“Love, death and robots” was released at the beginning of 2019 and in few weeks has captivated mane viewers from all over the world, building a very strong fanbase. But what do people love so much about these captivating stories brought to life in the form of a unique and sometimes unsettling experience?
First of all, why is it called “Love, death + robots”?
The idea came to producers Tim Miller and David Fincher (Fight club, The Social Network), whose purpose was to bring together brilliant and creative minds from all over the world to write stories about the thematic connection between love, death and robots. The result is a collection of anthological animated shorts covering several genres such as sci-fi, horror, fantasy, comedy and drama, in which each episode is written, directed, starred and animated by different crews coming from a range of countries.
Putting together different views on the same subject like Miller and Fincher did, isn’t very common, but it transforms the whole show into an artistic film festival, where each episode has a surprising take on the theme. On the other hand, though, it might ruin what the final product has to offer stylistically speaking, because there is no point of reference and every episode has to be interpreted in a different way.
In episode 2 “Three robots” we get to see a post - apocalyptic world through the eyes, or lenses, of three robots wandering through an abandoned fast food joint. From the robots’ view, extracting of energy by grinding a hamburger into a paste with its subsequent digestion in the acidic environment of the stomach is very absurd, since their atomic battery gives them almost infinite charge. So, the three robots keep making fun of the stupid humans, but in the end, we realize that the three are behaving exactly like people would in a zoo or theme park.
"Technological singularity" is another aspect common to all episodes. In other words, the recurring themes that all viewers, and especially sci-fi fans, will notice and appreciate are: self-conscious machines similar to humans and their role in a hypothetical future social life.
Anyway, in episode 6 “When The Yogurt Took Over” this "Technological Singularity" is in a natural form, that is a yogurt whose milk bacteria has grown to become an intelligent organism, capable of predicting, but at the same time solving the world crisis. So, the U.S. government asks the yogurt to help them and it accepts, but only if it was given Ohio State in return. The story goes on as the yogurt takes over the world, helping humans progress until it finally reaches its final goal and flies into outer space, leaving a co-dependent humanity on its own. The whole story is actually a metaphor for abusive relationships. Sure, it sounds ridiculous if we think that everything started with a plain yogurt, but that’s how the abuse start at first: everything seems perfectly normal, the yogurt is a friend willing to help; a harmless innocent yogurt, until it’s not.
Episode 14 is actually one of the most interesting stories in the show. “Zima Blue” is about a man who dedicates his life to finding a deeper meaning. He has turned himself into a half robot to be almost indestructible, swimming in lava, travelling to unexplored places and becoming famous for his paintings. Still not satisfied, he reveals the true story behind his body: he was once a pool cleaner robot, created by a mother for his child. His creator updated his system multiple time while alive, until he became a self-conscious being. After that he starts disassembling himself, to the point he was again a pool cleaner.
This episode is all about the “eternal struggle”of Zima in search of a meaning. He wants to give meaning to his life and his surroundings. Once he realised that he’ll always be a slave to his emotions and desires that torment him, he also learned that, by sticking to his life of cleaning pool, he could be free from the endless craving for discovery and mental torture he was living with, to find inner peace.
These are three of the best shorts you can find in "Love, Death, and Robots", although the rest of them are entertaining too. Its greatest perk is that sometimes it forces adult scenes with no meaning or purpose for the sake of the story, but other than that, the episodes are very short (10-20 minutes) and it doesn't take a whole month to watch a season. Highly recommended if you’re a sci-fi fan.