Show Runners: Tim Miller, David Fincher
Review Author: Tony
It was hard to hide my disappointment with season two of the balls-to-the-walls animated anthology series Love, Death + Robots. Not only had the number of episodes been reduced by half but the quality of each episode left a lot to be desired. Gone was the edgy, overkill, NSFW style of the stellar opening season for a relatively toothless follow-up that appeared to address the criticism of too much violence and nudity in the first season for a more somber and subdued tone, a complete 180 turn that left fans cold and scratching their heads. Season three feels like a course correction for the series returning to guts and glory celebration of ultra-violence and amazing animation.
While this season certainly finds its edgy flair, there’s plenty more substance than just blood, guts, swearing, and genitalia. The season sees the return of a lot of the same directors and animation studios from season one as well as one of the shorts directed by David Fincher, who has been a showrunner from the start. Each story brings its own kind of flavours ranging from hypnotic, and hilarious, to terrifying, ensuring every kind of genre is covered over this season nine-episode run.
Jaw-dropping animation is yet again on display with each episode presenting various styles from 2D animation to CGI and motion capture. Each episode is a marvel to look at and showcases the strength of animation as a storytelling medium, especially for more R-rated tales, something western media appears to be embracing more and more. I certainly hope that some of these animation studios will receive a green light for feature film projects in the future.
As mentioned previously, this season has a significant reduction in episodes compared to the eighteen episodes of season one, a creative choice that worked against season two but works in this season’s favour. This is largely as a result of a higher quality of episodes and general better pacing of the season. Netflix presents the season in evenly spread order that carefully places more comedic or poignant episodes after more horror-related and grim tales. Being an anthology show also means not every episode is of the same standard but I would consider this their most consistently entertaining season to date with only really one episode (Swarm) disappointing me.
A tighter but more focused season sees Love, Death + Robots returning to the roots of what made people love it in the first place. Season three will leave you wanting more.