Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Topher Grace are between them charming enough to make me almost forget that this is a live action adaptation of a Treehouse of Horror segment. Yeah, I guess when series creator Tim Miller gets to make his own episode and can call in his famous friends the format gets to be broken a little.
I’ll say that there was one moment that actually got me. After things go just about as expected for a while, the tiny civilisation living in our heroes’ fridge achieves the singularity. Things get momentarily transcendent and then it disappears, teleports away or something, and things are suddenly quiet and dark and they embrace and go to bed.
I dunno, I’ve not been fortunate enough to have had many encounters with the divine in my life. Yet when I was a kid I went to those sorta big tent revivals (or the closest you could get in this country) and all my friends would experience God and then roll outta that place to drink coffee and buy overpriced cake and maybe i should have known that it was all an act.
I got one day of perfect clarity where I walked around my town in the rain for six hours and saw the striking beauty of everything that surrounded me. For a rare moment not listening to music or podcasts or anything. And then, the next day, or maybe it was the evening after I dried off and got warm, I couldn’t see in the same way anymore. In that moment I felt such immense loss.
I’m only realising now that Futurama too had an episode with a similar premise. Both of them tried to take a look at what it means to be God. Maybe that makes them more thematically audacious, but I’ve always been more in tune with the stories that concern our abandonment by the divine. I think this is one.
It’s about power and relationships and the impossibility of communication between mortals and the divine.
Since falling out of faith, and not quite being comfortable with pure atheism, I’ve gotten into what I would best describe as witchy shit. I’m not sure what, as far as I am concerned, the ultimate expression of that will be, but I like being engaged in a form of faith that doesn’t shame me for not receiving divine inspiration. I like having rituals that are performed solely for self edification.
The characters in this film are living in harmony with forces they don’t really understand and who don’t understand them and that’s okay. They don’t need to. They chill for an hour and get pizza while a war rages because they don’t really have any strategies that would serve to help. It’s a conception of deity that I like.
I’d say honestly that the tag at the end, ‘oh no it’s all going to happen again!’ is fairly redundant. If only because our characters got their closure. They got to be gods, and then see gods, and then chill, because after you’ve experienced both what’s there to shake you?
The little animated society stuff was fun too. All in all it’s very slight, but grounded in a philosophy that I honestly think is worth thinking about.
Love, Death & Robots is currently available to stream via Netflix.
Image courtesy of Netflix