‘Love, Death + Robots’: Binge the best episodes of the Netflix series
Netflix’s adult animated series Love, Death, + Robots started as the brainchild of Jennifer Miller and David Fincher. They wanted to create something like 1981’s science fiction anthology film Heavy Metal. With the help of Netflix and co-producers Tim Miller and Joshua Donen, they’ve brought their vision to life.
Love, Death, + Robots episodes are all under twenty minutes. You can binge some of the best in under two hours. The second season of Love, Death, + Robots will drop on May 14th, 2021, and the third season will come out the following year. Now is the perfect time to catch up on the first season’s science fiction glory. Here are some of the highlights of the first anthology.
“Beyond the Aquila Rift”
This episode will feel intimately familiar to fans of deep-space staples like Event Horizon. The Blue Goose is a spaceship on its way home after a successful mission. The crew sleeps in stasis pods while the ship travels at light speed. When the crew wakes, they find that a computer error has kept them asleep for hundreds of years as they flew far off course.
The episode steadily ratchets up the tension over its seventeen minutes. Thom, captain of the Blue Goose, is greeted upon waking by a woman he knew from Earth. He quickly begins realizing that not everything is as it seems.
This episode focuses on the “robots” of Love, Death, + Robots. The episode follows a journalist invited to interview a famous artist, Zima, before he unveils his final piece of work. She, and viewers, learn Zima’s life story through scenes animated to look like beautiful paintings.
In under ten minutes, the episode moves through Zima’s career as a painter. In an effort to create works of art in impossible places (like outer space), Zima began to modify his body with robotic parts. The episode ends on the question of how much of himself Zima can replace before he isn’t himself at all.
This might be the most popular Love, Death, + Robots episode. There’s a lot to love about “Suits”: alien invasions, battle-hardened mechs, and neighborly appreciation. This episode crafts a cast of characters more clearly than some of the other more speculative episodes.
In “Suits” a group of neighbors defend their homes & land from aliens who arrive via portals. The neighbors, naturally, all have giant mech suits designed explicitly for this purpose. There’s a wealth of great action scenes in this episode, as well as a healthy dose of humor and heart.
This is one of the most visually striking episodes of Love, Death, + Robots. The world and people of “The Witness” look as though they have graphic overlays on top of them. Certain sound effects also get little comic-book-style animations. That’s not too surprising considering the episode’s writer and director, Alberto Mielgo, also worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The episode centers on a woman who witnesses a murder. When the murderer spots her, she tries to flee, and the entire episode morphs into a prolonged chase scene, albeit one with some not-safe-for-work moments. By the end, you’ll be head-scratching and needing to watch the whole episode over again.
“When the Yogurt Took Over”
This is the shortest Love, Death, + Robots episode, and it’s also the strangest. As the title implies, the episode explains how humanity came to be ruled by a sentient pile of yogurt. The answer is, of course, that we did it to ourselves.
The episode’s animation style looks like it belongs in a cutaway scene from Up. Numerous shots of box-shaped humans staring in horror at talking yogurt make this episode as hilarious as it is unnerving. The yogurt may not want to hurt humanity, but it certainly isn’t genuinely trying to care for us.