The first season was ultimately a mixed bag, with spurts of big ideas and gorgeous animation dragged down by undercooked execution and some needlessly juvenile depictions of sex and violence. The protagonist is a detective in the “Pop Squad,” which tracks down and kills any children illegally brought into the world. “Ice” centers on two teenage brothers living in a world where “unmodded” people are shunned because they refuse to embrace body-modification technology that, as far as I can tell, mostly makes it easier to do parkour (and honestly … why wouldn’t you?). But while there’s visceral glee to watching the astronaut play cat and mouse with the robot in such a confined space — and, in the end, a pretty clever solution he invents to defeat it — the narrative itself is as bare-bones as it gets. Featuring no love, no death, and no robots — and ending on a relative whimper, as the man is rescued and escapes on the train — “The Tall Grass” is, at the very least, so pretty to look at that you’ll wish the animation team had applied their talents to a story with a little more meat on it. “Automated Customer Service”

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Love: YesDeath: YesRobots: Yes

The best of Love, Death & Robots Volume Two’s episodes about people fighting malfunctioning robots (sorry, “Life Hutch”), “Automated Customer Service” is also the season’s silliest entry, and winds up all the better for it. 6. “The Tall Grass”

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Love: NoDeath: NoRobots: No

There’s plenty to enjoy about “The Tall Grass,” a strikingly animated Joe Lansdale adaptation about a man who disembarks from a stopped train for a quick cigarette and finds himself lost in a field full of hissing monsters that might once have been human. In a series that’s frequently at its best when tackling big ideas and themes, “The Drowned Giant” offers a benchmark that future Love, Death & Robots episodes should try to hit. I’ve ranked all eight segments below, starting with the worst and ending with best. “Pop Squad” ends fairly abruptly, but it’s easy to imagine an entire series set in this universe. It’s a pretty simple gag, but if you’ve ever sat on the phone enduring an annoyingly chipper robot voice while begging for an actual, human representative, you’ll find plenty of catharsis here. Tags: Ballard, “The Drowned Giant” follows the aftermath of an inexplicable incident in which the corpse of a giant man washes up on a beach. 2. And as with my review of season one, I’ve also noted whether each segment actually features love, death, and/or robots — so you can focus on the episodes that actually deliver on your favorite part of the show’s three-pronged title. “The Drowned Giant” may not literally depict a death, but it’s about death, offering a strange (and strangely moving) meditation on humans’ unswerving ability to turn their minds away from a fate they’d rather not contemplate. The new Volume Two still has plenty of both, but you get the sense that the creative team behind the series knows what worked, and didn’t, the last time around. 7. 1. 8. Snow, a grizzled bounty hunter, has a poorly kept secret: A genetic quirk that enables him to regrow lost limbs has made him functionally immortal. Drawing from a story by John Scalzi — whose work also inspired several of Volume One’s quirkier episodes, including “Three Robots” and “When the Yogurt Took Over” — “Automated Customer Service” introduces audiences to a futuristic retirement home where the elderly chill by the swimming pool while robots give them cocktails and massages. “The Drowned Giant”

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Love: NoDeath: NoRobots: No

It feels like a cheat, but in the end, I’ll forgive the lack of love, death, or robots for an episode as good “The Drowned Giant.” Drawing inspiration from a short story by the late, great English author J.G. 4. But the good news is that the hit rate is also higher: While some of these episodes are clearly stronger than others, everything in season two is at least worth checking out. As a bonus, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in “The Drowned Giant” reveals that the green Ipswich Collectibles storefront from “Pop Squad” also exists here, apparently revealing that at least two of the stories exist in the same universe (though untold years apart). Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Netflix

Love, Death & Robots has always been one of Netflix’s more interesting experiments. The creature is a memorable slice of Lovecraftian nightmare fuel, but “All Through the House” abandons its premise a little too quickly, ending on a macabre chuckle just when it feels like it should be ramping up to the next level. 3. “Pop Squad”

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Love: YesDeath: YesRobots: Yes

The darkest installment of Volume Two begins with an intriguing blend of utopia and dystopia: A future in which death itself has been conquered, making an entire generation of people immortal — on the condition that they don’t have any more children, which would result in global overpopulation. It’s not clear whether this is just a fun Easter egg or a sign that the various episodes of Love, Death & Robots might be more interconnected than they seem — but it’s probably worth keeping your eyes peeled for more unexpected crossovers when Love, Death & Robots premieres its third season in 2022. As told through the eyes of a scientist sent to investigate, the giant’s decomposing body goes from a scientific discovery to a tourist trap to another useful resource to be exploited by the local population, before his bones are repurposed and the giant himself is forgotten entirely. Clocking in at a slender seven minutes — Volume Two’s shortest episode, by far — “All Through the House” follows two children who tiptoe downstairs on Christmas Eve to meet Santa Claus and discover that the “jolly old elf” is actually a gift-barfing demon who makes it very clear you don’t want to be on its naughty list. “All Through the House”

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Love: NoDeath: NoRobots: No

Like “The Tall Grass,” this is a ghoulish, perfectly entertaining little short that feels like an odd fit for Love, Death & Robots. There’s just one question it never convincingly answers: What is this story doing in Love, Death & Robots? As a result, Love, Death & Robots feels a little more mature this time around, a clear attempt to build on the strengths of season one while adjusting for its misfires. When a vacuum robot goes haywire and attacks its elderly owner (and her cute little dog), a desperate phone call to a customer-service hotline results in yet another automated robot whom she can’t defeat. The animated anthology series debuted back in March of 2019 with a whopping 18 episodes — some as short as six minutes, some as long as 17 — in which a diverse group of storytellers delivered stand-alone sci-fi stories in a variety of styles and tones. “Life Hutch”

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Love: NoDeath: NoRobots: Yes

Playing a stranded astronaut locked in a battle to the death with a malfunctioning robot, Michael B. 5. There are some clever flourishes in the animation — keep an eye out for the word “fuck” appearing in protagonist Sedgewick’s foggy breath as he desperately sprints away from some breaching ice whales — but the story is ultimately just too thin, and the climax too anticlimactic, for “Ice” to really make an impact. The grimness of this story is brought to life by voice actor Nolan North, best known for playing Nathan Drake in the Uncharted video games, who brings a world-weariness to a man who is increasingly tired of superficial pleasures and the horror he commits to achieve them. “Snow in the Desert”

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Love: YesDeath: YesRobots: Yes

Each Love, Death & Robots episode introduces viewers to a fully formed alternate universe in a relatively small window of time, and “Snow in the Desert” does a more elegant job of that than most. “Snow in the Desert” scores a few bonus points for being one of the few stories in the Love, Death & Robots anthology that embraces all three parts of the title, with an ending that offers a glimpse of what undying love might actually look like in this particularly dystopian corner of the universe. “Ice”

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Love: NoDeath: NoRobots: Yes

Director Robert Valley — who helmed “Zima Blue,” the best episode of Love, Death & Robots season one — returns for this relatively disappointing follow-up, which has a similarly distinctive animation style but none of his previous entry’s existential punch. Unfortunately, it also makes Snow a target for a wide range of pursuers — including a mysterious woman with her own secret — who have varying ideas about how his body could be useful to them. The downside is that season two is significantly shorter: This time, there are only eight episodes instead of 18. Jordan injects some star power into the second season of Love, Death & Robots. Ultimately, “Life Hutch” ends up feeling more like a tech demo for the (legitimately stunning) photo-realistic animation than a fully realized story in its own right.