The Rule of Three

Staff Writer: Logan Haines


Wallpaper covering the myriad of stylized icons used to represent each story in the anthology. Photo Courtesy of Netflix

The rule of three is a writing principle that suggests that a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers. This is the exact scenario in which “Love Death + Robots” lies. For fans of all things sci-Fi, supernatural, or just plain freaky this show has sent them into astonishment with its brilliance.

Three Robots

K-VRC, XBot-4000, Alexa (she), the three robots from “Three Robots”, one of the top rated episodes in the series. Photo Courtesy of Netflix.

“Over the years, Netflix has attempted to break new ground either by adapting beloved stories for the small screen or by creating unparalleled content that their subscribers can’t find anywhere else,” stated Mansoor Mithaiwala, writer for the entertainment news site Screen Rant. “Love Death + Robots” can be accurately categorized as the smoothly blended amalgamation of both identities. The series being a “re-imagining” is based on the animated sci-fi film “Heavy Metal” directed by Gerald Potterton.

The movie itself was an anthology about adventures about deep space to futuristic New York and their perilous escapades dominated by the Loch’nar, the manifestation of all evils into a single glowing green orb. Overall the reception for this movie was overwhelmingly mediocre, but the premise was revolutionary at the time, streamlining the webbing of multiple plot points and storylines into one cohesive package was an undertaking not many can say they’ve accomplished.


The President and his advisory cabinet talking with sentient yogurt from “When the Yogurt Took Over.” Photo Courtesy of IMbD.

The direction taken by leading producers of “Love Death + Robots”, Joshua Donen, David Fincher, Jennifer Miller, and Tim Miller is experimental and the needed push this majoritively unheard of genre has been asking for. This new animated series consists of 18 stand-alone episodes, all ranging from a few minutes to just over 15 minutes. Each episode is also produced by different crews and cast, with one or two crews returning for multiple episodes.

What threw most people initially was the title of the series “Love Death + Robots” and its meaning, because obviously a show so mind-blowing, ground-breaking, revolutionary has to have a meaning behind the name sake of the project. Each episode in the series as a thematic connection to love, death, and/or robots. This concept has been circling pop culture and media for a while now, the world as a collective has become so desensitized to moral ideas of love, the questionable acceptance of death, and of course robotics advancing at the pace it is. In the past there have been those notorious for guessing the future, and “Heavy Metal” can be looped in. As a society today we aren’t nearly to the level of advancement that the 80’s “predicted” we would have, but the signs are there. It is undeniable our obsession with these topics is palpable, for the fanatics and who-cares-about-it alike, they are never far from our minds. The choice to circulate these pieces into the mainstream the way they did was a stroke of genius on Miller and Fincher’s part. The concepts are portrayed in a way that the central theme, whether that is invoking a feeling, teaching a lesson, or inspiring, is thoroughly felt through the animation styles. You can argue that the episodes simply are fun creative outlets with no meaning, but the show is just too fascinating and too involving falling into something so bland.

Metal Huli Jing

Yan in her new robotic Huli Jing form from “Good Hunting.” Photo Courtesy of Netflix.

The show will capture your attention immediately, and you will not want to stop watching until there is no more to watch. Critics and fans agree, as this improved reboot was received very well but only after Fincher and Miller failed to make their initial project of a complete remake of the “Heavy Metal” movie. Eventually the idea transformed into what we know now as “Love Death + Robots”, and Netflix being the only outlet willing to financially back the aspiring project did they release their 18 episodes. Talks about a season 2 are already in the works, but seeing as the creators are busy working on “Terminator: Dark Fate” we shouldn’t expect anything soon from the development teams. Congregating animation teams from around the world was hard enough the first time to create a measly eighteen shorts proved hard enough for the duo, and with their careers currently taking them down other paths, it seems very unlikely for production to begin so soon. On the other hand, a lighter note, it took only two months after the initial announcement to commence production and release “Love Death + Robots” season 1, so until Netflix orders the next season fans will have to live with the magnificence we’ve already been delivered.

That won’t be a difficult task to endure either.

Sonnie's monster

Sonnie’s monster has Dicko’s life literally in the palm of its hands from “Sonnie’s Edge.” Photo Courtesy of Netflix.

From The Daily Beast, Nick Schager called it “Black Mirror for the ADD-addled video game crowd” and exclaimed huge praise for its “diverse affair rife with violence, humor, and a healthy dose of sensuality.” Although some reviews weren’t in positive light, there’s be an influx of consideration and ecstatic enthusiasm from its boundary-pushing nature, because sometimes, as Peter Rubin, a writer for Wired, puts it, “sometimes, you just want to see Adolf Hitler suffocated by a giant mound of gelatin.” Enough from critics and professional writers. Local fan of the show, and Junior at Woodstock High School, Mason Nix finds the show “really fun to watch” and agrees with Schager as Nix referred to it as “a lot like Black Mirror with its cool supernatural or futuristic concepts, while still being able to become its own show through different styles of animation and condensed stories.”

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