Love Death + Robots might be the first show ever to feature too much nudity
The first of the 18 shorts presented by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and David Fincher (The Social Network) is Sonnie's Edge, a kind of Real Steel-meets-The Matrix story about a rape victim who uses her trauma to build a better psychic connection with her creature used in the monster equivalent of MMA fights.
Talk about throwing you in at the deep end...
Over the 18 minutes there is some hyper-realistic violence, lesbian sex, and at least three pairs of breasts on full display. At the start of each episode, Netflix warns that the show contains extreme violence, gore, sexualised violence, and crude humour, and they're all checked off in this first segment alone.
The next short, Three Robots, has almost exactly none of those things, unless you find blasphemy to be a form of crude humour, as three robots go on a sight-seeing tour of a post-apocalyptic city, discussing the design flaws of human beings and making jokes about where we came from.
Then we're back to the extremes with The Witness, as a young woman witnesses a murder and is then chased through a futuristic Tokyo, which includes a quick sojourn to her place of work, which happens to be as a stripper in an extreme BDSM club. Because of course it does.
Back and forth the show seems to go, between humour and violence, big ideas and close-ups of vagina.
In tone, it flits back and forth between Black Mirror and 2000 AD, some of the shorts feeling like the intro to a series or a video game that we'd love to play, and some intended as nothing more than a set-up to a lame twist ending.
There definitely are some highlights to be enjoyed, though; Beyond The Aquila Rift starts off as a malfunctioning space trip story before heading in a much more bone-chilling direction; When The Yogurt Took Over is exactly what you get on the tin, a humorous tale about genetically modified diary products taking over the planet; Helping Hand is essentially Gravity if it were directed by David Cronenberg; and Alternate Histories is likely to get people talking over the different potential outcomes to Hitler's death.
If only the rest of the episodes didn't rely so much on "shock value", then we might actually be on to a winner here. Even the shock value fades, as the more we're exposed to the violence and sex, the less interesting it becomes.
Across the 18 episodes, 14 of them feature nude women. There are implied sexual threats in many of them, aggressive acts of violence against women in some. The displacement between the sexualisation of women and men in the show leaves a bad taste in the mouth, which probably has something to do with practically all the writers and directors in the show being men.
Love, Death + Robots has the kernel of a great idea, but it is surrounded by lame filler that seems written by a hyper-horny 14 year old boy.
Clip via Netflix