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Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

Only a few works can be compared to the new release of Netflix titled as Love, Death, and Robots. It was expected that a series produced by David Fincher and created by Tim Miller would be pretty good. But no one expected that it would be this amazing.

This anthology series has crossed boundaries among genres like Comedy, Animation, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction etc.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

If you are still wondering whether to try out this gift or not, then here is your spoiler-free review.

Different people seek different things in a series. Some, care for the story while some carefully scrutinize the animation. We’ll cover it from different angles.

Ratings

There are people who think the series quality is solely tied to its ratings. If you’re one of those people, then here are some of the fresh ratings for you.

IMDB: 9.1/10 –

There is a high chance that you might not take this rating seriously. This much distrust is legit I believe. So, let’s move onto the next rating.

Rotten Tomatoes: Average Tomatometer: 75% –

Although it is a bit early to rely on the Rotten Tomatoes ratings still 75% on the average Tomatometer is pretty decent. Moreover, 94% of the users have rated it over 3.5 out of 5.

Metacritic: 8.6/10 –

Based on 61 ratings Metacritic gave it an 8.6 out of 10. Only two critic reviews have landed till now. Of these two one is positive, and one is mixed.

Heaven of Horror: 4/5 –

Heaven of horror covers horror, thriller and sci-fi movies & TV shows. They are more like an expert in reviewing the creations of these genres. So, when they give it a 4/5, you should consider watching it.

Animation is outstanding

Each of the 18 shorts from this series has its signature animation style. While watching the first episode you will discover yourself watching gameplay. On the episode titled as Beyond the Aquila Rift it is easy to get confused. In fact, the super realistic animation of this episode will easily bewilder you.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

In one subreddit post, one animator cleared out the mystery behind this hyper-realistic animation. Everything on this episode is motion captured. All the body and facial motions were first captured form the actors and then transformed into CGI. In fact, the performers had to wear helmets and other gears that could capture their motions.

Besides this episode, there are other notable animations in other episodes. On the third episode, the animation is more like comics strips. Remember the animation from Into the Spiderverse? Well, here you will see something close to that. In other words, frame rates are manipulated to show speed in this episode.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

Like me, many people have agreed on the fact that the best animation of this season was on the episode ‘The Secret War’.

Moreover, there will be times when you won’t be able to differentiate between motion captured animation and VFX. Even the hand-drawn episodes are pretty stunning. In truth, no matter which episode you start watching, it is inevitable that you’ll be in for a surprise.

Story quality varies a bit

The creators have rounded up some great flash fictions. These stories have explored the sci-fi as well as supernatural genre. In some episodes, characters are well built in spite of the short duration. Even though the stories are sci-fi, you will be able to relate to the characters.

John Scalzi, Joe Lansdale, Ken Liu, Claudine Griggs, and Alastair Reynolds. These names belong to some of the most prominent writers all around the world. These writers were the source of some of the best episodes of this series.

John Scalzi is the former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Joe R. Lansdale has won the British Fantasy Award, Bram Stoker Award, and several other awards. Ken Liu has won in the World Fantasy Awards. Alastair Reynolds is a former space scientist who has now published over sixty short Sci-fi stories.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

The adapted screenplays from the flash fictions of these writers have generated something really ‘Cool’. Furthermore, many episodes have given tribute to other great movies and tv shows. With one episode you will find the resemblance of 127 Hours. Similarly, In one episode you’ll find easter eggs from Dr. Manhattan. Also, the name of Rear Window (1954) has come up in the discussions. Many have reviewed that this season is a mini version of Black Mirror, but we think this goes more with The Animatrix

In fact, the episodes are well organized throughout the season. If one episode gives you dread, the next one will lighten up the mood with absurd humor.

Ranking the best episodes

Just like any other Tv shows this too had great and average episodes. Here are our ratings for 5 of the best episodes out of 18 shorts.

  • Beyond the Aquila Rift – 9.7/10
  • Good Hunting – 9.4/10
  • The Witness – 9.3/10
  • The Secret War – 9.1/10
  • When the Yogurt Took Over – 9/10

Verdict

In short ‘Love, Death, and Robots’ is an out of the world experience, thanks to its awesome storyline and animation.

David Fincher and Tim Miller’s latest masterpiece easily gets 4/5 from us.

If you are still confused about watching it, please don’t be. Take a leap of faith and experience what both modern technology and creative mind have accomplished by working together.

