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‘Love, Death & Robots,’ the animated Netflix anthology you must watch

  • Published at 06:33 pm April 7th, 2019
Official poster of 'Love, Death & Robots' | Facebook

This adults-only animated anthology original series by Netflix is produced by the legendary David Fincher

Post-human culture, alien invasion, imprisoned mythical beast, ill-fated humanity, search for the self, sentient-yogurt superpower - each episode of “Love, Death & Robots” is staged in highly stylized post-apocalyptic setting and their enchanting sci-fi treatment is awe-inspiring. This adults-only animated anthology original series by Netflix is produced by the legendary David Fincher and created by Tim Miller, director of “Deadpool.” The series spans 18 stand-alone mind-bending episodes that are equally comic, tragic, terrifying and thought-provoking. 

Each episode presents a unique animation strategy and surprisingly beautiful short episodes, running between five to fifteen minutes, are thought to be a reboot of “Heavy Metal” – an 80’s cult classic sci-fi anthology series of bizarre and futuristic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Each episode dealt simultaneously with love and death for humans, robots, and hybrids with a considerable degree of sexuality that viewers under 16 might need parental guidance. This series questions and contemplates every futile decision the human race takes, took, and will take. In this respect, it would not be a sin to call this sci-fi anthology prophetic. As long as it remains prophetic, each self-contained episode sustains the enigmatic thrill of super hi-tech setting and offers credible alternatives to recheck our values and virtues. 

The series generates pure purgation, meditation and forces us to contemplate questions over our origin, development and destiny. With a sense of loss and regret, an unstoppable desire to control and conquer, an epic quest to know thyself – this series is strangely philosophical and comfortably engages with its built in dynamism. 

Speaking of dynamism, every episode this anthology accommodates is fast-paced, thirsty, wild and surprisingly beautiful. Funny, tragic, horror, apocalyptic, violent and cruel - Netflix original “LDR” captures and covers common interests of all spectrums.

Netflix randomly experimented with the episode order for their viewers. So far, four different orders have been discovered. At the beginning of each episode, the three-sign logo of the series changes into signs that foreshadow the narrative that is going to take place. 

As we reach the 18th episode, the series gradually shifts from a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, post-human state towards a more contemporary universe – while the mood also shifts from heavy surge of cyber feels to a morbid, cruel reality. Innovative and tricky, bizarre and beautiful - they are fast to expose the arguments and much faster to reach a conclusion. 

The audience gets unbridled satisfaction out of this suggestiveness and open to interpret narratives. The series explores every opportunity, possibility, and consequence that may engage and disengage man and machine altogether. Each episode is equally surprising in sheer perfection to mould our guts with terrifying revelations. I think this series largely criticizes the overuse of technology, our inevitable doom, and our irresponsible attitude towards the environment. 

Somehow it seeks the true nature of creation, explains the failure of our blind pursuit and yet, manages to sustain the irresistible hope for humanity.

The episodes may be interpreted with hundreds of theories, but no matter how they are perceived, they have a built-in aspect: criticism of post-human state and a surgical strike to go back to nature again. With every bullet this series spends, every bizarre idea it serves - it always accentuates the message lurking behind the visuals and sustains the beauty of it. So, in terms of storytelling, it is almost like fables with its integrated messages.

“Love, Death & Robots” mashes up science fiction with fantasy, comedy, horror and drama. The variety of genres has one thing in common: shockingly beautiful! The suggestiveness and mind bending stand-alone episodes might enable careful audience to recollect many cult films like “Run Lola Run,” similar to the episode “The Witness,” as well moderns like “The Passenger,” similar to the episode “Beyond the Aquila Rift.” 

There are some allusions to the great classics, as in the episode “Helping Hand” the astronaut identifies the satellite as “LV-426” which is the name of the planet where the alien is found in Ridley Scott's seminal “Alien” (1979), also the disconnected arm sequence is a tribute to Kubrick’s masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey.” 

The skull-crushing scene in the episode “Three Robots” is a solemn homage from the film “Terminator.” 

LDR has received a staggering 8.8 on IMDB by 38,000 users and now ranks as the 51th Top Rated TV content by the website. 

This series is not only special but unique. So, if you are looking for a fast-paced, sci-fi, action thriller with a heavy dose of philosophy and lot of blood, then “Love, Death & Robots” may be your ideal choice.

Abdur Rehman is a film and music enthusiast. He is a final-year honours student of English literature at Jahangirnagar University

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