Love, Death & Robots Season 2:Disappointing


Behind the whole network ridicule, Netflix with negative IP operation scores.

No one thought that after 491 days of long wait, the second season of “Love, Death & Robots” would disappoint the audience immediately after watching it.

Before the new season went live, Douban users had already enthusiastically brushed their scores to over 9 points, but after three days of going live, it had dropped below 7 points. According to IMDb’s single episode score, the lowest score of the second episode “Ice” is as low as 6.2 points; although the freshness on Rotten Tomatoes is not low, the popcorn index, which represents the reputation of North American audiences, is only 47%.

If the first season turned out in early 2019 and challenged or even redefined adult animation, the role of the second season may be mainly to prove that it is the ceiling.

Whether it is the great success of the previous work or the golden sign of “Netflix produced, it must be a boutique”, the current situation of “Love, Death & Robots Season 2” being ridiculed by the entire network is indeed a bit surprising.

Related Post: “Love, Death & Robots Season 3‎” is set to air on May 20.

Just more than a year later, a season of “Love, Death & Robots” series of the gods fell into the reputation of Waterloo, and the highlights of the production, style, depth and scale have turned out to be lackluster.

Behind the collapse of “Love, Death & Robots Season 2”, some long-term problems with Netflix’s IP development and operation are becoming more and more obvious.

Behind “must be a boutique”, the golden sign ruined in the hands of Netflix.

When Kevin Spacey strangled a dog at the beginning of “House of Cards”, the streaming miracle belonging to Netflix officially set sail. At that time, no one knew that President Shimogi, the political character who broke the fourth wall, would be declared dead in the sixth season due to off-court factors. By the way, the head IP of the American TV series “House of Cards” was brought to life.

When the sixth season of “House of Cards” was launched in 2018, almost everyone said it was better than not having this season.

The Douban score fell to 5.6 points, and the score of the eighth episode on IMDb was as low as 2.5 points. For comparison, the scores of House of Cards in the first two seasons were 9.3 and 9.2 respectively. But viewers who have watched this season will not give everything to Kevin Spacey.

What really drags this series into the mud is the content itself. Various plot disasters have wiped out the political game rules constructed in the first two seasons. The collapse of this kind of content has actually begun in the third season. Because the success of the first two seasons made it impossible for Netflix to give up, such as renewing the subscription; but Shimoki, who has stepped onto the throne of the president, has become a unique and powerful existence, so it has to reduce the intelligence of characters to create and other people’s balance of power. Form a dramatic conflict.

Douban scored 8.4, 8.9, and 7.5 points in the third, fourth, and fifth seasons of the play. As the current global leader in the production of film and television content, Netflix’s content operation logic is not difficult to understand. Based on big data, they can judge which part of a successful hit drama is attracting the audience, and then continue and enlarge it to achieve the ultimate goal of attracting users to watch and pay.

For example, in “House of Cards”, the character Claire has a good impression of the audience, so the importance of the plot has increased all the way afterwards, and even became the female president in the sixth season. The stills of the sixth season of “House of Cards” and this kind of routine operation may not be “co-produced” for some works with more refined content.

The most typical is the “Black Mirror” series. The first two seasons created by the BBC have been passed down to the present, but since Netflix took over, the reputation has been declining. The fifth season’s Douban score is only 6.8 points. The main interactive movie “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” “It is also 6.8 points.

The reason for the stills of “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is very simple. The logic of “Black Mirror” lies in the fear of modern things, and the objects of fear of individuals will not increase in a period of time. Netflix did not give “Black Mirror” time to wait for new content, and the result was repeated repeats.

In the BBC era, the production time for each episode was five months, while Netflix shrank to three months, and each season increased from three episodes to six episodes. From 2016 to 2019, 18 episodes came out directly. This leads to an interesting phenomenon: the word-of-mouth of Netflix series is usually a relatively good word-of-mouth performance in the first two seasons. The grasp of user tastes and the ability to create topics make these shows a higher possibility of becoming word-of-mouth. Explosive style.

But if it enters long-term development, many works will often enter a stage of decline in word-of-mouth, and the overall lack of long-term IP. Including the once amazing “Narcos”, the second season was also generally questioned about the lengthy and the characters’ wits. As a result, the filming continued until the fourth season, and the score was getting lower and lower.

Therefore, a Korean director said that “Netflix doesn’t care about anything except money” is not entirely believed. Netflix may find him when it enters the second season of development and tell him, “When this character comes out, the audience will fast forward and let him dead”. The “content-driven” Netflix aims to be a product. The same problem also occurs in the “Love, Death & Robots” series.

When the first season jointly developed by David Fincher and Tim Miller, the two great gods, named “love”, “death”, and “robot”, there was no such thing in the story. Strong correlation lies in emphasizing a post-modern marginal temperament and work tonality. But in the second season, almost every episode must have the three elements of “love”, “death”, and “robot”; although it has been reduced from 18 episodes to 8 episodes, the duration of each episode has been reduced by half, but the audience I’m afraid it will still be a bit bracing.

The acclaimed elements in the first season burst out in this season. Out of the eight stories, there are two stories about “robots go crazy”, and there are also two stories about ghosts and people. The functions and narratives are completely overlapped. For the audience, “Love, Death & Robots Season 2” is already a work that can be guessed at the end of every episode. It is really not easy to maintain IP reputation.

