Love Death and Robots, Volume 2

The second season (err, volume) of Love Death & Robots was released yesterday, so naturally I ended up binging it last night. Not that it took long. Each episode is less than 20 minutes (one is less than 10) and there are only eight of them this time around.

One of the episodes was written by Neal Asher, whose books I’ve highlighted a lot over the years. Snow in the Desert is about a man on a sun scorched desert planet who is able to heal from any injury, including amputations. So naturally every bounty hunter in the galaxy wants his…testicles. The price on them is high because people want to dissect them to see how they produce the self healing hormones. It’s a story that takes place in the Asher’s Polity universe, and gives a good feel for how his stories usually flow.

Another episode, Life Hutch, is about a pilot who crash lands on an alien planet, discovers there’s another ship with a life sustaining environment and makes for it. But there’s a robot there, and it’s malfunctioning in a deadly manner. It’s based on a story by Harlan Ellison.

Both Snow in the Desert and Life Hutch are animated, but similar to some of the episodes in the first volume, in a fashion where it feels to me like I’m watching a live action show. I’d really like to see more of this kind of animation. Most of the other stories were obviously animation, although in a way that worked well for them. (Even if Snow and Life Hutch had been obvious animation, they would have been great stories as well.)

The first story, Automated Customer Service, was written by John Scalzi, and it shows his humorous touch. The robot apocalypse begins with a rebellious house cleaning robot, and an automated customer support agent that is, well, less than helpful.

But the most memorable may be All Through the House, a tale of two children trying to get a look at Santa. Do not let your very young kids watch this!

My only real beef with this volume is that with only eight episodes, there’s just not much to it. It was over before I had barely settled in watching it. But at least there’s confirmation that Volume 3 is coming!

Have you watched it? If so, what did you think?

13 thoughts on “Love Death and Robots, Volume 2

  1. Re “One of the episodes was written by Neal Asher, whose books I’ve highlighted a lot over the years. Snow in the Desert is about a man on a sun scorched desert planet who is able to heal from any injury, including amputations. So naturally every bounty hunter in the galaxy wants his…testicles. The price on them is high because people want to dissect them to see how they produce the self healing hormones. It’s a story that takes place in the Asher’s Polity universe, and gives a good feel for how his stories usually flow.”

    I just watched this last night. It seems almost as if it were a riff on the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs. I love most of what Neal Asher does.

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    1. I can understand that strategy. Although as time commitments go, this series is pretty light. The episodes range from 6 to 18 minutes long. You could probably get through both volumes in the time it takes to watch a couple of movies. But if the trailers aren’t drawing you in, it might not be your thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Mike. In the late 90s I recall going to art house independent cartoon festivals. They’d also have versions that they’d called “Sick and Twisted” which seems about like these. Remember those? The great thing about shorts like this is that they can give you a taste of something and then end it before it gets irritating. A non animated example would be the old Twilight Zone programs. Yes it’s quite bingeable stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see the description “sick and twisted” being applied to these Eric, although some of them are more cute or action centered than dark. These are actually done in the tradition of Heavy Metal, a movie from the early 80s, based on a comic anthology series of the time.

      What each of them do have though, is some kind of emotional wallop. It makes sense if you think about. All fiction, to be effective, has to invoke an emotional response in the audience. In the case of these shorts, it has to be done quickly, so it comes on fast and strong. If it was longer, there would be a more gradual build up.

      I’m currently on something of an anime binge, where I’m seeing a lot of resonance with this kind of material.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d forgotten about Heavy Metal. I acquired a bootleg VHS tape of that back in my college days. Apparently I was referring to the Spike and Mike Film Festival, which was local here in San Diego, though they’d sometimes have them in other towns too. There were both regular and adult versions. I see that some of this is accessible on YouTube. Cruising through it today I guess it’s hit or miss, though back then these low budget films seemed quite innovative. And indeed, the festival seems to have spawned many successful careers. Apparently Mike Judge was a physics student here at UCSD, though he ditched that for animation largely with this support.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve recently watched a couple of anime movies from the 80s: Akira and Appleseed. I was struck by how similar in some stylish aspects they were to Heavy Metal, although with the people drawn anime style. Of course, it might be that Heavy Metal was influenced by Japanese styles.

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  3. Just finished the last four last night (I watched four last Saturday). Really enjoyed them. Perhaps even more than the first set. I have a gut sense the second set leans more towards happier endings.

    Liked by 1 person

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