17 minutes, so really quick bites.  Anthologies are like a buffet, there’s something for everyone, but not everything is for someone.  I used to have bookshelves full of them as a kid (Reader’s Digest is exactly that).  And in most sci-fi, the best stories are the short ones, where there’s plenty of open ended questions (see The Martian Chronicles).

There were quite a few highlights here for me, in my order of preference

Beyond the Aquila Rift

This plays out like golden sci-fi, with an interesting punch at the end.  There are some open ended parts, and a nice twinge of horror within.

Sonnie’s Edge

The main line story is great, the setting a bit less.

Secret War

Aside from the monster design, every other bit of this story hits near-perfect notes.  It’s very tight, and is eerily relatable.

The Witness

There are many stories like this, but none that look like this.  Apparently there was no mo-cap, which frankly, bodes well for CG as a whole in the genre.

Shape-Shifters

Werewolves in modern day setting… much better than Underworld’s gothic take on it.  The blending of genres works here… a bit like the Forever War.

 

Not to say that the other shorts are bad, they just resonated less with me.  When the Yogurt Took Over I’ve read a dozen times now in other formats.  A half dozen others seem like they are pulled straight from Heavy Metal.

Considering how short each episode is, it’s very digestible.  Most of us can spare 17 minutes to watch an interesting story.  Kind of hoping we get more anthologies in this vein.

6 thoughts on “Love, Death & Robots

  1. I quite enjoyed this series too, and I found with it being an anthology of stories rather than serialised I was able to break away from my natural inclination to binge shows and actually spread it out over a couple of months of enjoyment, just watching an ep or two here, an ep or two there.

    From your list, Beyond the Aquila Rift is the one I remember most clearly without having to go back and look at the episode list with screenshots to refresh memory.

    The other that stood out for me (although I did have to go back and look for the actual name) was ‘Three Robots’. The interpretations they had on things was fantastic, and then the cats… Hah. 🙂

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  2. I should give this another go. I was immediately attracted by Sonnie’s Edge, it being one of my favorite classic anthology shorts. Then I felt the quality went downhill from there. Aquila Rift was okay, but I had no idea what The Witness was trying to convey.

    I gave up midway before the werewolf episode, and I dig werewolves, so I daresay I should at least give that a chance.

    I think I’m old-fashioned enough to prefer the original shorts in text format though.

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    • Yeah, the details and nuance in written form tend to flesh out the story much more. But in the context of a 15 minute video, it’s more than serviceable. A bit like the Animatrix.

      There are a few episodes that are more like Tales from the Crypt than twilight zone.

      I see The Witness as a type of purgatory for 2 souls… eternal loop. Bit like Russian Doll. The nudity is a bit much but the CG is better than any movie I’ve ever seen.

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