"Love Death + Robots" and the Twisting Speculative Futurities of Humankind

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Stratton, Billy J. "'Love Death + Robots' and the Twisting Speculative Futurities of Humankind." Hollywood Progressive on line: Home > Television, posted 17 June 2022 and as of that date available here.[1]

Primarily on Tim Miller’s Love Death & Robots (executive producers; David Fincher, Jennifer Miller and Joshua Donen), sic on "&" rather than "+", following IMDb, which identifies this omnibus series of short films (6-21 minutes) as covering "various genres including science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy."[[2]]

From the article:

Love Death + Robots follows the formula established in other iconic sci-fi anthology TV series from Tales of Tomorrow (1951-1953), Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) and [Leslie Stevens's'] The Outer Limits (1963-1965),[3] to The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985-1992), Black Mirror (2011-present) and Electric Dreams (2017). In Miller’s take on this form, the shorter episode lengths are responsive to a contemporary world of instant gratification — largely driven by technology — that imparts a greater sense of urgency to stories that must get us to their core ideas with more speed and efficiency than is necessary in other story forms. [...]

Hitting all the standard sci-fi tropes from space exploration, alien life forms, time travel and weird temporality, to the titular robots often entangled in dystopian and apocalyptic scenarios, a common theme of the series emerges as an intention to push viewers to think not just on the wonderous and astounding possibilities of the future, but also on the specter of the unknown. [* * *]

Miller’s playful, more humorous feel, an aesthetic honed through the irreverent comedic tone that typifies the Deadpool franchise, is underscored in the framing tales Three Robots and Three Robots: Exit Strategies from seasons one (2019) and three (2022), respectively.

Notes in Three Robots allusion to opening "apocalyptic scene" in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, but handled more lightly with a somewhat kinder, gentler (our snarky use of the phrase) Terminator-like robot who "is joined by two other robotic entities that we can infer are all equipped with artificial intelligence. The leader of this expedition/tour through the ruins of human society takes the form of a small orange android [sic], purportedly evolved from a baby monitor and with a head molded under the shape of a baseball cap. These are accompanied by a dalek-like[4] machine with actual feminized computer generated voice that takes in the scenery with all the zeal and knowledge of the most well-prepared tourist, remarking that this initial scene of human destruction is 'breathtaking, it’s more beautiful than the brochures.' All while posing for selfies" amidst the destruction.

Bill J. Stratton is a Professor of American Literature and Culture; Native American Studies, at the University of Denver, and out of this background references a large number of SF works, with useful links, and notes the lack to date on Love Death + Robots of "stories from the perspectives of African and Indigenous futurisms."

RDE, finishing, 17Jun22