Love, Death, + Robots (Netflix series, 2019)

  • Gist: Series of 18 animated shorts based on a wide variety of science fiction or fantasy short stories. Hard to generalize, but tend toward action and smartass humor with doses of philosophic reflection on human nature. Created by David Fincher (Benjamin Button and The Social Network) and Tim Miller (Deadpool).
  • Adults only: Though the stories are not heavy in tone, content is decidedly adult. Like Deadpool.
  • Attention spans: All 18 fall in the c. 10 minute range. I watched in two sittings of 9 shorts each.
  • Animation Styles and Houses: At least 15 studios run the gamut of animation styles, from cell shade to motion capture.
  • Robots: Depends on your definition. At least 12.
  • Deaths: Many, but fewer than you think, some heroic, some highly unusual.
  • Loves: Depends on your definition. I count 12.
  • Space farmers: 6
  • Cats: 18
  • Moments of Soul-wrenching Existential Uncertainty: 6
  • Badasses: 33
  • Exploitation?: Some. While it’s partly balanced by the complete story arcs and strength of all women characters, in a few stories women are objectified for sex and violence.

Conclusion: Such a mishmash of style and content it’s hard to recommend as a package. I liked 17 of the 18 shorts. If you like animated action, thought-provoking science fiction, and smartass adult humor, give it a try.