Automated Customer Service – | Review Score = 3.5/5
Ice – | Review Score = 3.5/5
Pop Squad – | Review Score = 5/5
Snow in the Desert – | Review Score = 4.5/5
Tall Grass – | Review Score = 3.5/5
All Through The House – | Review Score = 4.5/5
Life Hutch – | Review Score = 3/5
The Drowned Giant – | Review Score = 5/5
When it dropped back in 2019, Love, Death & Robots took the streaming world by storm. This cleverly written, thought provoking anthology managed to bring together 16 episodes of short-form storytelling and excellent animation into one stunning showcase of talent.
The sheer wealth of variety within this show meant there was something for everyone, with stop motion, CGI, photo-realism and hand-drawn splendor combining to create a show full of variety.
Fast forward to 2021 and Love, Death & Robots is back with a second volume of episodes. With only 8 this time around, the pressure could not be higher for creator Tim Miller and the different teams of animators. In a way, season 2 carries the burden of expectation and because of that, this show is likely to be scrutinized a lot more than it normally would.
Having said that, out of the 8 chapters available, half are quite forgettable while the other half are outstanding. There’s a real up-and-down feel to a lot of what’s shown here and the bitesize run-time for each episode means you’ll likely blast through this in around an hour and a half tops.
Much like in 2019, there are some real stars of the show and the episodes that do stand out are thought provoking, well written and highly engrossing. I won’t go into detail over what they’re all about (the recaps speak for themselves) but the chapters play with ideas of eternal life, a robot apocalypse, drugs and man’s attitude toward nature.
The shorter run-time is a real disappointment though and one can’t help but feel this anthology is in desperate need of more episodes to pad out the run-time.
While the individual segments are actually quite good, as a collective whole the second season just doesn’t stack up to the first. There’s a nasty habit here of pedalling the same messages and ideas repeatedly, which really does make for a bit of a turbulent ride. To make matters worse, the ideas that are unique (like Tall Grass) are cut short before any exposition or explanation is given.
Don’t get me wrong, as a huge fan of this show, the episodes are actually really good. However, there’s very few here that are likely to garner the same repeat viewings that those in season 1 garnered.
As a collection, there’s a lot of repeated material about robots turning against humanity. There’s little in the way of big twists either and a lot of the episodes rely on photorealism rather than a medley of different animated styles.
Personally, The Stranded Giant, Pop Squad and All Through The House are the real stand-outs of the season. Episodes like Ice and Life Hutch however, are arguably some of the worst out of the entire two season anthology.
This is one of those difficult full season reviews to write because looking at the episode ratings, you’d think this second season would warrant a much higher score. And don’t get me wrong, it is a very enjoyable anthology. However, as a collection to hold up against the first, this one pales by comparison.
There’s too many similar ideas and the lack of variety with the animated content holds this one back from being more memorable.
Despite its flaws, Love, Death & Robots season 2 is still an impressive animated showcase and a must-watch for fans of the first. Given the immense expectations leading into this one though, the second volume does not compare to the first. A lot of the repeated ideas are disappointing to see and the show is in desperate need of more chapters.
Hopefully if this one is renewed for season 3 (and a certain unnamed virus disappears) then this show can ascend back to the heights season 1 so effortlessly achieved.
Verdict - 7.5/10