If there is no previous work, the evaluation of “Love, Death & Robots Season 2” will not be as low as it is now, especially the eighth episode of “The Drowned Giant” can still get a lot of praise. However, facing audiences who are no longer stunning and more mature after two years, only better works can impress them.

But compared to some works whose preparation time for the first season can reach 10 years, just 491 days is not enough to reproduce the miracle, and Netflix will not give “Love, Death & Robots Season 2” another decade.

It is not difficult to understand that the development of Netflix, which is mainly “content-driven”, is still product development: Rather than waiting for an IP to gradually become a growth line, Netflix hopes that it can guarantee a certain output efficiency; rather than maintaining its reputation, Netflix pays more attention to its pulling efficiency in attracting members to watch.

Just in the first quarter of this year’s earnings report for Netflix, it was revealed that streaming media paid a net increase of 3.98 million subscribers, and the market is estimated to have a net increase of 6.29 million; it only attracted 450,000 new subscribers in North America, which is lower than Disney+ or even HBO Max. Such growth performance was far worse than market expectations. After the release of the financial report, Netflix’s stock price fell 11% after the market.

Netflix mentioned in its letter to shareholders, “The growth of the number of paying users will slow down due to the continuation of the new crown epidemic in 2020, and the production of works will be delayed due to the epidemic.

“It’s not new. Netflix’s user growth is basically a barometer of the performance of its works. In the third quarter of last year, there was a lack of explosives, and the number of members only increased by 2 million. In the fourth quarter, “The Queen’s Gambit” exploded, and the number of members directly broke the 200 million record. .

Therefore, it is not difficult to understand Netflix’s expectations for the performance of works. It needs more content with market appeal to increase users’ willingness to pay, and user growth is almost equal to Netflix’s market confidence. Not to mention that before the fourth quarter of last year, Netflix has always had the survival problem of whether its revenue can outperform losses. Under this premise, the value of whether the drama IP can be quickly realized is far greater than the long-term value. The problem is that Netflix may miss more.

In the first quarter earnings report of Netflix’s rivals, Netflix stated that it does not believe that competition from Disney+, HBO Max, etc. is a factor in the weakening of the number of paying subscribers. On the conference call, CEO Reed Hastings said that the biggest competitor in terms of watch time is cable TV, and the second biggest competitor is YouTube, which has “much more watch time” than Netflix, and Disney’s scale is much smaller. many.

But if you return to the industry track, this view is a bit evasive. YouTube may limit or even squeeze Netflix’s growth space, but the menacing new streaming media platforms such as Disney+ and HBO Max are the problems.

Entering 2021, last year’s crazy growth has begun to slow down. Last week, Disney just released its fiscal 2021 second quarter report, and announced that the number of Disney+ subscribers reached 103.6 million, which was lower than market expectations of 109 million.

HBO Max, which has just announced that it has won 2.8 million new members in North America, is considered to be left behind in the head competition. According to foreign media surveys, almost 20% of users plan to unsubscribe from HBO Max in the future, which is far higher. Plan to cancel 7.4% of Netflix and 8.6% of Disney+.

The direct result of the slowdown in industry growth is involution. Previously, Disney stated that by 2024, Disney will spend as much as US$9 billion on Disney+ content investment each year; and Netflix expects that this year’s spending on content will exceed US$17 billion.

At present, Netflix and Disney+ do not seem to be of the same magnitude in terms of user numbers and content expenditures, but it should be noted that Disney said that by 2024, Disney+ will have 230 to 260 million users worldwide, which will make Disney+ Beyond Netflix.

The advantage of Disney+ facing Netflix lies in IP operations. In other words, these new streaming media platforms from major Hollywood companies generally have long-term advantages in IP operations. Many IPs have undergone multiple rounds of successful development.

Disney+ announced at the end of last year’s Investor Day the list of films, including 10 Marvel dramas, 10 Star Wars dramas, 15 Disney live action + animation + Pixar dramas and 15 new movies, all will land on Disney+. The already launched “Wanda Vision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” have shown the vitality of their IP derivative content.

In addition, the IP operating experience of major manufacturers lies in the establishment of a more diversified revenue model. Take Disney as an example. In the second fiscal quarter, revenue from its parks, experience, and product businesses fell 44% year-on-year, but still reached US$3.173 billion, maintaining a strong ability to attract money.

The shortcomings of Netflix in this regard are very obvious. On the one hand, Netflix has not realized the effective accumulation of IP. Some highly-recognized content such as “House of Cards”, “Black Mirror” and “Stranger Things” tend to be adult dark or realism, and the surrounding derivative development space is also relatively limited. On the other hand, Netflix’s single revenue model has been criticized for a long time, highly dependent on membership fee income, and has not established a model for comprehensive IP development.

On the track of IP operations, Hollywood giants such as Disney have inherent advantages, while Netflix has not shown a catching-up trend for a long time. For Disney+ and others, IP operations help build a healthier revenue structure, which may become its confidence to “leapfrog challenge” to Netflix. The shortcomings in this area may make Netflix more headaches in the future.

The IP of “Love, Death & Robots” still has its value. The third season has been set for 2022, but will the next season become a loss to this IP?

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