A farewell to The Expanse: the last bastion of spacefaring Sci-Fi TV

Pop quiz. Right now. What is the last truly great Sci-Fi TV show that you all watched? If your answer is a resounding Battlestar Galactica, you would be right on the money. You would also be guilty of missing out on a masterfully carved gem that is just as profound and intelligent. And dare I say it evokes the same sense of grandeur that only shows like BSG could command. Or should I say it DID?

The Expanse, Sci-Fi’s greatest hurrah of the last decade, has fallen. The show has been cancelled in the midst of its third season run.

Being in the spectrum of any given fandom is not always easy. We put the love all our hearts can muster in the pedestals of artisans and creators who bring us great characters and imaginative worlds. But behind the curtain lies the bitter truth of corporate backing, boardroom meetings and the pure math of profit margin of giant corporations. The Expanse is just the latest in a long line of show business victims. But today should not be about grief. Today we look back and celebrate an exquisite television artistry that might become a bigger cult classic than Firefly down the line.

James S.A. Corey’s (Corey is, in fact, a shared pseudonym for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) popular series of space novels are the basis of the Expanse. The show imagines a future 200 years from now, where the premise of political tension among Earth, a colonized Mars and a ring of blue-collar space stations called the Belt is ripe for great storytelling. Between Earth’s larger army and Mars’ better one, the Belt accommodates the solar system’s lowest social class and is in both planets’ crosshairs because of its rich resources.

The show’s narrative is three-pronged, which it handles effortlessly. We have Captain Jim Holden (Steven Strait) and his ragtag crew aboard the stolen Martian warship Rocinante, a police detective named Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane) who is obsessed with a missing girl named Julie Mao and the sketchy proceedings of a savvy U.N. leader Chrisjen Avasarala (Shoreh Aghdashloo) to keep the shaky peace between Earth and Mars intact. The way The Expanse shifts its perspectives from the grand theater of an escalating cosmic Cold War to the very personal interrelationships of its characters is just a pleasure to watch. The crew of Rocinante resonate the spirit of Firefly; the political intrigue of BSG permeates the whole show and Detective Miller’s noir mystery thread is just a page out of Blade Runner. This is a formula that just works. On top of that, the more the story progresses, the more it branches out and introduces new characters, ices some old ones and holds some truly great surprises.

Of course, a great setting and an engaging story can go only so far without three dimensional characters that will make us invest in said setting and story. Arguably, this is where The Expanse shines the brightest. Packed with characters with different motivations and agendas, The Expanse spares no time to put them in high stakes situations where every choice can be their last. From the square-jawed leadership of Holden to the tortured portrayal of Miller, this show crafts a character driven journey that is bound to get you hooked. You cannot but treasure all the scene-stealing moments Avasarala or Amos just sparingly sprinkle around you. Of all its awesome aspects, there is one single truth that binds The Expanse as a whole. At its core, The Expanse is all about people responding to fear- fear of each other, fear of the unknown, fear of inequality, fear of death. And the actors expertly bring those struggles to life with nuance and passion. Also the writers have reached a point where you can tell they feel completely confident in the world they’ve created and can do whatever they choose within it. Sadly we will not see what could be in store for these awesome characters in the future.

One of the biggest strengths of this show is its complete attunement to hardcore science fiction. The Expanse is not Star Wars. There are no space knights and space wizards. Nor it is Star Trek with “alien of the week”. This is a show that is grounded on established science while extrapolating a few hundred years. FTL (Faster-Than-Light) travel, while taken for granted elsewhere on the Sci-Fi genre, does not exist in this show. There are no laser shields or weaponry because nothing beats trusty old ballistics. Travelling in high-g requires passengers to sit in “crash couches” which pumps them with drugs to keep them awake and not crush under extreme pressure. The commitment the writers have bound themselves to in maintaining such staggering authenticity amounts to a gritty take on an already engaging universe.

Many years from now, we will look back upon The Expanse and be amazed at its majestic contribution to Sci-Fi. But it will always sting to not be able to see this show grow to be something even more special and reach its true potential. I guess we fans are all Belters now- a tribe without a country. While the production company is still trying for continued life of the series, it isn’t looking hopeful. But let us not despair. Keyboard warriors among us, now is your time to shine. Spam that #SaveTheExpanse hard to make some noise. Let the noise split the corporate boardrooms asunder!

Yam Seng Beltalowda!