The premise behind Love, Death + Robots is basically a free-for-all; a blank canvas – and seemingly blank check – for artists and animators to tell all kinds of interesting and provocative stories. The first volume featured 18 episodes, which was obviously too many, while the second featured eight, which wasn’t quite enough. The third volume offers nine unique stories, which isn’t many more, but the upside is that they’re all very good – a couple are even truly great.
There are some keys to the show’s success. One is its NSFW tone, which doesn’t skimp on sex and violence and gives the storytellers the freedom to go as far as they like. Another is its chosen genres of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror, crowd-pleasing sandboxes well suited to metaphor and more malleable in animation than live-action. But the real advantage isn’t much of a secret – the show’s just made by talented people who have been given enough creative freedom to tell the stories they want to. In an age of brand preservation and sanitized, family-friendly mass-market entertainment, that’s perhaps more vital than we realize.
But anyway. We have detailed, spoiler-filled recaps of each individual episode, but here’s an overview, nonetheless. The first is the first direct sequel in the show’s history, another 3 Robots tale from John Scalzi that Netflix actually dropped a day early on YouTube. The season’s clear highlight is the second episode, “Bad Travelling”, a nautical story of heroism and horror from writer-director duo Andrew Kevin Walker and David Fincher. If you watch any single episode from Love, Death + Robots Season 3, make it this one.