On June 10, 2019, Netflix announced that Love, Death & Robots had been renewed, wth Jennifer Yuh Nelson assuming the role of supervising director. This is a huge shift considering the first season didn’t have a single female director, and that lack of representation showed.
While many fans and critics praised Love, Death & Robots as one of Netflix’s best adult animated series when it debuted in March 2019, others called out its sexism, gratuitous female nudity, and violence toward women. (“Sonnie’s Edge” and “Beyond the Aquila Rift” immediately come to mind as some of the more problematic episodes.)
The 18 episodes in Volume One — executive produced by David Fincher and Tim Miller — spanned comedy, horror, and sci-fi genres. They were all visually impressive, but lacked the awareness and inclusion of other Netflix animated series like Big Mouth or Tuca and Bertie. Only one episode, “When the Yogurt Took Over,” was written by a woman.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson is an animation veteran who started her career as director, story artist, and character designer on HBO’s Todd MacFarlane Spawn series. She later landed at DreamWorks Animation where she worked on Madagascar and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, directing both Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3. In 2018, she made her first live-action directing debut with the young adult thriller The Darkest Minds.
It’s too soon to know if Nelson’s presence will shift the series overall, but having her at the helm is definitely a positive start. Women in film and television tend to hire other women, so we could see more female representation among the writers and directors for the upcoming volume.
A release date and episode count for Love, Death & Robots Volume 2 have yet to be announced.
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(Photos Courtesy of Netflix)