Love, Death and Robots Series 2 review:
I think it’s a shame there’s only eight episodes-- I think that because some of them are so short, it feels little and slightly unsatisfying. Still the shorts were less gratuitous than series 1, but lose some of the high concept fun of the previous shorts, and there aren’t really any twists or turns in these shorts. They are what they are, but I don’t think people are going to latch onto any characters of ideas like they did in the previous one (like Sonnie’s Edge, Good Hunting, Zima Blue). I tend to like the ones that are more simple and work with a fun or interesting concept.
Episode 1: Automated Customer Service: Killer Robots! not especially original and the character designs are a choice, but a fun watch.
Episode 2: Ice: Love the animation style, as we follow some rebellious teens trying to see some whales in a dangerous manner. Not especially standout and nothing really grabs you as the stakes are pretty low, but a nice short that keeps your attention. I like the teens just doing something stupid for the fun of it. Very teenage.
Episode 3: Pop Squad: I loved this, even if I can admit that it’s not particularly original. I think it gets across a lot of the bleak noir despair of it all, in the short amount of time it has to do so-- and it’s arguably flawed and full of ‘why’ questions with regards to the setting, but the style and concept won me over compared to the other CGI ‘film story concept’ shorts (detailed below).
Episode 4: Snow in the Desert: This felt slightly generic to me, and I couldn’t really get into it a whole lot. Immortal characters, synth characters, angst and bounty hunters tracking them, bla bla bla. THis could be a good movie or novel, but as a short it felt bland as there’s too much to explore, so nothing is. The video game CGI styling is very boring to me.
Episode 5: The Tall Grass: A good supernatural horror short, and I loved the art direction! Simple and effective, and great art direction.
Episode 6: All Through The House: Kids see ‘Santa’ at christmas. I loved this one. Comedic and freaky, just a simple concept told straight to the point, and I loved the art style. This had so much personality to it! Very short, and would have fit better in an anthology with more longer shorts as a breather, as instead I wish we had a bit more to it, or at least seen more like this one.
Episode 7: Life Hutch: Zzzz. Military sci-fic horror where a soldier is hunted. What kind of war is he fighting? Doesn’t matter. Good use of body horror and squeamish realism and it feels like it hurts, but the CGI styleis bland. I feel like I should like this more than Snow in the Desert as it’s a more stripped back horror, but military sci-fi in spaceeee does very little for me.
Episode 8: The Drowned Giant: A scientist ponders the decaying body of a Giant that washed up in a small seaside town. Of all of these, this feels most like an actual short film, in that it actually feels appropriate for the length of time it is, rather than Life Hutch and Snow in the Desert which are just typical sci-fi tropes but too short to actually subert anything. This is pretty charming, and laid back-- it arguably doesn’t have much of a ‘point’ other than a look at humans using the body of a giant. My favourite short.
RANKING WORST TO BEST:
8: LIFE HUTCH
7: SNOW IN THE DESERT
6: AUTOMATED CUSTOMER SERVICE
4: THE TALL GRASS
3: POP SQUAD
2: ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE
1: THE DROWNED GIANT.
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