Brow Beat

Netflix Clarifies Love, Death & Robots Episode Sequencing: “This Is a Test”

People gaze at a fantasy world in the clouds.
“Love, Death & Robots”
Netflix

Last week, just one day after canceling the widely beloved One Day at a Time, Netflix released the very different Love, Death & Robots, an adult animated series created by Tim Miller and produced by David Fincher. Consisting of 18 sci-fi and fantasy shorts, the anthology series can be watched logically in any order. But since its release, viewers have discovered a new detail about the way the series appears on the platform: The sequencing of episodes is different from user to user.

Watchers have compared episode lists on Twitter and Reddit, speculating about what might generate the variation in chronology—including whether sexual orientation plays into it.

When we reached out to Netflix on Tuesday, a spokesperson confirmed that the series’ varied sequencing was part of a deliberate test, adding that “these tests typically vary in length of time and by region, and may not become permanent. We’ve never had a show like Love, Death & Robots before so we’re trying something completely new: presenting four different episode orders.”

As with reports that the service was tailoring the images used to promote its content according to users’ race, Netflix maintains that while it does collect data on users’ viewing patterns, it does not know their race, sexual orientation, or other information about them, and because their business is subscriptions, not ads, that data is never sold to outside parties.