Warning: The following contains spoilers for Love, Death & Robots Volume 2.
The second season of Love, Death & Robots is here, and one of its episodes proves the show deserves a Christmas special. Christmas specials are hardly new, especially on streaming, with Disney+ releasing a new The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special or The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special coming in 2022, and Netflix also has a number of original Christmas specials for franchises like How to Train Your Dragon, The Great British Baking Show, and more.
Love, Death & Robots brings crazy variety of genre short stories to animated form, and while the second season only had 8 episodes, it still gave a great variety of shorts. With the way Love, Death, & Robots irreverently pushes boundaries and subverts tropes, the potential for a volume devoted to holiday shorts would be a creative and funny way to take the show even further.
In Love, Death, & Robots Volume 2, “All Through the House,” we’re introduced to a stop-motion animated world where two children wake up Christmas night hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa Clause delivering their gifts. Only, instead of Santa, they find a gross, freaky monster who calls them both by name by name and groans “good,” before regurgitating two drool-covered, perfectly wrapped, Christmas presents for them before hissing “stay good,” and climbing up the chimney. The boy looks at his sister and says “it’s just what I wanted” before they return to bed where the sister asks “what if we hadn’t been good?”
The episode subverts the idea of the jolly old Saint Nicholas as a rotund, bearded old man by replacing him with something absurd and terrifying, yet still stays true to the Christmas spirit and idea of him knowing which children have been bad or good as he distributes gifts. The absurdity of the twist is hilarious and satirizes the classic Santa story, yet also maintains a sense of Christmas spirit in a formula begging to be applied to other Holiday classics.
There’s a long list of animated holiday movies including Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and more presenting different animation styles, there’s a number of different angles a Love, Death & Robots holiday special could take. Not that they should be parodies of existing holiday classics, but there’s a number of tropes ripe for a Love, Death & Robots twist. Even in “All Through The House,” it hits on some classic elements, such as the Night Before Christmas idea of kids waiting for Santa, or stop-motion like Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, it’s ultimately creative decisions that simply make it feel Christmasy, and playing with tropes like that is exactly what Love, Death & Robots does best.
Animation, especially of the quality seen in Love, Death & Robots, isn’t cheap or easy to produce, so creating a holiday-centric season for the show might seem like too much effort for something many people will see as a novelty, it’s also evident Netflix sees value in its holiday content due to the number of Christmas themed originals the platform produces. If the number of Christmas-themed Netflix originals is any sort of indication of value, then Netflix hopefully sees more opportunity for the Love, Death & Robots brand following Vol. 2 and “All Through the House,” and orders more crazy Christmas animation.
Next: Love, Death & Robots Vs. Black Mirror: Which Is Better?
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